Elizabeth Taylor, one of Hollywood’s greatest movie stars, passed away at the age of 79 on Wednesday. From Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to her memorable Oscar speech, watch the actress’ best moments. Plus, full coverage of Elizabeth Taylor.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
In 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Taylor played Maggie “the Cat,” a woman struggling for the affection of Paul Newman, her alcoholic and ex-football player husband. Mid-production, Taylor’s husband Mike Todd was killed in a plane crash. In this steamy scene from the classic film, the actress describes just what it feels like to be a “cat on a hot tin roof.”
Tayor’s signing on to the film Cleopatra in 1960 for $1 million made her the highest-paid actress, as well as one of the most recognizable women, in the world. The epic love story wasn't only onscreen: Taylor met Richard Burton, whom she married and divorced twice.
Best Actress Speech (1961)
Not only did Taylor deliver a stellar performance as a call girl looking to get out of the business in 1960’s Butterfield 8, but she delivered arguably one of the best Academy Award speeches of all time. She also teaches us that a heel is a very powerful weapon.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? earned Taylor her second Academy Award. The film follows one night in the home of a professor and his angry, drunk wife. In an emotional performance featuring long tirades and plenty of harsh language, Taylor starred opposite her husband at the time, Richard Burton.
National Velvet (1944)
Though one of her first film roles was in 1943’s Lassie Come Home, Taylor shot to fame as a 12-year-old in National Velvet. Also starring Mickey Rooney and Angela Lansbury, the film portrayed the young horse-obsessed Velvet Brown, who trains her steed to win (while undercover) the Grand National.
Guest on What’s My Line?
In 1954, Taylor appeared on the CBS series What’s My Line? as the mystery challenger. Watch as she fools the blindfolded contestants by talking through her nose.
Taylor was a fearless activist, championing the cause of finding a cure for AIDS. In this clip, she calls on the government to find a cure.