A Look Back: Elizabeth Taylor's Love Life

elizabeth taylor
Entertainment And News

"My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born," Elizabeth Taylor once said. "But when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked."

When Taylor passed away on March 23, she left behind a lasting legacy: A screen legend with two Oscars on her shelf... A passionate humanitarian with a heart of gold... And yet Liz will always be remembered for her many loves. The paparazzi followed her activities furiously and the public kept track of each husband—One, after another, after another: Hilton. Wilding. Todd. Fisher. Burton. Burton. Warner. Fortensky.

Why did Liz race to the altar time and time again? The Dame herself didn't know. According to The New York Times, when asked why she continued to become a perpetual bride, she just smiled and said, "I don't know, honey. It sure beats the hell out of me."

Taylor tied the knot an unparalleled eight times. And despite enduring more than her fair share of turmoil and tragedy—a widow at 26, a struggle with poor health and a longtime battle with substance abuse—the hopeless romantic always tried to maintain a positive outlook on her one-and-only life.

"I've been through it all, baby," Liz said. "I'm Mother Courage." Here, a look back at her many loves.

Conrad Hilton, Jr. (1950-1951)

She married into the Hilton hotel dynasty when she wed Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, Jr. in 1950, but all was not sunny in paradise. During their 14-week European honeymoon, things began to unravel. Hilton "became sullen, angry, abusive, physically and mentally," Taylor wrote in her autobiography, Elizabeth Takes Off. A bride at 18, she was still just 18 when she a became a divorcée.

Michael Wilding (1952-1957)

Michael Wilding, put a ring on it for the fourth time when he married Liz in 1952. While the Brit actor was 20 years her senior, Taylor said his cool, calm demeanor was just what she needed at the time. After five years of marriage and two children together, the pair split. Elizabeth Taylor Denies Impending Ninth Marriage

Michael Todd (1957-1958)

Taylor and Michael Todd weren't even married a year when he died in a 1958 plane crash. She was pregnant with his daughter, Liza, at the time. Taylor fell hard for the producer, who was equally smitten with her. "God, I loved him. My self-esteem, my image, everything soared under his exuberant, loving care," she wrote in her book. To confirm their love was mutual (and steamy), Michael once famously said, "Every minute this broad spends out of bed is a waste of time." He must have been a jokester... or not? [Salon]

Eddie Fisher (1959-1964)

Liz was widely criticized for her romance with Fisher, who was married to actress Debbie Reynolds when they met. Despite the scrutiny and home-wrecking allegations, she tied the knot in 1959, though wedded bliss came to a screeching halt when she met Richard Burton.

Richard Burton (1964-1974, 1975-1976)

It was instant attraction when the two actors came together on the film Cleopatra. Their stormy love spawned two marriages, an over-a-decade affair and the nickname "The Battling Burtons." Their romance was a storied one, although they were both sorta with someone else when they initially got together... Liz said: "I've always admitted that I'm ruled by my passions, and I can't pretend I didn't know what I was doing when I became involved with Richard." At least she was honest? [People] Read Richard Burton's Steamy Love Letters To Elizabeth Taylor

John Warner (1976-1982)

Elizabeth's megawatt celebrity helped John Warner earn a seat in the Senate in 1979, but Liz wasn't exactly down with the life of a politician's wife. "I was told to wear tweeds," she told People in 2006. "I couldn't wear purple, or Halston pant suits." Gasp! Needless to say, this love did not last.

Larry Fortensky (1991-1996)

Liz would marry for the last time in 1991. She tied the knot with construction worker Larry Fortensky, who never finished high school and was 20 years her junior. Odd couple? Admittedly, yes. The union fizzled in 1996. "Larry stopped working," Liz recalled to People. "You can't have love without respect." After she divorced Fortensky, she promised to never exchange vows again—a promise she kept.

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Photo Source: INF