Elizabeth Taylor First Married at 18, but the Union Barely Lasted past Their Honeymoon
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most successful actresses of her time, with a career spanning more than five decades, but her personal life often overshadowed her life on the silver screen.
Few Hollywood stars can boast of the success and fame enjoyed by Elizabeth Taylor, who started her career as a child star and evolved into one of the biggest names in the movie industry.
While her career was a success, Taylor's personal life often stole the headlines and kept her in the public eye for the wrong reasons. At some point, she was labeled a homewrecker.
A picture of actress Elizabeth Taylor and Hilton heir, Conrad Hilton | Photo: Getty Images
WHO WAS TAYLOR?
Without a doubt, Taylor was the most sought-after actress throughout Hollywood's golden age. Her violet eyes, rich jewelry collection, several affairs and marriages, and charming body made it impossible to overlook her personal life.
Taylor was born in London, England, on February 27, 1932, and had a career that spanned more than six decades. The late actress was noted for her boldness in taking on emotionally challenging roles, as well as her ability to portray comedic roles on occasion.
Her mother was an actress before she got married, and Taylor had always wanted to be one too. Therefore, her mother made it a point to prepare her for the stage from the moment she was born.
Taylor had her first experience with acting when she was still a toddler and once performed a recital for the British Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret when she was a little girl.
The "Cleopatra" star began her acting career in 1942 with the film "One Born Every Minute," but fame came calling after she took part in the 1944 film "National Velvet." The film grossed millions of dollars and turned her into a superstar.
At the time, most child stars struggled to make the transition to adult parts, but Taylor did so almost effortlessly and quickly, becoming one of the industry's most prominent characters.
Her mature and endearing appearances aided her career, and she was cast alongside renowned performers like Spencer Tracy in the 1950 film "Father of the Bride" when she was just 18 years old.
It was difficult for the young Taylor to go unnoticed, and while she was still a teenager, several prominent figures were captivated by her charms and good looks. At only 17, she was in a relationship with the millionaire, Howard Hughes.
She was often linked to several public figures, including sports stars. Her first engagement was to William D. Pawley, the 22-year-old son of a former ambassador to Brazil. Their engagement was canceled three months later.
Taylor made headlines for the many times she walked down the aisle, as well as how quickly she came out of her marriages. Prior to her 24th birthday, the actress was already divorced three times. She was married eight times to seven different men.
Her seven husbands included a hotel chain heir, an English actor, a flamboyant producer, a pop crooner, a Welsh actor (twice), a U.S. senator, and a construction worker, which ended rather shamefully and was her last attempt at marriage.
CONRAD HILTON JR.
Taylor's first marriage was with hotel heir Conrad Hilton Jr. who she married a few weeks after she turned 18. But, like most of her marriages, the union was only temporary. The duo had an expensive wedding organized by MGM, but the split came as fast as the love happened.
Hilton was 23 at the time of their wedding in 1950, and their wedding, which a catholic priest officiated, quickly became the talk of the town and was graced by several high-profile individuals.
Conrad Hilton, Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor in the limousine that took them to their wedding reception at the Bel-Air Country Club | Photo: Getty Images
The duo had a honeymoon that lasted several weeks, but for Taylor, the end of their honeymoon marked the end of their marriage, as what followed was brutality and a series of shocking events.
The union ended after eight months. It turned out Hilton began drinking on their wedding night, and despite several pleas to quit his drinking ways, the hotel heir refused. After their honeymoon, Taylor returned home and filed for divorce.
Taylor explained to the court that her young husband had used abusive language on her and barely paid attention to her. She was granted a divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty and she picked up her maiden name again. Hilton died 11 years later of a heart attack.
Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Hilton Jr. on the steps of the Church of the Good Shepherd after their wedding. | Photo: Getty Images
HER OTHER MARRIAGES
After her marriage to Hilton crashed, Taylor did not have to wait too long to find the next man willing to walk her down the aisle. This time around, she found love with a man 20 years her senior, actor Michael Wilding.
Despite how odd it was to be married to an older man, Taylor noted that she enjoyed the peace and comfort the relationship offered her. The duo welcomed two children together before splitting for good.
For her third marriage, Taylor met and married famous producer Michael Todd, with whom she welcomed a daughter.
Things looked rosy, and Taylor seemed to have been off the market for good, but Todd's life was cut short by a plane crash, and Taylor would go on to cause controversy with her next lover.
Following the death of her husband, Taylor got into a relationship with singer Eddie Fisher, who was Todd's best friend and best man at their wedding as well as the husband to her close friend Debbie Reynolds.
The union gained widespread criticism after Fisher left his wife and kids in favor of Taylor, but sadly, Taylor would later leave Fisher after meeting Richard Burton while filming.
Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher attending an event, circa 1950-60. Taylor wears a white dress, with a brooch at the waist. | Photo: Getty Images
The duo got married and was known for their intense romance as well as their many quarrels. The pair split in 1974, remarried in 1975, and finally divorced the following year.
In 1976, Taylor married Virginian John W. Warner and assisted his political ambitions before their divorce in 1982. And for her final marriage, she wedded 37-year-old construction worker Larry Fortensky, who she met while both were undergoing treatment at the Betty Ford Center.
The duo married in Michael Jackson's ranch and divorced in 1996. Following their divorce, Taylor admitted she was done with marriage but would continue to be linked to several men until her death in 2011.
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