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Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor

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Based on more than a thousand interviews with stars, directors, producers, designers, friends, family, business associates, employees, and others and on extensive research among previously undisclosed court, business, medical, and studio documents, Liz portrays Taylor's entire life and career in fascinating, revealing detail. Heymann shows us her very public escapades and Based on more than a thousand interviews with stars, directors, producers, designers, friends, family, business associates, employees, and others and on extensive research among previously undisclosed court, business, medical, and studio documents, Liz portrays Taylor's entire life and career in fascinating, revealing detail. Heymann shows us her very public escapades and her most private moments - frequently through the words of those who have known her best. Here are the highs and lows of her movie career and the intimate circumstances of her marriages to Nicky Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mike Todd, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, Senator John Warner, and Larry Fortensky. Here, too, is the truth about Taylor's father and her friendships with leading men Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and Rock Hudson, as well as with the eccentric Malcolm Forbes and Michael Jackson. From her illnesses, injuries, weight swings, and battles against drug and alcohol dependencies to her sexual exploits, diamond-studded luxury, and tumultuous relationships with husbands and lovers, this is the enormously contradictory and glamorous life of Hollywood's last great star.


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Based on more than a thousand interviews with stars, directors, producers, designers, friends, family, business associates, employees, and others and on extensive research among previously undisclosed court, business, medical, and studio documents, Liz portrays Taylor's entire life and career in fascinating, revealing detail. Heymann shows us her very public escapades and Based on more than a thousand interviews with stars, directors, producers, designers, friends, family, business associates, employees, and others and on extensive research among previously undisclosed court, business, medical, and studio documents, Liz portrays Taylor's entire life and career in fascinating, revealing detail. Heymann shows us her very public escapades and her most private moments - frequently through the words of those who have known her best. Here are the highs and lows of her movie career and the intimate circumstances of her marriages to Nicky Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mike Todd, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, Senator John Warner, and Larry Fortensky. Here, too, is the truth about Taylor's father and her friendships with leading men Montgomery Clift, James Dean, and Rock Hudson, as well as with the eccentric Malcolm Forbes and Michael Jackson. From her illnesses, injuries, weight swings, and battles against drug and alcohol dependencies to her sexual exploits, diamond-studded luxury, and tumultuous relationships with husbands and lovers, this is the enormously contradictory and glamorous life of Hollywood's last great star.

30 review for Liz: An Intimate Biography of Elizabeth Taylor

  1. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Did you ever spend years of your life writing a huge biography of a person you can't stand? This author did. Even the title was jerky b/c (as he well knew) she hated being called Liz. Did you ever spend years of your life writing a huge biography of a person you can't stand? This author did. Even the title was jerky b/c (as he well knew) she hated being called Liz.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    "Intimate" is a bit of a misused word to describe this biography. I didn't find it so much "intimate" as a "logbook of Elizabeth Taylor's behaviour throughout her life". Logbook, as in date, time, Elizabeth's reaction. Date, time, Elizabeth's reaction. I was a little surprised at how exact a lot of the statements were, even in the beginning of her career. Elizabeth clearly spent her life under the microscope of society. Moreso in the beginning of the book, the private life of Elizabeth is explor "Intimate" is a bit of a misused word to describe this biography. I didn't find it so much "intimate" as a "logbook of Elizabeth Taylor's behaviour throughout her life". Logbook, as in date, time, Elizabeth's reaction. Date, time, Elizabeth's reaction. I was a little surprised at how exact a lot of the statements were, even in the beginning of her career. Elizabeth clearly spent her life under the microscope of society. Moreso in the beginning of the book, the private life of Elizabeth is explored. As the years go by, her public appearances become more outrageous, and the information on her private self is less available. I wish the author had delved more into Elizabeth's family life, not just her working habits and recreational abuses.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    I really enjoyed this biographer's style. He did an amazing amount of interviews to compile this. Plus, he doles out the dish on a variety of other stars' lives such as Nicky Hilton and others who have been involved with icon, Elizabeth Taylor. Due to his style, I think I'd read another biography on about anybody if it's as well written as this. I really enjoyed this biographer's style. He did an amazing amount of interviews to compile this. Plus, he doles out the dish on a variety of other stars' lives such as Nicky Hilton and others who have been involved with icon, Elizabeth Taylor. Due to his style, I think I'd read another biography on about anybody if it's as well written as this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Rich

    This was really more of a three and a half. It's pretty weirdly mis-titled. I would think that an "intimate biography" would be an authorized biography where the biographer gets complete access to the subject. This was definitely an unauthorized biography, and while the author doesn't mince words about her many controversial love affairs, her love of priceless jewels, her inability to be on time, etc., it's mostly fairly sympathetic, though it doesn't really speak much about her greatest perform This was really more of a three and a half. It's pretty weirdly mis-titled. I would think that an "intimate biography" would be an authorized biography where the biographer gets complete access to the subject. This was definitely an unauthorized biography, and while the author doesn't mince words about her many controversial love affairs, her love of priceless jewels, her inability to be on time, etc., it's mostly fairly sympathetic, though it doesn't really speak much about her greatest performances. All in all, a fairly entertaining read. Serious diehard fans might find it a little lurid, but I don't see how it's possible to write a balanced biography about Elizabeth without a few juicy tidbits.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Robert Spake

    http://manofyesterday.wordpress.com/2... Decent biography. If you don't know that much about her and want to know more then it's a good read. If you already know a lot the it probably won't tell you anything new. It does focus on her relationships more than her work though. http://manofyesterday.wordpress.com/2... Decent biography. If you don't know that much about her and want to know more then it's a good read. If you already know a lot the it probably won't tell you anything new. It does focus on her relationships more than her work though.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Somer Canon

    New title idea: Liz: A Love Story Of Booze, Furs, Jewelry, And Sex Yeesh, what a life. And this one ends with her happily married to Larry Fortensky so there's still like 20 years after this book. Just...wow. New title idea: Liz: A Love Story Of Booze, Furs, Jewelry, And Sex Yeesh, what a life. And this one ends with her happily married to Larry Fortensky so there's still like 20 years after this book. Just...wow.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Liz Smith

    This is an incredibly well researched biography with thousands of first-hand impressions and quotes, beginning with ET's childhood and stretching all the way until her marriage to Larry Fortensky, and I couldn't put it down. For me, always the most fascinating passages have to do with Elizabeth's relationship with Richard Burton. This biography captures a less romantic portrait of that fateful relationship than comes across in other biographies of Richard Burton. Even Burton's Diaries capture mo This is an incredibly well researched biography with thousands of first-hand impressions and quotes, beginning with ET's childhood and stretching all the way until her marriage to Larry Fortensky, and I couldn't put it down. For me, always the most fascinating passages have to do with Elizabeth's relationship with Richard Burton. This biography captures a less romantic portrait of that fateful relationship than comes across in other biographies of Richard Burton. Even Burton's Diaries capture more romance and passion. But Heymann's biography gave me an important piece of information, and that is how crass ET was; she was absolutely shameless. I think I realized toward the end of the book that one thing that gives me more compassion for Burton is that he did have shame and guilt. Elizabeth's sense of entitlement is excessive, but her zest for life is unrelenting. I recommend this book for anyone who is captivated by Hollywood, glamour, and an appetite that doesn't quit; it's all here.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peter Burton

    Easy to read.Seems comprehensive but published before her death.He paints a pretty awful portrait of a beautiful face with a spoilt,selfish,self centred personality.How could someone be so shallow and selfish? Her private life made her more famous than her acting ability which resulted in very few great performances but the public still flocked to her films.Ultimately a sad story.So many lives were ruined by drink and sex-Montgomery Clift,Richard Burton,Nicky Hilton,Michael Wilding, etc.Such fab Easy to read.Seems comprehensive but published before her death.He paints a pretty awful portrait of a beautiful face with a spoilt,selfish,self centred personality.How could someone be so shallow and selfish? Her private life made her more famous than her acting ability which resulted in very few great performances but the public still flocked to her films.Ultimately a sad story.So many lives were ruined by drink and sex-Montgomery Clift,Richard Burton,Nicky Hilton,Michael Wilding, etc.Such fabulous fortunes made on such flimsy foundations and wasted on diamonds,parties,booze and drugs.Depressing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I didn't think I'd get into this book as much as I did. I had tried to read some biographies of male stars from the same time period about Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and Paul Newman, but didn't finish any of them. I didn't know much about Elizabeth Taylor, but she evidently had quite the life both in front of and behind the camera. I thought reading about her 8 marriages was way more interesting than her film work. I actually kind of thought better of tabloids reading this because they kind of add I didn't think I'd get into this book as much as I did. I had tried to read some biographies of male stars from the same time period about Clark Gable, Cary Grant, and Paul Newman, but didn't finish any of them. I didn't know much about Elizabeth Taylor, but she evidently had quite the life both in front of and behind the camera. I thought reading about her 8 marriages was way more interesting than her film work. I actually kind of thought better of tabloids reading this because they kind of added an interesting layer to her life. She sounded like a somewhat normal person who just had this beauty that made her a tabloid feature and international film star. What a life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I couldn’t imagine a biography about Elizabeth Taylor being as interesting as reading the telephone book but this managed to be that boring. Over 400 pages later and still no sense of who Elizabeth Taylor was or even caring about her. Would not recommend this to anyone.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Arto Mutka

    OMG what a fabulous trashy read!! Soooo incredibly detailed based on interviews with hundreds of people close to Taylor throughout her whole career and many marriages! Totally loved this book and gave a great glimpse into the crazy life of one the all time screen greats!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Liz Estrada

    Review pending

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Elizabeth Taylor's life was sad even though she had so much beauty and money. Early fame and alcoholism really took a toll on her. She through it all was still always a favorite to everyone. It's a shame she and Richard could not work out their demons. They really loved one another. Elizabeth Taylor's life was sad even though she had so much beauty and money. Early fame and alcoholism really took a toll on her. She through it all was still always a favorite to everyone. It's a shame she and Richard could not work out their demons. They really loved one another.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Thrasher

    Trashy and like watching a train wreck.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    A fascinating woman!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Enlightening, she is quite different than I assumed she was.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Well written and really interesting look at Elizabeth Taylor's life. I learned a number of things that I never knew before, which is always a plus when reading a biography. Well written and really interesting look at Elizabeth Taylor's life. I learned a number of things that I never knew before, which is always a plus when reading a biography.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cws

    791.43

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rita Chapman

    Interesting insight into a Hollywood legend. She was quite a femme fatale!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justin Edwards

    Muck raking, gossipy... I loved it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne Jenike

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maranda

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Isabelle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Holly Martin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Karis Maguire

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Ford-reid

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ava_sim

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  30. 5 out of 5

    Giselle

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