In 1960 Taylor became the highest paid actress up to that time when she signed a one million dollar contract to play the title role in 20th Century Fox's much anticipated and then acclaimed production of 'Cleopatra'. The Cleopatra movie and costume will forever dominate the news reports but with all respect to the Egyptian queen, Elizabeth Taylor was a much larger icon than that.
In her 79 years she went through many marriages, billions of dollars of diamonds, tons of eyeliner, hundreds of Dior couture commissions, a brilliant fur collection and changes in look, but her style remained the same, glamorous, elegant and sexy, a true Hollywood star to the heart.
Her close friendships with gay actors, most prominently Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift proved her to be open-minded in an age when homosexuality was career-threatening.
One of Elizabeth Taylor's last great roles came when she provided the voice of the silent baby Maggie in a 1992 episode of The Simpsons titled 'Lisa's First Word'. She is said to record her one word line 'Daddy' many times before producers were satisfied.
Taylor's various heath problems were always the headlines. She fought cancer and pneumonia, as well as congestive heart failure. She broke her back five times and had both hips replaced. In later years her advanced osteoporosis mainly confined her to a wheelchair.
Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011 . She is survived by her brother; two sons, Michael and Christopher, from her marriage to Micheal Wilding; her daughter, Liza, from her marriage to Micheal Todd; her and Richard Burton's adopted daughter, Maria; ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren.