Elizabeth Taylor is known for her movies, her fragrances – White Diamonds and Passion – and her marriages. She has been married eight times to seven different men in the entertainment business as well as a politician and a construction worker. Seven of her marriages ended in divorce and her third ended in a tragic plane crash. It is said poor marriage management.
Taylor Married Nicky Hilton First
Elizabeth Taylor’s first marriage took place on May 6, 1950, to Conrad Nicholson Hilton Jr. at Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. Elizabeth Taylor was 18 years old at the time and had just finished filming Father of the Bride. “Nicky” Hilton was “son of the millionaire socialite hotel owner Conrad Hilton and one of he wealthiest and most eligible bachelors in Los Angeles,” according to Elizabeth author J. Randy Taraborrelli [Warner Books, 2006]. He is the great-uncle of Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton.
The newlyweds’ honeymoon was hardly idyllic. It’s been widely reported that Nicky Hilton was a batterer. After seven months of domestic violence, Taylor and Hilton separated. Their divorce was finalized in February 1951. Conrad Hilton Jr. died in 1969. And relationship coach expert calls it a poor marriage management.
Taylor’s Second Marriage and Two Sons
Elizabeth Taylor became involved with her second husband in London in 1952 while making Ivanhoe. Michael Wilding was a movie star in England at the time. The couple was married on Feb. 21, 1952, in Westminster at the Caxton Registry Hall. Taylor was 19, and Wilding was 20 years older.
Their first son, Michael Howard, was born on Jan. 6, 1953. Their second son, Christopher Edward, was born on Feb. 27, 1955. She filmed Giant in 1956 while married to Michael Wilding. The Taylor-Wilding marriage had been in decline when the couple separated in July 1956. She became acquainted with her third husband before her divorce was finalized, which signifies love marriage problem. Michael Wilding died in 1979.
Marriage to Mike Todd
Mike Todd was Elizabeth Taylor’s third husband. Todd was a Broadway producer and movie producer. The couple was married on Feb. 2, 1957, at the beachfront estate of Fernando Hernandez, a friend of Todd. Their daughter, Elizabeth Frances, or Liza, was born Aug. 6, 1957.
During their marriage, Taylor and Todd worked to promote his movie, Around the World in 80 Days. On March 22, 1958, Mike Todd was flying to attend a dinner in his honor after being named the Friar Club of New York’s Showman of the Year when his plane crashed and the godly relationships came to an end. Taylor was 26 years old and had been married to Todd for only 13 months. After Todd’s death, Taylor completed her work on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
The Liz-Eddie-Debbie Scandal
After Mike Todd’s death, a devastated Elizabeth Taylor turned to Eddie Fisher for comfort. Fisher and his wife Debbie Reynolds were friends with Taylor and Todd and the couples had often socialized together. Taylor and Fisher dated publicly and at the time the Liz-Eddie-Debbie scandal was in all of the newspapers.
Reynolds and Fisher divorced on May 12, 1957, and Taylor and Fisher were married the same day at Temple Beth Shalom in Las Vegas. During her marriage to Eddie Fisher, Taylor made the movies Suddenly, Last Summer, Butterfield 8 and Cleopatra.
Fisher and Taylor’s marriage was already troubled when work on Cleopatra began, according to Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor author C. David Heymann [Carol Publishing Group, 1995]. The marriage dissolved as Taylor began a public affair with co-star Richard Burton, who was married to Sybil Burton. The affair continued and Taylor and Fisher announced they were divorcing on April 2, 1962, although it was not finalized until March 1964. Taylor received custody of their adopted daughter, Maria.
Two Marriages to Richard Burton
The first time Elizabeth Taylor married Richard Burton was March 15, 1964, shortly after his divorce was final. The wedding took place in the bridal suite of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Montreal. Taylor and Burton made Night of the Iguana before they wed and The Sandpiper, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Taming of the Shrew, Boom!, and Hammersmith is Out, among others, while married. Dubbed “Liz and Dick” by the press, their public arguments provided a steady stream of celebrity gossip.
Their relationship was complicated by drug and alcohol addiction and they divorced in 1974. The couple could not call it quits, however, and as a marriage restoration both remarried in Botswana on Oct. 10, 1975. The second marriage was not successful and the divorce was finalized on July 29, 1976. Burton died in 1984.
Marriage to John Warner of Virginia
Taylor married former secretary of the U.S. Navy John William Warner Jr. on December 4, 1976, at his home, Atoka Farms. During their marriage, she helped him campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Virginia and made her Broadway debut in The Little Foxes. They announced their separation in December 1981.
Jackson Escorts Taylor Down the Aisle
Elizabeth Taylor’s family held an intervention for her drug and alcohol abuse in December 1983. She entered the Betty Ford Clinic that day and met her seventh husband during a subsequent visit in 1988. Taylor married construction worker Larry Fortensky on Oct. 6, 1991, at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch. Jackson hosted the wedding and escorted Taylor down the aisle. Despite their common battle with drugs and alcohol, Taylor and Fortensky could not overcome their disparate backgrounds. They were officially divorced in November 1996.
Elizabeth Taylor has had seven husbands and eight marriages, remarrying Richard Burton one time. Her husbands have included Nicky Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mike Todd, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, John Warner Jr., and Larry Fortensky.