Elizabeth Taylor

Icons of the Century

Despite her two Oscars and landmark AIDS charity work, violet-eyed La Liz — who went from breathless child star in “National Velvet” to sulty sex siren in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and one of the most beautiful women to grace the silver screen — will always be synonymous with movie-star excess: diamonds, fluctuating weight, and above all, her eight husbands. She traded off scandal and tragedy from one husband to the next, now a martyred widow, next a wanton homewrecker. 

But she was the first star to be paid $1 million for a film, “Cleopatra,” where she launched her jet-set romance with Richard Burton, sparking a worldwide paparazzi frenzy. The marriage was as much a creative partnership (see “Taming of the Shrew,” “The Comedians”) as much as a bacchanalian bond. But through it all, she has endured as a sparkling image of Hollywood glamour.

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