When Elizabeth Taylor passed away earlier today from congestive heart failure, she was surrounded by her children – Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton. Family was an important element of the screen legend’s life and ultimately is her lasting legacy.
On-screen Taylor was the ultimate icon from Black Beauty to Cleopatra, but it was her offscreen life that brought headlines. Her many marriages (eight) and turbulent love life is a true Hollywood legend.
Who were Elizabeth Taylor’s husbands?
Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times over nearly five decades before she finally took her last walk into divorce court in 1996. Here’s a summary of her husbands (in order):
Contrad “Nicky” Hilton: Elizabeth Taylor married Nicky Hilton, one of the sons of the Hilton hotel founder, in a glamour filled ceremony paid for by MGM on May 6, 1950. The marriage was short-lived with Taylor calling it quits on January 29, 1951, due to his reported drinking and abusive behavior. January 1951
Michael Wilding The father of two of her children, her marriage to Wilding proved to be one of Taylor’s longest marriages. The couple were married on February 21, 1952 and divorced on January 26, 1957.
Michael Todd. The “other” great love of her life, Mike Todd, was the producer of Around the World in Eighty Days. Although he was twenty-five years older than her the couple were married on February 2, 1957 and produced one daughter. Todd was killed just over a year later on March 22, 1958 in a plane crash.
Eddie Fisher. Taylor’s marriage to Fisher was filled with controversy from beginning to end. Fisher was best friends with Taylor’s prior husband Mike Todd. The two became romantically involved while mourning his death. The big hitch was that Fisher was still married to actress Debbie Reynolds who he ultimately left for Taylor. The nasty publicity of his divorce with Reynolds led to the cancellation of his TV series by NBC in 1959. The couple married on May 12, 1959 and divorced on March 6, 1964.
Richard Burton. Her fifth and sixth husband is credited as the love of her life. Taylor met Burton on the set of Cleopatra and the two immediately fell in love. She married him nine days after divorcing Eddie Fisher in 1964 and were married for a decade the first time around. They remarried a year after their first divorce on October 10, 1975 and divorce a year later on July 29, 1976.
John Warner. Following her long relationship with Burton, Taylor took a break from Hollywood when she married US Senator John Warner in 1976. The couple divorced in 1982.
Larry Fortensky. Taylor really took a walk on the wild side in 1991 when she married construction worker Larry Fortensky (which would prove to be her final walk down the aisle) at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch. The couple divorced in 1996.