screen icon: Elizabeth Taylor movies


  • Elizabeth Taylor would've celebrated her 88th birthday on February 27, 2020. The glamorous Hollywood icon starred in dozens of movies throughout her career, collecting two Best Actress trophies at the Oscars and three additional nominations. But how many of those titles remain classics? In honor of her birthday, let's take a look back at  her greatest films,
    Born in 1932, Taylor began her career as a child actress, landing her first leading role when she was just 12-years-old with “National Velvet” (1944). She quickly transitioned into adult stardom, earning her first Oscar nomination as Best Actress for “Raintree County” (1957). Subsequent bids for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958) and “Suddenly, Last Summer” (1959) quickly followed.
    She collected her first statuette playing a prostitute with man troubles in “Butterfield 8” (1960), a film she openly hated. (When asked about its success, she famously said, “I still think it stinks.”) Her win probably had more to do with an emergency tracheotomy she underwent right before the ceremony than the performance, but either way, Taylor was finally crowned the Queen of Hollywood.

  • Her next win came for a much more acclaimed performance, and a truly surprising one. Taylor gained weight and died her hair to play a bitter middle-aged wife in “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966), who spars with her professor husband (the star's own on-again off-again spouse Richard Burton ) during an all-night slugfest with a pair of newlyweds ( George Segal and Sandy Dennis ). It was a stunning transformation, and proof that she was more than just a beauty queen.

  • In addition to her two Oscar wins, Taylor also received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1993 for her humanitarian work, particularly in AIDS research. She was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 1985 and the SAG Life Achievement prize in 1998. (

  • When you think of Liz Taylor movies, you automatically think of Cleopatra. Large scale historical epics like the 1963 film were legendary for their huge budgets and star-studded cast lists, and Taylor was an absolute vision as the iconic Egyptian queen. A scandalous affair with Richard Burton , who would go onto become one of her husbands, made the film even more intriguing but the grand language and grand cinematography mean that Cleopatra will always be considered a classic of its era. (

    The Leading Lady: Top 10 Elizabeth Taylor Movies - Top 10 Films (

    • Cleopatra (Mankiewicz, 1963)

    • Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (Nichols, 1966)

    • Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Brooks, 1958)

    • National Velvet (Brown, 1945)

    • A Place In The Sun (Stevens, 1951)

    • Reflections In A Golden Eye (Huston, 1968)

    • Father Of The Bride (Minnelli, 1950)

    • Giant (Stevens, 1956)

    • Suddenly, Last Summer (Mankiewicz, 1959)

    • Butterfield 8 (Mann, 1960)

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