Wednesday, March 23, 2011

At One Time She Was Elizabeth Taylor Todd...

My father once told me that you only love with all you have once.  After that, you are guarded and refuse to give away all of your trust and affection; you keep a small reserve for yourself and this makes it hard to have a successful relationship after the first Great Love. He said this as he recommended that I find someone to marry for companionship.  Forget about love. Just be content. Not me... I believe in the fairy tale, the happy ending, the white knight.  Life needs romance.

I think Elizabeth Taylor never forgot about love either. Cynics will say that she was a horrible person.  Who marries eight times? Who marries the same man twice?  Simple.  A romantic does. 

Elizabeth Taylor died today at the age of 79 surrounded by her family. I'm saddened by this.  I'm not sure why, but I read books about Elizabeth Taylor the way my sister devours books about the Kennedys.  There's just something about her that resonnates with me.  It's not the films; I do not consider her a world class actress. It's not just her beauty although there is no denying that she was a beautiful, beautiful woman. I think I am drawn to her because she lived life by her rules.  She was loud and bawdy and even a little vulgar, but she loved who she loved without regret. You have to respect that...

Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times to seven husbands.  The first (and only true love if you subscribe to my father's rule) was Conrad "Nicky" Hilton (May 6, 1950 – January 29, 1951). Yes, those Hiltons..  Extremely wealthy.  Elizabeth was an 18 year old starlet.  He was a wealthy man, and the studio and her parents blessed it.  I want to believe this was a misguided mistake of youth. She listened to the wrong people, and had her heartbroken...

Michael Wilding (February 21, 1952 – January 26, 1957) was next and Elizabeth loved him. They had two children together. The books tell conflicting stories about this marriage, but there are children involved so my romantic self wants to say it started as a love story although Elizabeth marries Mike Todd immediately after divorcing Wilder. The whole love aspect is a little suspect...

Michael Todd (February 2, 1957 – March 22, 1958) dies in a fiery plane crash and leaves Elizabeth a young grieving widow. A beautiful, young grieving widow.  During the year they are married, she was technically Elizabeth Taylor Todd which makes me smile everytime I see it.  Mike Todd could have the love that stuck for Elizabeth if he had lived according to everything I have read.  Their personalities matched each other.  There was romance there...

The only excuse I have for the next marriage is that Elizabeth Taylor was stricken over her loss. A little over a year after Mike Todd's death, she married his best friend,  Eddie Fisher (May 12, 1959 – March 6, 1964). This was a huge mistake in my book.  First and foremost, Fisher was part of one of America's favorite couples at teh time.  He was married to Debbie Fisher who was this sweet, beloved actress.  Here comes sultry Elizabeth Taylor and she steals him away.  They stayed together almost five years ~ a long time for Taylor~ but her image is ruined.  She is the other woman, the vixen, the slut... In situations like this, there is a sweet one and whore.  Elizabeth Taylor definitely wasn't the sweet one...  It's hard to justify this marriage even as a romantic...

However, Elizabeth found her match when she married Richard Burton (March 15, 1964 – June 26, 1974) and re-married him...  Richard Burton (October 10, 1975 – July 29, 1976). How do you marry a man when the situation was so bad that it led to divorce?  I don't know... She loved him.  I think that is all you can say...

The next two marriages pale in comparison.  I think by this time she has married so many times that it has became a joke... even the romantics do not believe in the repeated quest for love...  She spent six years married to John Warner (December 4, 1976 – November 7, 1982).  When they divorced, she met
Larry Fortensky (October 6, 1991 – October 31, 1996) in rehab and married him.  He was the only husband to have nothing to do with the entertainment industry.  I wanted it to work.  I wanted him to be the regular guy who resuced the love-starved heroine of my Elizabeth Taylor love story...  Nope.. He was a loser hoping to live the good life for a little while...  Not all fairy heroines live happily ever after.

In the end though, Elizabeth Taylor died surrounded by her children.  As a mom, I know that means that she was surrounded by the true loves of her life.  I hope that when she opened her eyes in eternity, Mike Todd was standing there waiting to welcome Elizabeth Taylor Todd to the true happily ever after.  God be with you, Elizabeth... Thank you for believing in love.


  1. Lovely post. I love Elizabeth Taylor too. She was a true beauty, a true talent and a true romantic.
    (visiting from weekend rewind)

  2. What a wonderful post, Tracy ( you are not related to Mike Todd are you????) I haven't really read about Elizabeth Taylor before and I love how you wrote this. You really are a romantic huh? I hope you married your true love and love openly and completely.

    Hi from the Fibro x

  3. Wow, I'm amazed at your dad talking to you about love. I don't think I ever heard my dad even say 'love'.
    I also think his take on love is true: that we only give ourselves once, and then we are forever guarded.
    Great post. Liz certainly was a beautiful romantic, and I can understand you devouring books about her. Visiting from The Fibro. :)

  4. I am a romantic. Unfortunately, I married who I thought was my great love and he found another to love seven years later. I wouldn't trade our son for anything in the world though..

  5. I really enjoyed this post. I too am a Liz fan, but I hadn't given this much thought to her many marriages. She really was a hopeless romantic wasn't she?!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.