Elizabeth Taylor's Grandchildren Inherited Her Stunning Looks — One, Naomi, Looks Like Her 'Reincarnation'
Elizabeth Taylor was a Hollywood icon who captivated the hearts of many viewers. Behind the screen, she was an activist who raised awareness for AIDS. But at home, she was just a loving grandmother to ten grandkids, who all saw her for the powerful and kindhearted woman she was.
As one of the most successful actresses of her time, Elizabeth Taylor carried a powerful voice that many listened to. She was famous for her many movies and marriages that resulted in four kids and ten grandchildren.
Just as fans idolized the star, her grandkids also looked up to Taylor. In the years following her death in 2011, some of them shared accounts of Taylor, including what it was like growing up with one of the world's most famous actresses.
TAYLOR'S GRANDDAUGHTER, LAELA
Although the "Cleopatra" star had a whopping seven marriages, she only had four children: Michael Wilding Jr., Chris Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. However, Taylor had many grandchildren to keep her company every time they visited her Bel Air mansion.
Her eldest granddaughter, Laela Wilding, spent much of her growing years by Taylor's side. The star would sometimes cut Laela's hair and do makeup together, among many other things. Laela revealed that her grandmother never played favorites among her grandkids despite being close to Taylor.
Laela grew up to be a graphic designer in Portland, Oregon while working with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
TAYLOR'S GRANDDAUGHTER, NAOMI
Similarly, Laela's younger sister, Naomi deLuce Wilding, also had her fair share of memories with Taylor. Naomi grew up in the United Kingdom and only saw Taylor on holidays. Still, when she went to America to pursue a career as a fashion designer, her grandmother gave full support.
"I came to stay with her, and I never left [California]," Naomi recounted her experience. She lived with the actress for nearly two years and called the stay "amazing.
Like Laela, Naomi is an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. She also operates a Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, Wilding Cran Gallery, with her husband, Anthony Cran.
TAYLOR'S GRANDDAUGHTER, ELIZABETH
The only grandchild named after Taylor came from her adopted daughter, Maria Burton. Elizabeth, often called Eliza, had many days spent at her grandmother's lavish home. The pair would also bond over vacations, including a trip to the Dominican Republic that went from a two-week stay to a whole summer getaway.
In 1963, Taylor made history by demanding a whopping $1 million salary for her titular role in the movie "Cleopatra."
Like her grandmother, Elizabeth feels strongly about humanitarianism. She grew up working for the Department of Child Protection in Manhattan and is an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. According to Elizabeth, she loved Taylor's kind heart the most.
Taylor's first grandson, Caleb Wilding, was adopted by her son Christopher after several unsuccessful tries at getting pregnant. After an adoption, they welcomed a biological son, Andrew Wilding. Like Taylor, Andrew entered the entertainment industry but worked behind the scenes as a cinematographer.
Taylor's sixth grandchild, Quinn Tivey, is a co-trustee of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust. He is also involved in her foundation and wants to carry her legacy moving forward.
His cousin, Tarquin Wilding, is the brother of Laela and Naomi. Like Andrew, he is a cinematographer and filmmaker at just 28. Tarquin said of his late grandmother, "We admire my grandmother for her boundless generosity, and I believe that we all feel grateful to be able to honor and continue her legacy."
Like Tarquin, his cousin Lowell said that he "was always in total awe of the good my grandmother was able to accomplish in her lifetime." Lowell is Taylor's eighth grandchild who began the Elizabeth Taylor Archive as a tribute to his grandmother.
Carrying the family's creative genes is Rhys Tivey, an accomplished musician – a trumpeter, vocalist, and songwriter. His advocacy is to reduce his carbon footprint and influence others to do so.
Taylor's youngest grandchild, Richard McKeown, lives a private life not much known to the press. He is named after his grandfather and lived with Maria Burton when his parents had a feud.
GROWING UP WITH TAYLOR
Although not all ten grandkids had the same experience with Taylor, some shared their own accounts. Previously, Quinn revealed that his grandmother "could be really raunchy." He recalled:
"I remember going to her house and getting into bed with her, wearing my pajamas, watching 'Law & Order,' eating [peanut butter and jelly] sandwiches."
In a rare interview in 2014, the then 39-year-old fashion stylist Naomi opened up about growing up with Taylor. She said that her iconic grandmother was a significant inspiration in her life and encouraged her to be an ambitious woman.
The fashion stylist doesn't think she associated the Taylor she knew with the movie star everyone else saw. To her, she was just her "granny." She added:
"We were very close, and she had a strong influence on my life. She convinced me to move to Los Angeles. She introduced me to [writer] Ingrid Sischy, who suggested I try fashion styling."
When Naomi got married, Taylor hosted her wedding reception. In 1991, when Taylor married her seventh husband, Larry Forentsky, Naomi was a bridesmaid. "More than anything, my grandmother gave me confidence. She made me feel like I could do anything," she said.
Naomi credits her grandmother for instilling values in her grandchildren, such as "the idea of following your heart and being true to whatever love you have – not to be afraid of being hurt." Taylor's AIDS foundation also had a great influence on her grandkids. Naomi added:
"I think that she very early on felt touched by the AIDS crisis. She felt like people weren't recognizing the urgency of need. So she put herself front and center in a very sincere way."
Taylor co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985 and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991. She was also an advocate of other pressing issues, including pay equity between female and male workers.
In 1963, Taylor made history by demanding a whopping $1 million salary for her titular role in the movie "Cleopatra." Laela said:
"She was that person who saw injustice and started talking about it and never stopped talking about it. Who she was is very relevant, and it might not be in the ways that a person might really think of when they think of her."
When Taylor passed away due to congestive heart failure, her grandchildren were left with many remarkable memories of her. She was 79 at her time of death.