Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd were only married for one year, but it was the “happiest” time of her life.

Elizabeth Taylor Married Mike Todd in 1957

The Cleopatra actress married the filmmaker in 1957 in Acapulco after her marriage to second husband Michael Wilding came to an end. Taylor and Todd had a memorable interaction at MGM when he declared he was going to marry her one day.

“I see you have decided to shed that guy,” Todd, who was 25 years her senior, said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “Now understand one thing and hear me good, kid. Don’t start looking around for someone to latch on to. You are going to marry only one guy, see, and his name is me.”

“I looked at him I guess rather the way a rabbit looks at a mongoose,” she confessed. “I was absolutely hypnotized.”

While Tayor was filming Raintree County, Todd called her every day for six weeks, per the outlet.

“God, I loved him. My self-esteem, my image, everything soared under his exuberant, loving care,” she wrote of her third husband in the 1988 memoir Elizabeth Takes Off.

Elizabeth Taylor's Marriage to Mike Todd: Relationship Details
Cox/Getty Images

Taylor and Todd attended the Academy Awards together in 1957, celebrating the success of his film Around the World in 80 Days. They welcomed one child together, daughter Liza, in 1957.

“I think that was her true love,” Nanette Burstein, director of the HBO original documentary Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Tapes, exclusively told Closer in June 2024 at the Tribeca Film Festival. “I think that he made her confident.”

How Did Mike Todd Die?

In the late hours of March 21, 1958, Mike said goodbye to his wife and boarded his private plane, The Lucky Liz, to travel to New York. On March 22, 1958, the plane crashed due to engine failure, killing all four passengers on board.

“I think he made her feel special. I think she felt like she could do anything in the world and I think he would’ve been and continued to be – he was and would have continued to be – the great love of her life, but then he died in a plane crash,” Burstein said.

Taylor was left heartbroken by her husband’s death, leaning on her famous friends for support during her period of grief.

“I honestly didn’t think I would survive and didn’t much care if I did not,” she admitted.

Kirk Douglas, who lived next door to Taylor and Todd, was supposed to be a passenger on the plane that night but his wife, Anne Buydens, told him not to take the trip.

“When I told my wife [about the plane ride], she said, ‘I don’t want you to go,’” Douglas told People in July 2015. “We had a big argument.”

“We were driving and not talking to each other, so we turned the radio on,” he said, before sharing that they heard about Todd’s plane crash on the radio.

“Why was I spared? I was so grateful,” Douglas said. “My wife has saved my life many times.”

Elizabeth Taylor Remarried 1 Year After Mike Todd’s Death

After Todd’s death, Taylor began an affair with her late husband’s good friend Eddie Fisher, who was married to Debbie Reynolds at the time. Fisher divorced Reynolds in 1959 and married Taylor that same year.

“A man doesn’t leave a woman for another woman unless he wants to go. You know, when Mike Todd died, I sent Eddie to help Elizabeth,” Reynolds told People in 1983. “I don’t think she ever really loved Eddie. He was an interim interest during her mourning period.”