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Elizabeth Taylor: England's Other Elizabeth banner
Elizabeth Taylor (Photofest)

For her celebrated career in film and pioneering work in fundraising for AIDS research, Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was honored in her native England in 2000: she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. On this occasion, the studio system's last great star spoke candidly about the actors and friendships that influenced her evolution as an actress. From her early days as an MGM child star in NATIONAL VELVET to her reign as international movie queen in CLEOPATRA, Elizabeth Taylor's turbulent story far surpasses the intensity of any of her film roles. Framed by insights from Shirley MacLaine, Rod Steiger, and Angela Lansbury, Taylor shares tender reminiscences of Richard Burton, Montgomery Clift, Rock Hudson, and James Dean; the pain and pleasure of winning two Oscars; and her dawning sense of responsibility at the onset of the AIDS crisis.

Web Highlights
Writer Samantha Gleisten provides an overview of the documentary; explains how Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor got her early start in films and the roles that have become so inextricably linked with the actress; and interviews Deborah Hernan of the American Foundation of AIDS Research (amfAR) about Elizabeth Taylor's work as a fundraiser and activist for the fight against AIDS.

Click here to explore the Web companion for this program, which originally aired on April 4, 2001.

Top banner photos: Elizabeth Taylor; Shirley MacLaine; Dr. Mathilde Krim; Elizabeth Taylor; Angela Lansbury.

Jeanine Basinger

Film historian Jeanine Basinger.

Rod Steiger

Friend and fellow actor Rod Steiger.