As a child star Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor burst into Hollywood, quickly earning a reputation as a rising talent. She lived up to her potential as a star and shined brightly in front the the camera, giving audiences award winning performances throughout her life. After a long storied career, punctuated at times by both scandal and health problems, Taylor died on Wednesday at the age of 79 of congestive heart failure, a condition she suffered from for several years.
Taylor found success early. The 1944 film, National Velvet, made Elizabeth Taylor an instant star with her brilliant performance. She was only 12. Starring opposite Mickey Rooney, Taylor plays Velvet Brown, a young, spirited girl who is determined that her beloved horse, the Pie, can win England’s Grand Racing Event.
Growing up in front of the camera, as an adult Taylor made a memorable appearance in the 1958 drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Starring as Maggie and appearing with Paul Newman, the film was the fifth Tennessee Williams play to be adapted for the big screen. The film is about a husband, Brick (Newman), an ex-football hero and alcoholic who thwarts his wife Maggie’s affections. The movie is packed with twists and turns that include injury, greed, lust, suicide, terminal illness, suspicion and desperation. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof received six Academy Award nominations including one for Elizabeth Taylor as Best Actress.