Very few strikingly beautiful women have striking personalities to match, but Elizabeth Taylor was someone who did. She thrived on the big screen as one of Hollywood's most sought-after stars in the 1950s. She lived a lavish lifestyle and owned one of the most expensive private jewelry collections. But behind all the glitz and glamour, Taylor was also known for being a survivor. She dealt with many personal challenges, including a topsy turvy love life (eight marriages to seven men), prescription pill and alcohol addiction, weight problems and severe chronic pain.
Though Taylor's film roles waned starting in the late 1960s, she remained in the spotlight for the rest of her life. In the mid 80s and early 90s she focused most of her time on philanthropy, co-founding the American Foundation for AIDS Research and later the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
In honor of this passionate actress and humanitarian, we let her own words reflect her unique spirit:
"My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked."
"I have a woman's body and a child's emotions."
"Big girls need big diamonds."
"I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too - for being married so many times."
"If someone's dumb enough to offer me a million dollars to make a picture, I'm certainly not dumb enough to turn it down."
"Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses."
"It's not the having, it's the getting."
"I don't like my voice. I don't like the way I look. I don't like the way I move. I don't like the way I act. I mean, period. So, you know, I don't like myself."
"You find out who your real friends are when you're involved in a scandal."
"Success is a great deodorant."
"I've been through it all, baby, I'm mother courage."