Elizabeth Taylor Book Summary - Elizabeth Taylor Book explained in key points
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Elizabeth Taylor summary

Kate Andersen Brower

The Grit and Glamour of an Icon

4.2 (164 ratings)
17 mins
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    Elizabeth Taylor
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    Early Life and Rise to Fame

    Born in England in 1932, Elizabeth Taylor’s training began early, at the famed Vacani School of Dance in London. At three and a half years old, she performed in a benefit event attended by British royalty. The naturally shy girl blossomed on stage, sparkling under the lights. The Taylors, an American family, had only just begun their journey when the Second World War forced them to flee England and move to Los Angeles. Sara Taylor, Elizabeth’s mother, was convinced that her child would become a performer – but she had no idea the girl would grow up to become one of the most famous actors of all time.

    In Los Angeles, Sara became obsessed with her daughter’s success. She began tutoring her in etiquette and preparing her for auditions. Maternal persistence paid off when the young Taylor made her film debut in Universal’s There’s One Born Every Minute. Despite signing a seven-year contract, however, the ten-year-old failed to impress – and the studio dropped her.

    The family moved to Beverly Hills, and Taylor, now the family’s sole breadwinner, was under pressure to win work. Sara eventually managed to score the child an audition. After impressing the studio in Lassie Come Home, Taylor finally secured a long-term MGM contract. Of course, her mother took 10 percent of her pay – probably considering it recompense for fiercely protecting and advocating for her daughter. 

    Taylor’s road to stardom was challenging. She went to school on the studio lot, but as an MGM treasure, she was isolated and controlled, resulting in a lifelong tendency to daydream. Throughout this difficult time, the entertainer’s love for animals was a continual source of consolation for her. She formed a special bond with dogs and horses, providing her peace and an escape.

    The young actor also found solace in bonding with her co-stars, many of whom were several years older than she was. Some, like Roddy McDowall, would become her friends for life. Taylor grew up surrounded by gay actors, and became a haven for them – nonjudgmental, empathetic, and sincere, long before much of Western civilization caught up. Her constant and profound affection for the gay community shaped her nearly limitless empathy for her loved ones. And her need to love and be loved influenced many of her career decisions – as we will see next.

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    What is Elizabeth Taylor about?

    Elizabeth Taylor (2022) is an enthralling authorized biography of one of Hollywood's most famous stars. This fascinating and complete portrait of the legend chronicles her life of fame, tragedy, love, and loss.

    Who should read Elizabeth Taylor?

    • Elizabeth Taylor devotees
    • Classic Hollywood aficionados
    • Romance fans

    About the Author

    Kate Andersen Brower is an accomplished author and journalist who previously worked for Bloomberg News, where she covered the Obama administration. She has written several best-selling books, including the Number 1 New York Times best seller The Residence.

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