CelebrityHollywood

November 03, 2021

Eddie Fisher's Marriage to Elizabeth Taylor Started as Cheating and Ended With Affair

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Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher’s romance began as an affair, and then it turned into marriage. Their union almost ended in tragedy when Taylor cheated.

Before she passed, British actress Elizabeth Taylor was married six times, twice to the same man. She married Eddie Fisher, her fourth husband, in 1959.

Fisher himself had been married to America’s sweetheart Debbie Reynolds before meeting Taylor, and everything else changed after that. 

Actress Elizabeth Taylor plays Angela Vickers alongside Montgomery Clift's character George Eastman in the 1951 film "A Place in the Sun." American singer Eddie Fisher on May 8, 1953 at London airport | Photo: Getty Images

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TAYLOR & FISHER’S ROMANCE

Fisher ended up falling for Taylor while still married to Reynolds, and it caused a massive scandal in Hollywood, which tainted his reputation. 

He was then known as a lady’s man, having seduced fellow stars including Zsa Zsa Gabor, Edith Piaf, and Joan Crawford. Fisher first broke into the showbiz scene as a teen idol.

At the peak of his career in 1955, he settled down with Reynolds, and together they became Hollywood’s power couple – that was until Taylor came along.

British native Elizabeth Taylor and her fourth husband American singer and actor Eddie Fisher arrive at a formal event in 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

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At the time, the “Cleopatra” actress had been married to Fisher’s best friend producer, Mike Todd. The two couples used to spend a lot of time together.

Things took a twisted turn when Todd’s life was cut short in a plane crash in 1958, where Reynolds encouraged her then-husband to go and comfort Taylor during her time of grief.

Unlucky for her, Fisher never returned home, and he and Taylor tied the knot a year later. He then committed himself to the former child star to help further her career while putting his career on hold.

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MARRIAGE ROCKED BY BURTON

When she starred in the classic film “Cleopatra,” Fisher even traveled with her to Rome – setting himself up in a villa as her househusband.

However, the “Bright Lights” actor never anticipated the effect of Richard Burton on his wife as her co-star (playing Mark Antony, her love interest) because he later became a threat in their marriage.

The pair did not see each other for two years after that. Interestingly, Fisher had bought a gun and said he seriously considered killing Burton.

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Fisher was oblivious to the working relationship the actors had. When news that they were growing close broke, he told a press conference that the stories were “preposterous, ridiculous and absolutely false.”

Even when he suspected that they slept together, he brushed off the affair as an on-set romance. Then on one night, Fisher asked Taylor:

“Is something going on between you and Burton?”

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She whispered yes, and even then, he still did not believe their marriage was doomed. One time, Taylor took an overdose, and he helped her in hospital but soon after, he packed his bags and left for New York.

The pair did not see each other for two years after that. Interestingly, Fisher had bought a gun and said he seriously considered killing Burton.

At one point, the singer called his home only for the Welsh actor to answer the phone, and to his surprise, he asked, “What are you doing in my house?” to which Burton replied: “What do you think I’m doing?” saying he was sleeping with Fisher’s wife.

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Fisher then tragically overdosed, and rumors made rounds that Burton’s wife Sybil Williams attempted to take her life. Taylor notably made two suicide attempts during the filming of “Cleopatra.”

In one instance, Burton was present. Then, one night, she woke up only to find Fisher standing over her bed holding a gun. He said to her:

"Don't worry, Elizabeth. I'm not going to kill you. You're too beautiful.”

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TAYLOR & BURTON’S RELATIONSHIP

“The Eddie Fisher Show” host died on September 22, 2010, at his home in California at age 82. He succumbed to complications from hip surgery.

Meanwhile, his former wife had moved on to Burton following their divorce. Amid the scandal that rocked their respective marriages, the duo endured constant harassment from the Italian media and fans.

They eventually cooped up together in a rented villa whenever they were not filming and instead kept themselves busy with alcohol. Over the next few years, they took the entertainment industry by storm, gathering much attention.

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They even jetted off, traveling the world both despising and reveling in the attention they received. Taylor and Burton lived a luxurious life having extravagant spending habits that included a $960,000 jet plane purchased on a whim.

While on a spending spree, they made an effort to support many charities, extended family, and staff. They even purchased properties in Ireland, Switzerland, and Puerto Vallarta.

The pair also owned paintings, including Picasso, Monet, Augustus John, and Rembrandt. Additionally, they spent lavishly on jewelry as Taylor had an insatiable desire for jewels.

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The former couple spent much of their marriage socializing with the European jet set. Though Taylor was comfortable with aristocrats, her husband felt the opposite. Instead, he was bored of them.

Moreover, they were known for their infamous performative fights having both admitted that they enjoyed pretending to argue with one another. 

Although Taylor and Burton alluded that they staged most of their dramatic fights, things became brutal over the years as alcohol and jealousy took over their marriage. 

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Taylor’s addiction to pills, Burton’s late-stage alcoholism, affair with actress Nathalie Delon, and their lifestyle eventually tore the legendary lovers apart.

They divorced in June 1974, only to remarry in 1975 and file for a divorce once again less than a year later. Of the couple’s wild marriage, Taylor once told a friend:

“I don’t want to be that much in love ever again… I gave everything away…my soul, my being, everything.”

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SECRETS REVEALED

When their affair began, it caused controversy, and their lusty antics once even got them condemned by the Vatican. After filming wrapped with “Cleopatra,” they both divorced their then-respective spouses.

Taylor and Burton got married in Canada in 1964, just nine days after her marriage to Fisher officially dissolved. From thereon, they tied their personal and professional lives together by starring alongside in more movie projects together.

While everything started swiftly for the two, things were not as they seemed, according to Burton’s private diaries published in 2012. 

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He revealed that by 1969, their marriage was fueled by passionate sex, explosive rows, jealousy, and excessive heavy drinking, which led to more explosive confrontations.

There were instances of violence when she hit him around the head with her ringed fingers. Burton confessed that he became enraged with fury every time he thought about the incident.

The Shakespearean actor shared that the rows continued for 15 months as the couple became heavily reliant on alcohol. By 1972, they were said to have had multiple affairs.

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As for their second marriage, Burton admitted he never wanted to remarry Taylor but went ahead and did it anyway, and it ended the same way the first ended.

Following their second divorce, Burton went on to marry his third wife, Suzy Miller, only a month after his marriage from Taylor got finalized.

He married the fourth time in 1983, when he wed Sally Hay, but died a year later aged 58. As for Taylor, she married two more times, wedding John Warner in 1976 and Larry Fortensky in 1991, before divorcing him in 1996.

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BYGONES BE BYGONES

Sadly, Taylor passed away in 2011 at age 79. Throughout her rocky relationships, she eventually made peace with Reynolds following her affair with Fisher.

Taylor was married to Burton at that time and once shared with The Huffington Post that they even had dinner together. She said they agreed to let bygones be bygones and had stayed friends since then.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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