|Was Elizabeth Taylor the greatest product of the Hollywood star machine or its greatest victim? Mann''s smart, engaging, clear-eyed case study . . . locates the real person somewhere between her private life and her public image.--Mark Harris, author of "Pictures at a Revolution."|
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In the 60s, Elizabeth Taylor's affair with the married Richard Burton knocked John Glenn's orbit of the moon off front pages nationwide. Yet, despite all the gossip, the larger-than-life personality and influence of this very human woman has never been captured. William Mann, praised by Gore Vidal, Patricia Bosworth, and Gerald Clarke for Kate, uses untapped sources and conversations to show how she ignited the sexual revolution with her on- and off-screen passions, helped kick down the studio system by taking control of her own career, and practically invented the big business of celebrity star-making. With unputdownable storytelling he tells the full truth without losing Taylor's magic, daring, or wit.
Readers will feel they are sitting next to Taylor as she rises at MGM, survives a marriage engineered for publicity, feuds with Hedda Hopper and Mr. Mayer, wins Oscars, endures tragedy, juggles Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton and her country's conservative values. But it is the private Elizabeth that will surprise --a woman of heart and loyalty, who defends underdogs, a savvy professional whose anger at the studio's treatment of her led to a lifelong battle against that very system. All the Elizabeth's are here, finally reconciled and seen against the exciting years of her greatest spirit, beauty, and influence. Swathed in mink, staring us down with her lavender eyes, disposing of husbands but keeping the diamonds, here is Elizabeth Taylor as she was meant to be, leading her epic life on her own terms, playing the game of supreme stardom at which she remains, to this day, unmatched.
Respected biographer William J. Mann (KATE: THE WOMAN WHO WAS HEPBURN) examines the extraordinary life of actress Elizabeth Taylor. Taylor was the star of numerous classic films, including GIANT and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Mann tracks her early days battling Hollywood, as she bucks the system and tries to call the shots on her career. He openly discusses her many wild love affairs, including her relationships with Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton, with whom she carried on a very public and scandalous affair on the set of CLEOPATRA while she was still married to Fisher (and whom she married - twice!). Mann holds Taylor up as a revolutionary, and argues that her dismissal of conservative values played an integral part in the sexual revolution. He takes pains to showcase the true wit and spirit of Taylor, and he relays many personal stories and hardships, both of which help to captures the fiery personality of the American legend.