The late Elizabeth Taylor lived much of her fascinating life onscreen. She was 12 years old when National Velvet made her a movie star. Moviegoers watched her transition into adulthood. She was planning her wedding in Father of the Bride. She was experiencing some serious marital problems alongside Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She worked with then-husband Eddie Fisher in her Oscar-winning performance in Butterfield 8. She famously co-starred with her paramour/husband/ex-husband/soulmate/husband again Richard Burton in a series of films, some of them great (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), some of them glossy (Cleopatra), and some of them Boom!. But what’s your favorite Elizabeth Taylor performance? We’ve gathered together some essential video of the actress onscreen to jog your memory — tell us your favorite Liz memory after the jump…
Here’s Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, trying desperately to make drunk Paul Newman attracted to her. Considering that Taylor positively exudes sensuality, the only possible conclusion that we can draw is that Drunk Paul Newman has gone completely insane.
Cleopatra is justifiably regarded as a slow-motion Hollywood train wreck, but you can’t deny Taylor’s magnetism in the lead role. Suffice it to say, Rex Harrison’s Julius Caesar finds her more attractive than Drunk Paul Newman.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a relentless onslaught of a film, in which Taylor and then-husband Burton throw vitriol and great acting in each other’s faces. Check out Taylor laying into Burton:
Lastly, here’s a clip of Taylor accepting her Best Actress Oscar for Butterfield 8. It captures something ineffably charming about the star — can you remember ever seeing Taylor look nervous before? — and watching it today can’t help but bring a little tear to your eye:
PopWatchers, it’s a tough choice, but what’s your favorite Elizabeth Taylor role? Vote in the poll below, and let us know if we’ve missed any deep cuts. (Anyone want to make a case for the sequel to Father of the Bride, which was called Father’s Little Dividend and actually existed?)