Over half a century after her movie debut at the age of ten, Elizabeth Taylor is the only star from Hollywood's Golden Age who continues to hit the headlines. After nine marriages, numerous affairs, 30 operations, two Academy Awards and frequent sojourns in drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics, she has now reinvented herself as businesswoman, AIDS campaigner and diamond collector, while extending her career into television and the theatre. But, until now, this most public of lives has always maintained a certain element of mystery. The sheer volume of coverage she has attracted over the years has inevitably led to a degree of inconsistency, and Taylor herself as been reticent about many aspects of her life. Her early years in London, supervised with almost regimental discipline by her mother, her stage debut at the age of four, and the harrowing circumstances of the family's escape to California at the beginning of World War II - formative experiences which Donald Spoto now assesses in full, examining the way in which she was robbed of a normal childhood and exploring the effects of her rapid ascent into adulthood, among them her mutually sympathetic rapport with Michael Jackson. For years Elizabeth Taylor's life fluctuated between disaster and triumph, and - not at all conincidentally - along the way she became one of America's finest screen actresses. Outspoken, lusty, mercurial, she is quicksilver incarnate; generous and compassionate, also totally self-absorbed and egocentric. This biography is based on a great cache of material, including studio diaries, letters and personal journals.
Little, Brown & Company
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