Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Elizabeth” as Want to Read:
Elizabeth
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Elizabeth

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,249 ratings  ·  116 reviews
An insightful biography of a true screen legend, this book covers Elizabeth Taylor's journey through the dark and often lonely world of a fame unparalleled in the 1960s and 1970s, a time during which alcohol and drugs played a major part in her life.
Hardcover, 548 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Warner Books (NY) (first published August 1st 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Elizabeth, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
suzanne wasylink Yes it does they were quite good friends and she was very supportive to him. He hosted and paid for her wedding at neverland ranch.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,249 ratings  ·  116 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Elizabeth
Katy
Aug 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Elizabeth Taylor fans
Wow! I really enjoyed learning about Elizabeth Taylor. I'm fascinated by her lifestyle...and some parts of her I adore, like her steady determination, wry sense of humor, and willingness to fight for a cause (like AIDS).

However, as in every person, Elizabeth clearly has her flaws. I absolutely loathed reading continually about her strict anti-feminist attitude. Being someone that is fiercely feminist and tends to get angry at wives who kowtow to husbands, I was shocked. She continued to accept
...more
Cami
Dec 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hollywood fans
I finally finished this mighty bio-tome!
Long term, I'm not much for non-fiction so I think it says a lot about the author that he kept me completely interested in Elizabeth Taylor (don't call her Liz, she doesn't like it) throughout all of it. Granted, Ms. Taylor does have quite an interesting life, eight marriages and Michael Jackson aside, so perhaps his work was laid out nicely for him.
I thought the author did a great job balancing the writing of her life, marriages, demons, movies and
...more
Sarah Hughes
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
This nine weeks I read Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli. I thought the book was pretty decent but it was very long. There were many boring points but at the same time there were many nail biting points when I could not stop reading. The author did a good job of providing details of her life but at the same time I felt the author gave too much information that seemed irrelevant and ended up boring me. It is very helpful if you want to learn more about Elizabeth Taylor but if you really do not w ...more
Hope
May 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
DNF. I was surprised by how awkwardly this read, since I *loved* Taraborrelli's "Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe," which focused on Marilyn's efforts to be a caretaker for her ill mother, alongside her half-sister and other family friends. I thought that Taraborrelli was incredibly sensitive and thoughtful about Monroe. Elizabeth, by contrast, feels overwritten and...just odd. There's all this speculation in the first chapters about Taylor's mother and a maybe-maybe not relationship with a male be ...more
Crystal
Not a bad biography. Enjoyed learning more about Elizabeth Taylor. Got a little slow at the end, but still an enjoyable read.
Iris
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Taylor has to be the most extravagant and willful person Hollywood has ever endorsed. And I love her for it.

This biography chronicles her life in physical and emotional ways. You get the facts and also the stories and opinions that went along with them. You laugh in amazement and wonder and think to yourself "No effing way" when you hear of some of the truly ridiculous and over the top things that she did just for the sake of glamour. You also get to see the very quiet and insecure si
...more
Idania
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look (albeit a simple one) from the first page onward. The writer's prose elegantly provides insight into not just the actress, but those close around her. The great love affair of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton is detailed and gripping. I'm not usually a reader of biographies, much less one on an arguably vapid person. But the author spins it in a way that is interesting and touching.
Alysia
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think it would be pretty hard to write a boring book about Elizabeth Taylor. She was just so interesting, not to mention incredibly flawed.

The writing (or narrating in this case–I got this in audiobook form) was obviously skewed in Elizabeth’s favor, even when she clearly in the wrong. You could tell the author had a lot of affection for her and her life story. The writing was romantic without being sensational. Elizabeth was an interesting book to listen to. The three main emotion
...more
Tyra
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am reading this fantastic memoir for the second time. I could be obsessed with Elizabeth Taylor. It was said that she was the most beautifully photographed woman in the world. Her story is one of intensity in her upbringing, films, and the many loves of her life. Spurred on by her ambitious, overbearing mother, she reached world-wide success but at a high cost. Struggling to navigate my own love life, I so enjoy reading about this woman who loved truly, madly, deeply everything she touched. On ...more
Danny
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this life story of Elizabeth Taylor. You get to really understand where she came from, her family dynamics- including her aggressive stage mom, her career, and how she came to make her "crazy" choices in life. It's very eye opening what happens and what issues occur when you do not take care of me real illness from the first signs of it. I love that we learned about her drug/alcohol abuse as well as her action for finding a cure for AIDS. This book was very enjoyable and ver ...more
Stephanie Brooks
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I LOVE to read biographies and autobiographies and find it hard to review them. The reviews tend to reflect the person more than the book itself. With that being said, I enjoyed this book, there was a personal feel about the writing. The book was long, but I felt I got a full story including a bit of the lives of the people close to her which helped in understanding her and her life. A good read for someone interested in her complicated life.
Agata Konopka
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's always nice to escape from reality in the excesses of celebrity but this biography isn't exactly that. It's interesting to read about a fairly complex figure with all the privelege in the world just as lost as the rest of us.
Jeanne
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-my-kindle
It was long. She had an interesting life and got married a lot but personally I thought she was a brat.
Linda Cozzens
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I’ve always liked Elizabeth Taylor and often wondered about her colorful life and many marriages. This book explains a lot.
Carmen
Apr 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This is one for Elizabeth Taylor fans; the research is done well - though this one unfortunately didn't catch my interest as I initially thought it would.
Kevin
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ordinarily, readers might question the logic of a new tome on a celebrity who already has at least six full-length biographies (and four self-penned books) devoted to her life, but Elizabeth Taylor has never been ordinary.

Readers will easily understand why tabloids have chronicled her escapades for six decades: her roller-coaster life could easily read like a high-sheen soap opera (the eight marriages, two Oscars, suicide attempts and innumerable life-threatening illnesses that led t
...more
Laurel-Rain
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
An American icon, Elizabeth Taylor has been a part of our lives for more than six decades. A child star and part of the old Hollywood studio system, she learned her lessons at her mother Sara's knee. Without her guidance—and some might say diligent control—she might not have become the legendary star that she is.

In "Elizabeth," by J. Randy Taraborrelli, we get to peek behind the scenes into those magical moments that have comprised her life. But we also see the scandals, the pain, an
...more
Lola
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
My favorite old Hollywood actresses are Marliyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor. Out of the three, however, I think I would've gotten along best with Elizabeth Taylor. She had that same compelling Marilyn Monroe did, but she was more down to earth. Well, not down to earth, but she certainly didn't live in the clouds like Monroe did. I found Taylor's life fascinating. She was definitely a woman with passion, and she knew what she wanted. She tried not to regret too much, which I can ...more
Dysmonia Kuiper
May 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: the-215
I found this book on a fence post on the sidewalk in Center City, Philadelphia. I had just moved, and didn't have a library card yet because I didn't have an address at the time. So I was desperate for reading material.

I knew three things about Elizabeth Taylor: her name, her face, and her job. I can't say I was particularly interested to find out more, either. But I'll give any book a chance.

Elizabeth is well-researched and well-written. It's also 464 pages long. I enjoyed parts of it, and pa/>
...more
RNOCEAN
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For more than six decades Elizabeth Taylor has been a part of our lives. Now acclaimed biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli looks past the tabloid version of Elizabeth's life and offers the first-ever fully realized portrait of this American icon. You'll meet her controlling mother who plotted her daughter's success from birth...see the qualities that catapulted Elizabeth to stardom in 1940s Hollywood...understand the psychological and emotional underpinnings behind the eight marriages...and, finall ...more
Bretagne
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book. From start to finish I love this book. Elizabeth is one of my role models and when I read this book I feel so close to her. Even with a gorgeous face she still has problems just like the rest of us. This book shows that you can do anything. You can find love even if you let go. You can find something that you wouldn't have thought you would whine up doing in your life. The people you meet play a role to you. Reading all her struggles her lifestyle her marriages. She ...more
Jeniffer
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Unbelievable that this woman died at age 79, only this year!! Some of you may think, well my grandmother is 99 or 105 but after reading this book (if you accept my recommendation) you will understand why I think she should have been dead long before. Her good friend, Michael Jackson, died at a younger age and before her, unfortunately. Between her drug and alcohol abuse, attempted suicides, numerous illnesses and surgeries, I am shocked that in my generation I was able to know about Elizabeth Ta ...more
Robin
Jan 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
Was it the subject itself or the writing that made the book tedious? Character development or the character herself that seems shallow? Likely some of each, and certainly in too many pages. When Elizabeth’s stage-mother molds her, against her father's wishes, into a one-trick pony, the most beautiful woman in the world, she creates a monster. This is the story of the path of a child who is both spoiled and made to become what her mother wanted to be and could not. The child grows into an adult, ...more
Amee
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I've loved Elizabeth since I watched "National Velvet" as a young, horse-obsessed girl. I knew that she'd had a busy life, but I had no idea! This book was a definite page turner, and I was captivated by Elizabeth's life. I really enjoyed learning more about her and everything she's gone through in her life. although some may say she was nothing but self centered and spoiled, I have even more respect for her after this book. She endured a lot and was almost molded into who she became, and it was ...more
Leigh
Sep 18, 2007 rated it liked it
OK obviously I haven't picked up any Joyce or Dostoyevsky for my summer reading. The other one I read was the new Harry Potter, nuff said. I'm not apologizing but owning it! This was totally entertaining-- love Liz!
Fave excerpt: The eye-witness account of Liz's 50th birthday party in New York in the early 1980's. This is when she was in her "fat stage" and was a raging alchoholic. Richard Burton shows up (they've been long since divorced)and is decrepit/on the verge of death from alchohol. Liz
...more
Anna
Dec 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taraborrelli did a great job of telling how Elizabeth Taylor became a star, and what made her become who she was as a person. Decently written, although it relies heavily on published quotes from other materials.

At times, it felt like Taraborrelli was making excuses for her poor decisions, and the fact that the author is a huge Elizabeth fan certainly came through, which makes me doubt some its credibility. One really annoying thing is that the author references photos of Elizabeth i
...more
Sylvia Porter-hall
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it


I truly enjoyed reading about the very colorful and eventful life of Elizabeth Taylor. I've always liked her as an actress and appreciated her need to be charitable and give of her time and money to help others. (namely the Aides Foundation). This was a very detailed account of events that happened throughout the course of this wonderful actress's life. Her many loves, the attempts - the fails, the triumphs and the battles that she fought to become one of the most successful and sought after act
...more
Teressa
I seem to retain my interest in biographies and picked this book up as something to read while commuting on the train to work.

From reading this book I have decided that I do not admire Elizabeth Taylor and will try to avoid being such self centered person.

It is interesting to note that after Elizabeth went to the Betty Ford center to come off of drugs and alcohol she became a philanthropist and was an adamant AIDS activist. I wonder if this implies that human nature is inherently go
...more
Joy
Mar 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the first biography on Elizabeth Taylor that I've read, so I can't compare it to other books about her life. I enjoyed it alot, especially the chapters about her years with Richard Burton. I've always been fascinated with these two and their tempestuous relationship and feel that he was the love of her life, even though they just couldn't make it together for the long haul.

One thing I liked about this book is that it's divided into fairly short chapters that cover her life from early ch
...more
Jessica
May 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
At first I really liked the book, because I was so used to thinking about Elizabeth Taylor as a joke that I never realized she'd once been a HUGE star. It was cool to hear about her beginnings and how huge of a star she was, though I got the sense she was really a mediocre actress with a few good performances, the first celebrity who was famous just from being famous. Toward the end of the book, however, I felt like the author stopped being objective and slipped into fan boy territory. The last ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank
  • The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York
  • Me: Stories of My Life
  • My Life Among the Underdogs: A Memoir
  • Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History
  • Vivien Leigh: A Biography
  • Love, Lucy
  • The Anatomy of Evil
  • Marilyn Monroe: The Personal Archive
  • Moonwalk
  • Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il
  • Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie
  • A Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis's Graceland to Bruce Jenner's Caitlyn & Songs in Between
  • Jimmy Stewart: A Biography
  • Wild Mountain Thyme
  • But Enough About Me
  • Memphis Mafia Princess: Living in the Elvis World
  • Enchantment: The Life of Audrey Hepburn
See similar books…
J. Randy Taraborrelli is an author known for biographies of contemporary entertainers and political figures. He is a featured writer in several entertainment magazines in Canada, England, and Australia. He also appears on television as an entertainment news reporter on shows such as Entertainment Tonight, Good Morning America, Today and CBS This Morning. Taraborrelli resides in Los Angeles, Califo ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »