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From Butterfield 8 to Cleopatra, Look back on Taylor's impressive body of

Shaun Harrison
1 of 14 Everett Collection

National Velvet (1944)

Many movie fans first noticed Elizabeth Taylor as the adolescent whose horse needs to be tamed and trained for England's Grand National Sweepstakes. Mickey Rooney headlined the film, and it won two Academy Awards, including the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Anne Revere.
2 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

Little Women (1949)

Taylor played Amy opposite June Allyson, Peter Lawford and Margaret O'Brien in Louisa May Alcott's autobiographical account of life with her sisters in the mid-19th century.
3 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

Father of the Bride (1950)

Spencer Tracy is the father, and Liz is the bride in Vicente Minnelli's tale of the triumphs and tribulations of getting to the wedding day.
4 of 14 Paramount/Kobal Collection

A Place in the Sun (1951)

Taylor — maybe at the peak of her beauty — plays a rich woman who makes Montgomery Clift's character fall crazy in love. Problem is: He already has a girlfriend (Shelley Winters). The film won six Oscars, including one for director George Stevens. Clift and Winters were nominated for their lead performances.
5 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

Ivanhoe (1952)

Robert Taylor filled the title role in this classic Walter Scott tale. Taylor plays Rebecca, who at one point is accused of witchcraft. Nonetheless, Ivanhoe vies for her heart.
6 of 14 Floyd McCarty/Warner Bros./Kobal Collection

Giant (1956)

George Stevens' sprawling film — which got nine Oscar nominations — paired Liz with Rock Hudson. Stevens won the Academy Award for directing, while James Dean and Hudson were nominated for Best Actor and Mercedes McCambridge was nominated for her supporting performance.
7 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

Raintree Country (1957)

Taylor earned her first Oscar nomination for her performance in this Civil War drama in which her character, Susanna Drake, has an affair with and gets impregnated by Montgomery Clift's John Wickliff Shawnessy. The film also starred Oscar winners Eva Marie Saint and Lee Marvin and four-time Oscar nominee Agnes Moorehead.
8 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

In this classic Tennessee Williams story, Liz — as Maggie the Cat — and Paul Newman (as Brick) steam up the screen. She received her second Oscar nomination for her performance. Burl Ives played Big Daddy.
9 of 14 Everett Collection

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Taylor received her third Oscar nomination in another Tennessee Williams story. The redoubtable cast included Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift.
10 of 14 MGM/Kobal Collection

BUtterfield 8 (1960)

Liz’s first Oscar-winning performance. Some thought at the time that she took home the Academy Award because she almost died from pneumonia that year. But her portrayal of a high-end call girl in this adaptation of John O'Hara's novel was worthy.
11 of 14 20th Century Fox/Kobal Collection

Cleopatra (1963)

The first of 11 films starring Taylor and Richard Burton. The movie is perhaps better remembered for its bloated $44 million budget (Taylor signed on to the film for a record-setting cool mil) than its performances. Nevertheless, it earned four Oscars.
12 of 14 Everett Collection

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

In this adaptation of Edward Albee's scorching play, Liz and Dick, the era's reigning It Couple, chewed up the scenery and each other. Taylor won her second Best Actress Oscar, and the film took home four other Academy Awards, including one for supporting actress Sandy Dennis. George Segal also co-starred.
13 of 14 Everett Collection

Ash Wednesday (1973)

Liz plays a woman who secretly gets plastic surgery to save her marriage. Her new look attracts the attention of lots of young men while she awaits her husband.
14 of 14 Kaster/S&T Films/Kobal Collection

A Little Night Music (1977)

Four decades into her career, Elizabeth Taylor displayed her range, playing a famous actress who sets her sights on a married man (Len Cariou) and his virginal wife in this musical based on a screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Diana Rigg also co-starred.