Elizabeth Taylor’s long, rich career in entertainment makes her one of Hollywood’s biggest legends. Aside from her talent, she was also admired for her incredible good looks. Perhaps for this reason, her romantic life was always on the front page of the tabloids, and the star became quickly known as Hollywood’s most formidable man-eater, working her way through eight marriages. Here, then, are just 20 of the men who became entranced by those famous violet eyes…
20. Marshall Thompson
When Elizabeth Taylor turned 16, fans may have started wondering who was going to be picked as her first public chaperone or date. But the decision wasn’t up to Taylor but rather her studio, MGM, who picked the young actor Marshall Thompson. And not only does Thompson hold the title for Taylor’s first date, but he was also her first kiss.
19. Robert Taylor
Indeed, it didn’t take long for Taylor to start breaking hearts all over Hollywood. Robert Taylor, her co-star and on-screen love interest in films Conspirator and Ivanhoe, once said of her, “She was only 17 years old and I certainly wasn’t going to try to seduce her… I might have tried a few years later.”
18. Richard Long
Another bachelor bestowed with the honor of accompanying Taylor to a public event, Richard Long was the starlet’s date to a film premiere in 1948. And Long, known for his work for ABC in The Big Valley and Nanny and the Professor, seemed to have a penchant for actresses, as he married Suzan Ball in 1954 and Mara Corday in 1957.
17. Ralph Kiner
In 1949 Bing Crosby asked baseball hero Ralph Kiner to accompany a young Taylor to the premiere of Gregory Peck’s Twelve O’ Clock High. Naturally, he accepted immediately. Not used to the glitz and glam of Hollywood, Kiner was too shy to ask her on a second date. “I never saw her again except in the movies,” he later said.
16. Glenn Davis
Taylor spent most of the late 1940s working her way through a series of escorts, often fellow actors or sportsmen. In 1948, moreover, she dated Glenn Davis, a football player known for his talent on the field at West Point military academy and eventually in the Los Angeles Rams. Around the time that the couple met, David ventured into film, appearing in Spirit of West Point.
15. Stanley Donen
It wasn’t until Stanley Donen’s autobiography was published in the late ’90s that fans learned of an affair between Taylor and the director of some of Hollywood’s greatest musicals. Writing in the book, Donen claims to have had a year-long fling with the actress, during which “I was gaga about her, and she about me.” Speak for yourself, Stanley.
14. William D. Pawley Jr.
The 1940s drew to a close with Taylor becoming engaged to the first in a long line of fiancés. U.S. Army pilot William Pawley proposed to a 17-year-old Taylor in 1949, but her alleged desire to continue building her career got in the way of their marriage plans. Pawley remained unmarried for 25 years after the separation.
13. Conrad Hilton
The following year, Taylor met and married Conrad Hilton of the famous hotelier family. Taylor wore a satin wedding dress designed by the same woman behind Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, which was a gift from her studio MGM. However, within just eight months the marriage was over, Taylor citing “mental cruelty” as her grounds for divorce.
12. Michael Wilding
Just two years later in 1952, Taylor got hitched again, this time in London and to British actor Michael Wilding. Mostly known for his film work in England, Wilding managed to stay with the star five years. Indeed, the couple had two children together, Michael and Christopher.
11. Mike Todd
Incredibly, Taylor managed to fit in four husbands in the ’50s. The third was producer Mike Todd in 1957, who is considered to have started Taylor’s collection of opulent jewellery with a gifted 29-carat diamond sparkler. After having one daughter, Liza, together, Todd died in an aviation crash in 1958, making him the only husband of Taylor’s that she didn’t divorce.
10. Eddie Fisher
Perhaps her most famous marriage, Taylor stole the heart of singer Eddie Fisher and betrayed her closest friend Debbie Reynolds in the process. That’s because Reynolds was Fisher’s wife, and he famously divorced her in order to wed Taylor. If that wasn’t scandalous enough, the 1959 wedding came less than a year after Taylor had lost Todd.
9. Richard Burton
With a surprisingly large gap between her forth and fifth husbands, Taylor met Welsh actor Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra. The couple married in 1964, divorced in 1974, then remarried for a year in 1975. It seems “treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen” was Burton’s tactic, calling claims that his wife was the most beautiful woman in the world “absolute nonsense.”
8. John Warner
Next came John Warner. Taking a break from her usual choice of actors, industry stalwarts and sportsmen, Taylor married Senator Warner in 1976. Perhaps exhausted from her highly publicized marriages to Fisher and Burton, she used the marriage as an opportunity to take time out from acting and settle down.
7. Anthony Geary
However, Taylor’s break didn’t last long. In the early ’80s she appeared in General Hospital alongside Anthony Geary. At first, he denied the rumors of an affair. But later he admitted everything and that Taylor had called him, saying, “Tony? I hear you told People magazine that we didn’t sleep together. That’s the worst thing that anyone has ever said about me.”
6. Victor Luna
Shortly after, Taylor became engaged to Victor Luna, a Mexican lawyer. Although not unusual for the star, when the couple called off their engagement, many speculated that it was to do with the death of her ex-husband Richard Burton. At this time Taylor was also admitted to the Betty Ford Center to treat an alcohol and prescription drug addiction.
5. Robert Wagner
Robert Wagner and Taylor met as teenagers and remained friends through many marriages, respectively. They eventually played a couple for the first time in the ’80s for There Must Be a Pony. In 1986 Wagner told People, “When you look in her eyes, if you can’t get it, they might as well carry you out… It was definitely worth the wait.”
4. George Hamilton
In fact, Taylor was still on the dating scene well into the ’80s. In the middle of that decade she dated George Hamilton, working together in the made-for-TV movie Poker Alice. Hamilton was besotted with Taylor, calling her a “unique human being” in an interview with Closer in 2014. The two remained friends until her death in 2011.
3. Larry Fortensky
As mentioned, Taylor battled addictions, spending time in and out of the Betty Ford Center. It was there she met Larry Fortensky in 1988. He was a construction worker who’d been convicted of driving while inebriated. In what would be Taylor’s final marriage, the couple wed at Michael Jackson’s famed Neverland ranch in 1991, but they divorced in 1996.
2. Rod Steiger
With 12 marriages between them and hundreds of films, famous womanizer Rod Steiger struck up a close friendship with Taylor in their later years. However, as Taylor’s health was deteriorating, Steiger claimed they were never romantic. In 1998 he even said, “She’s in a plaster cast from her chin to her hips. Romance would be a little difficult.”
1. Colin Farrell
Many would assume as Taylor neared 70, her romantic life would become less dramatic. However, some years after her death, actor Colin Farrell revealed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he enjoyed a romantic, yet unconsummated relationship with the star, meeting her in a hospital where she was being treated as his first son was being born. Only Taylor could still charm from a hospital bed!