PERFORMING ARTS

Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit & Glamour of an Icon

Harper: HarperCollins Dec. 2022. 512p. ISBN 9780063067653. $32.50. BIOG
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Brower (Team of Five) provides a 29-page introduction that gives the basics of Elizabeth Taylor’s life (1932–2011) and accomplishments: 56 films, 10 TV movies, the first actor to negotiate a million-dollar contract (1963’s Cleopatra), over 70 years in show business, and the first to use her fame for AIDS activism. However, her personal life often overshadowed her accomplishments: eight marriages to seven different men, by 26 she had been divorced twice and widowed once, and she struggled with addictions to pills and alcohol. Brower uses Taylor’s unpublished letters, diary entries, off-the-record interview transcripts, and interviews with 250 of her friends and family to go beyond the basics to the nitty gritty of Taylor’s life. The book shares never-before-published details that capture her many sides. This well-researched biography gets as close to telling Taylor’s story in her own words as readers will ever get.
VERDICT There have been countless biographies of Elizabeth Taylor, but this one offers fascinating insight and may stand as the definitive one about the legendary actress.
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