This wallpaper depicting the English-born American actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor is a derivative work made from an old studio publicity photo of her movie ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (1958), which was originally published in the book ‘Hollywood Stars’ (Fog City Press, 2003).
‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, directed by Richard Brooks and starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman and Burl Ives, was one of the top ten hits of 1958.
On 23 March 2011, Taylor died of congestive heart failure at the age of 79, surrounded by her four children.
In February 2011, Taylor was admitted for treatment at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she remained until her death. She was buried the day after death at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
After beginning her film career as a child actress with MGM, Taylor became one of the greatest and most famous film actresses in the world. The two-time Academy award-winning actress was widely acclaimed not only for her acting talents, but also for her great beauty, her mesmerizing violet eyes, and her much envied lifestyle. Her bushy eyebrows, black hair and double eyelashes added extra punch to her beauty.
Taylor always had a great passion for high fashion jewelry and precious gemstones, especially diamonds and pearls. She is renowned to have owned the famous Krupp Diamond (33.19 carat), and the Taylor-Burton Diamond (69.42 carat) which she auctioned off in 1978 for $5 million to finance construction of a hospital in Botswana. She also owned the La Peregrina Pearl (50-carat), one of the most famous pearls in the world, which in its history of 500 years has been owned by kings and queens in Europe. These three most famous gems were presented to her as gifts by husband Richard Burton.
Though she was neither nominated for nor won an Academy Award, for many of her fans, Cleopatra (1963) which won four Academy Awards and in which she played the title role, is synonymous with her, despite the fact that and Rex Harrison (as Julius Caesar) and Richard Burton (as Marc Antony), dominated the first and second halves of the film. Also, though she was signed up for $1 million for her role as Cleopatra, due to production delays she was paid $7 million (equals $47 million today, inflation adjusted), which most of the top actresses cannot even dream of charging now.
According to various reports, Taylor left an estate that is estimated at $600 million to $1 billion, which may include $150 million in jewelry and $130 million in real estate. Though she was a highly successful well-paid actress, most of her wealth accrued from her business associations, and because she was a pioneer in marketing merchandise brands.
Throughout her life Taylor was a also fashion icon, and well-known for The Elizabeth Collection, a line of fine jewelry designed by her, and her line of perfumes such as ‘White Diamonds’, ‘Passion’, and ‘Passion for Men’, which generated sales of an estimated $69 million in 2010.