While most of us dream of a spectacular wedding, Elizabeth Taylor went ahead and had eight of her own. In honour of the life of one of Hollywood’s greatest stars, we’re taking a look back at her turbulent and fabulous life.
Behind her eight marriages was a desire for something more than just romance. Elizabeth was a woman who believed marriage was the only thing that could come of being in love, – or what she thought was love – something which she put down to her religious upbringing.
“I think I ended up being the scarlet woman partly because of my rather puritanical upbringing and beliefs,” she once said. “At first, I guess I didn’t know what was love and what was not.
“I couldn’t just have a romance; it had to be a marriage.”
Conrad ‘Nicky’ Hilton (1950-1951)
Elizabeth Taylor was 18 when she wed Conrad Hilton, heir to the infamous hotel chain. The ceremony in Los Angeles was attended by over 700 guests. Helen Rose designed her dress, crafting a classic lace and ivory satin dress with a full skirt and lace embroidery. The wedding dress went down in fashion history as the epitome of 50s glamour and was eventually sold at an auction at Christie’s! Helen Rose later designed Grace Kelly’s wedding dress to Prince Rainier of Monaco.
Michael Welding (1952-1957)
After the breakdown of her short-lived marriage to Conrad Hilton, which lasted only nine months, Elizabeth Taylor married Michael Wilding, a British actor who was twenty years her senior. For her second trip down the aisle, Elizabeth donned a modest suit featuring a fitted jacket with a large white collar and a knee-length flared skirt. Just like her first wedding dress, this discrete and elegant outfit was designed by Helen Rose. Her engagement ring was a sapphire, setting trends at the time.
Via Tino Neacsu
Michael Todd (1957-1958)
Elizabeth Taylor divorced Michael Wilding and married the American film producer Mike Todd in 1957. It was to be her only marriage that didn’t end in divorce, as Mike Todd died in 1958 when his private jet crashed. It is said that Todd was one of three true loves in her life, along with Richard Burton and diamonds! Their wedding was an intimate affair in Acapulco, where Elizabeth Taylor wore a light, hooded organza dress. Her engagement ring from Mike Todd featured a 29-carat diamond.
Via Good House Keeping
Eddie Fisher (1959-1964)
Devastated by the death of her previous husband Mike Todd, Elizabeth Taylor found comfort with his best friend, Eddie Fisher, who she married in 1959 in Las Vegas. At the intimate ceremony, which took place in the synagogue, the actress moved away from her usual pale tones and wore a green silk dress with a hood and long sleeves. Continuing the unconventional theme, Fisher proposed to Taylor with a bracelet. This was no ordinary bracelet, but a spectacular 40-carat piece made with 50 diamonds!
Via Women’s World
Richard Burton (1964-1974)
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton famously began their affair in 1964 whilst shooting the film Cleopatra in a scandalous romance publicly condemned by the Vatican! After divorcing their respective spouses, they tied the knot in 1964 in Montreal. The silver screen siren called on Irene Sharaff, who created a colourful number in canary yellow chiffon. Burton proposed with the Bulgari brooch shown in the picture below. He famously said, “the only Italian word Elizabeth knows is Bulgari.” Hyacinths and lilies were also weaved into her braid, putting modern day flower crowns to shame.
Via SNAP/ Rex Features
Richard Burton … Again (1975-1976)
After a swift divorce in 1974, Elizabeth Taylor couldn’t resist re-marrying Richard Burton in 1975. She said, “Our love is so furious that we burn each other out”. On the banks of the Chobe river in Botswana, the actress renewed her vows in a colourful tie-dye dress by Gina Fratini. The frock was not like the sophisticated dresses that came before it, embellished with feathers. Five years into their first marriage, he gave her one of the most renowned diamonds in the world – the asscher-cut Krupp Diamond, now known as the Elizabeth Taylor Diamond. A whopping 33.19 carats, it’s widely reported that she wore it almost daily!
John Warner (1976-1982)
In 1976, after her second divorce from Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor married senator John Warner. Without witnesses, the actress and the politician exchanged vows on his farm in Virginia. Elizabeth wore a violet cashmere dress under a tweed and fur coat, perfecting the look with a matching turban.
Via Hub Pages
Larry Fortensky (1991-1996)
Larry Fortensky was a construction worker and his marriage to Elizabeth cost almost $2 million. Taylor’s $25,000 wedding dress was a gift from Valentino and the pair married at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch – he even walked her down the aisle with her eldest son. The media was a frenzy with reports that a photographer parachuted onto the ranch to steal a snap of the big day! History repeated itself one more time when she filed for divorce in 1996. Following her death in 2011, she left Fortensky $800,000. Larry was lucky last when it came to the eight-time bride and diamond lover, Elizabeth Taylor.
Written by Shaymah Alkhair