In writing Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon, biographer Kate Andersen Brower had unprecedented access to entertainer and activist Elizabeth Taylor’s 7,000+ personal letters, as well as 250+ people who knew and loved the silver screen legend.
Via People, Brower said of the life-changing experience:
Getting to go through her life, to see her inner thoughts and how she was working through things psychologically all the time. And also how empathetic she was to other people, how she struggled being a working mother of four kids, struggled to find true love… I just think there was so much more to her than we could see.
She said her entire life was a fight. The resilience is the refusing to be a victim. Her father did beat her up. And he beat her because he felt intimidated that his 12-year-old was making more money [as a child star] than he was. And they had a reconciliation when she was in her 20s. But I mean, the fact that she wouldn’t let herself be victimized even though she was on paper, a victim. I think that’s terrible that he did that. But she got up again, like she almost died in her 20s when she had pneumonia, and she kept going and going. It was the never giving up.
The bio is out now.
It’s not possible to summarize her remarkable career easily, but this New York Times tribute covers many highlights.
In addition to being one the the greatest legends of the silver screen, Taylor was one of the earliest and most outspoken advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Image: Photoshot/Retna / Avalon