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Look back at her troubled life and career

Shaun Harrison
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1 of 8 UPI/Landov; Jay Scott/Camera Press/Retna; AFP/Getty Images; PA Photos/Landov; Tom Wargacki/WireImage.com; Ron Galella/WireImage.com; Everett Collection

The marrying kind

Taylor loved and loved hard, marrying eight times to seven different men: Conrad Hilton, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton (twice), John Warner and Larry Fortensky. The marriages spanned 46 years and two of them were born from affairs. Only one didn't end in divorce: her third marriage to film producer Todd, who died in a plane crash. That paved the way for hubby No. 4…
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An affair to remember, Part 1

After Todd's death, Taylor sought comfort in the arms of his best friend, Eddie Fisher. The only problem? The pop singer was married to Taylor's good friend Debbie Reynolds — aka "America's Sweetheart" — and the couple's affair caused a showbiz scandal. NBC canceled Fisher's variety series, and the public sided with Reynolds. Fisher and Taylor wed days after his divorce from Reynolds was finalized in 1959 and split five years later. Reynolds eventually forgave Taylor, and the two remained friends until Taylor's death in 2011.
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An affair to remember, Part 2

What goes around comes around. Taylor left Fisher after hooking up with Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra. Burton was also married at the time, and the Pope condemned the two for "erotic vagrancy." A classic Hollywood couple, Liz and Dick were notorious for their volatility, spats and all-consuming passion. After a brief divorce, the pair, who starred in multiple films together, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, remarried before divorcing for good in 1976. They each remarried other people, but we all know who the loves of their lives really were.
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Cleopatra drama

Taylor pocketed a cool $1 million for Cleopatra, becoming the highest-paid movie star at the time. But production on the film was anything but smooth. In addition to her and Burton's affair, the movie went overbudget and over-schedule, and Taylor nearly died after contracting pneumonia and requiring a tracheotomy, which caused the public anger toward her to subside. She won her first Best Actress Oscar for 1960's BUtterfield 8 while still in the hospital — a victory that has gone down in awards lore as the ultimate sympathy win. Shirley MacLaine, whom Taylor beat, famously quipped, "I lost to a tracheotomy."
5 of 8 20th Century Fox

A sexual pioneer

Taylor was never shy when it came to her sexuality and became one of the first big-name stars to appear nude in film when she took it off for — what else? — Cleopatra. She became a sex symbol and is credited with sparking the sexual revolution of the '60s.
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Posing for Playboy

Likewise, Taylor caused a stir when she became one of the first major stars to pose mostly nude in Playboy when she did a skin-baring pictorial for the January 1963 issue to promote Cleopatra. She was not, however, on the cover.
7 of 8 Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Health scares

Taylor had struggled with health issues all her life, ever since hurting her back while filming her breakthrough film, the 1944 showjumping hit National Velvet. In the '80s, she admitted to having been addicted to sleeping pills and painkillers for 35 years and checked into the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. By Taylor's own count, she's died four times after 70 hospitalizations and 20 operations. Among her ailments: an appendectomy, a punctured esophagus, dysentery, hip replacements, phlebitis, skin cancer and a benign brain tumor.
8 of 8 National Archive/Newsmakers; Diana Walker/Getty Images; David Levenson/Getty Images

Other affairs to remember

Taylor's husbands weren't the only men in her life. The actress was engaged to Heisman Trophy winner Glenn Davis when she was 16 and had a fling with Howard Hughes, who promised to build Taylor her own movie studio if she married him. Other romances include Frank Sinatra, General Hospital's Anthony Geary, Henry Kissinger and Malcolm Forbes. In October 2012, a new Taylor tell-all, Elizabeth Taylor: There Is Nothing Like a Dame, claimed that she also had a dalliance with Ronald Reagan when she was a teen, and a threesome with President John F. Kennedy and Robert Stack.