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“A fine, serious, readable attempt to understand a woman who became a star-cum-studio victim . . . informative, thoughtful, and understanding.” The Listener
978-0-8021-3769-2 • $16.00 • Paperback • July 2001
Elizabeth Taylor is perhaps the most “public” of the great stars: an Oscar-winning actress who has lived her entire life in the glare of the spotlights. Much has been written about her; now, for the first time, Elizabeth offers a serious, in-depth look at one of the great legends of Hollywood. With the readability, sensitivity, and thoroughness that have made his previous biographies best-sellers, Alexander Walker explores the roots of Taylor’s extraordinary personality and reveals the secret not only of her success, but of her survival.
Here is a life to rival the very movies she played in, told with immense candor, wit, and sympathy: from her privileged London childhood, the enormous influence of her strong-willed mother, and her swift rise to stardom in such films as National Velvet, A Place in the Sun, and the catastrophe-ridden Cleopatra; to her six husbands, her desperate need to love and be loved, her obsession with jewelry, and the amazing resilience that helped her weather not only condemnation for “the most public adultery in history,” but also dramatic illnesses that have brought her to the verge of deathand, according to her, beyond.
Using scores of unpublished documents and interviews with those who know Taylor best, as well as his own meetings with her over the past thirty years, Alexander Walker recreates the comedies and tragedies in the life of a woman whose rewards and scandals have become the stuff of legend. Elizabeth has raged through life, ever the hungry explorer, never quite the victim, and Elizabeth provides a fascinating inside look at this perpetually alluring star, a story of contradictions and extremes seldom matched in fact or fiction.