Elizabeth Taylor is an icon in Hollywood, having starred in over 50 films in seven decades, trailblazing the perfume industry with her bestselling fragrance White Diamonds and for her humanitarian work with the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation.
As she once said: “Success is a great deodorant.”
The Cleopatra star is the subject of a new book called Forever Elizabeth: Iconic Photographs on a Legendary Star, which is out with ACC Art Books next month.
The photo book captures Taylor by eight photographers, including Terry O’Neill, Gary Bernstein and Douglas Kirkland, among others, who captured Taylor behind-the-scenes, on set and in fashion shoots. Many of the images in this book are rare, some are never seen before, until now.
Taylor stood strong against tabloid fodder over her life, as she was married eight times and was the grunt of fat shaming jokes for her weight gain (she later released a diet book called Elizabeth Takes Off: On Weight Gain, Weight Loss, Self-Image, and Self-Esteem).
As she writes in her diet book: “When you are dieting, be discreet. You don’t have to report to your acquaintances as though they were the commanding officers of your ‘Great War Against Fat.’ Even your most supportive friends can become bored.”
She is remembered for being the second celebrity ever to launch a perfume (after Sophia Loren), in 1987 with Elizabeth Arden. She earned an estimated $1 billion from her line of 11 namesake fragrances and reportedly, made more selling perfume than for acting.
Taylor is remembered for her perseverance and strong ego to withstand critics. As she once said: “You just do it. You force yourself to get up. You force yourself to put one foot before the other, and God damn it, you refuse to let it get to you. You fight. You cry. You curse. Then you go about the business of living. That’s how I’ve done it. There’s no other way.”
Taylor was a fashion icon and an inspiration to women. Even today, her words ring true: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”