Born in Hampstead, North London, Dame Elizabeth Taylor DBE (middle name is Rosemond) was born on the 27th February 1932. She has an elder brother, Howard Taylor, who was born in 1929.
She was the second child of Francis Taylor & Sara Warmbrodt - two American citizens, originally from Arkansas City, Kansas, that lived in England. Francis Taylor was an art dealer and Sara a former actress. They were married in 1926 in New York City.
Elizabeth Taylor has two sons by Michael Wilding, a daughter by Michael Todd and an adopted daughter
Appearing in her first motion picture at nine years old, Universal then let her contract drop and she was snapped up by MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer).
Her first movie for MGM was Lassie Come Home (1943) and she gained favourable reviews and plaudits for her role. On set she met Roddy McDowall and has shared a lifelong friendship. Elizabeth Taylor's first leading role was that of Velvet Brown in the film National Velvet (1944) alongside Mickey Rooney. National Velvet was a great hit with the public and grossed over $4m at the box-office.
Attending school she received a diploma from Los Angeles University High School on January 26, 1950. This was the same year that saw her first marriage - at the age of 18.
In the ten years between 1950 and her first Academy Award, she was nominated for a number of roles including Raintree County (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) with Paul Newman and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) with Katharine Hepburn.
Elizabeth Taylor was to win her first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Butterfield 8 (1960). This film co-starred her then husband Eddie Fisher.
She won again for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) which co-starred then-husband Richard Burton.
In 1963, the first $1m role for an actress was her's for the title role in the film Cleopatra. The film was for 20th Century Fox and this was when she first worked with Richard Burton - her fifth and sixth husbands.
He played Mark Antony in the film. They began an affair during the making of the film despite both being married to others at that time. This was the main reason why some considered Elizabeth Taylor the "Scarlet Woman."
Elizabeth Taylor has appeared on television a number of times - alongside none other than her husband Richard Burton in the 1973 flim Divorce His - Divorce Hers. Add to that other TV shows, including All My Children and The Simpsons twice - once as self and once as the voice of Maggie.
As with many actresses, she has acted on the stage. She only made her Broadway and West End debut in 1982 with Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes. She followed this with a production of Noel Coward's Private Lives in 1983 which she starred in with her former husband (at this time), Richard Burton.
One of her passions, jewellery has certainly featured in Elizabeth Taylor's life. She has owned a number of extremely valuable diamonds - the two most notable being gifts from husband Richard Burton. The 33 carat (6.6g) Krupp Diamond and the 69 carat (13.8g) pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond. She also owns the 50 carat La Peregrina Pearl, once owned by Mary I of England.
Her other retail passion is for perfume. With Passion, White Diamonds and Black Pearls she earns more than US$200 million yearly. 2006 marked the 15th anniversary of her White Diamonds perfume, a top 10 best selling fragrance for more than ten years.
She has also dedicated increasing time and energy to AIDS-related charities and AIDS fundraising. After her friend Rock Hudson died, she helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). She also has her own AIDS foundation called, appropriately, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation (ETAF).
In the 80's she moved to Los Angeles to Bel-Air where she still ives. She also has houses in Palm Springs and Hawaii. Her home is fenced and gated, but gets attention from local maps and tour guides who frequent the streets of the 'rich and famous'.
Illness-wise, she has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure, broken her back five times, had both hips replaced, survived a benign brain tumor op, had skin cancer and has had pneumonia twice. It is also said that she now has osteoporosis - hence going everywhere in a wheelchair.
A fan of AR Gurney's play Love Letters, on 1st December 2007 Taylor and James Earl Jones gave a benefit performance. They raised over $1m for her AIDS foundation in the process. However, as the event coincided with the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, Taylor asked and was granted a "one night dispensation" by The Writers Guild so that she woudl not have to corss the picket line.