A pampered cinematic attraction since childhood, Elizabeth Taylor was, in 1963, the most famous woman on the planet.
Amply endowed with the body of a Greek goddess, Taylor had luxurious black hair and thick brows framing large blue eyes that quickly darkened into violet. She had literally grown up on movie screens, from a slender girl in National Velvet to a busty debutante in A Place in the Sun.
Taylor fell madly in love with Richard Burton while portraying history’s most infamous pair of lovers, the arrogant Roman general Mark Antony and the ambitious Egyptian queen, who enslaves him in the gargantuan epic Cleopatra – the most expensive film ever made.
The appearance of Taylor on the set of The Night of the Iguana started an avalanche of publicity because of her love affair with Burton, whom she accompanied to Mexico, attracting hundreds of paparazzi that quickly overwhelmed the film’s production.
The Vatican accused Taylor of “erotic vagrancy” and being an “unfit mother.” Congressman Michael Feighan asked the US State Department to revoke Burton’s visa because his behavior “was detrimental to America’s morals.”
Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra
Suddenly Last Summer