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Inside Elizabeth Taylor's eight marriages

The legendary Hollywood actress was married eight times to seven men

elizabeth taylor
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
17 April 2021
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Film lovers all over the world still mourn the loss of the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor.

MORE: Elizabeth Taylor's top 10 iconic beauty looks

While her talent and beauty captivated millions on the silver screen, it was her personal life that made her a Hollywood star like no other. Elizabeth was known for falling in love in the blink of an eye and throughout her life she was married eight times to seven men. 

As the BBC airs new a documentary all about the incredible actress titled Elizabeth Taylor: A Life in Ten Pictures, find out all you need to know about the men of her life here...

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Conrad Nicholson' Nicky' Hilton Jr: 1950-1951

Elizabeth got married for the first time just weeks after her 18th birthday. The young bride wed the heir to the Hilton hotel empire, Conrad Nicholson' Nicky' Hilton Jr, in a large and expensive ceremony organised by her studio at the time, MGM. In the weeks following, Elizabeth realised that she had made a huge mistake; not only did she and Nicky have very little common, but he was also abusive and a heavy drinker. She was granted a divorce just eight months after their wedding.

elizabeth conrad nicholson© Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth married at the first time at the tender age of 18

Michael Wilding: 1952-1957

The next year, in 1952, she married British actor Michael Wilding. It was with Michael - a man 20 years her senior - that she welcomed her two sons Michael, born in 1953 and Christopher, born in 1955. The actress reportedly found their age gap appealing, as she wanted "the calm and quiet and security of friendship" from their relationship. In 1957, after five years together, the pair divorced.

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elizabeth michael wilding© Photo: Getty Images

She welcomed her first two children with second husband Michael Wilding

Michael Todd: 1957-1958

She took her third trip down the aisle the same year in Mexico, marrying film and theatre producer Michael Todd. Together they welcomed a daughter who Elizabeth named after her. Tragedy struck just one year after their nuptials when Michael died in a plane crash.

elizabeth michael todd© Photo: Getty Images

Her third husband Michael Todd died in a plane crash

Eddie Fisher: 1959-1964

While the actress was left devastated by Michael's death, she found love again six months later with heartthrob singer Eddie Fisher who was one of her late husband's best friends. As Eddie was married to actress Debbie Reynolds who was one of Elizabeth's closest friends at the time, the affair resulted in one of Hollywood's most talked-about scandals.

elizabeth eddie fischer© Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth's affair with Eddie Fisher created a huge scandal

Nevertheless, Elizabeth and Eddie made things official and tied the knot in a Las Vegas ceremony in 1959. They divorced five years later, in 1964, with Elizabeth later stating that she married him only due to her grief.

Richard Burton: 1964-1976

While still married to Eddie, the starlet met the "love of her life", Richard Burton. The pair, who were cast alongside each other in 1963's Cleopatra, began an affair while filming the blockbuster movie on location in Italy. Welsh actor Richard was also married at the time and left his wife to be with Elizabeth. 

elizabeth cleopatra© Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth met Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra

Ten days after Elizabeth's divorce from Eddie was granted, the couple married in March 1964 and their union lasted ten years. During that time, they adopted a little girl named Maria. Dubbed "Liz and Dick" by the media, the pair starred together in 11 films and were one of Hollywood's most powerful couples.

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They divorced for the first time in 1974 but reconciled the next year marrying again in Botswana. Sadly, things weren't meant to be and their second marriage lasted less than a year. 

elizabeth richard burton© Photo: Getty Images

Elizabeth and Richard married twice

Later in her life, Elizabeth said: "After Richard, the men in my life were just there to hold the coat, to open the door. All the men after Richard were really just company."

John Warner: 1976-1982

Not long after her final divorce from Richard, she met her sixth husband, Republican senator John Warner. They wed in 1976 and spent six years together before their split in 1982. 

elizabeth John Warner© Photo: Getty Images

Her seventh husband was Republican senator, John Warner

Larry Fortensky: 1991-1996

After almost a decade of being single, the actress married for the last time in 1991 at the age of 59. She said 'I do' to construction worker Larry Fortensky who she met during her stint in rehab for her prescription pills and alcohol addiction. They wed on her close friend Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California. The marriage lasted until October 1996. 

elizabeth Larry Fortensky© Photo: Getty Images

She married for a final time to construction worker Larry Fortensky in 1991

However, they remained close friends for the remainder of Elizabeth's life which was plagued by illness. She contracted pneumonia twice, underwent hip replacement surgery, had a benign brain tumour removed and was treated for skin cancer all in the last two decades of her life.

In 2004, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. On 23 March 2011, after a long battle with the illness, she sadly passed away at the age of 79 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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