Elizabeth Taylor's Many Marriages


Their relationship is the stuff of legend. One of the most famous and turbulent duos in Hollywood history, Taylor and Burton met on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 -- both were married at the time -- and launched into a passionate affair. On their first meeting on the set, Burton said "Has anyone ever told you that you're a very pretty girl?" Taylor later recalled, "I said to myself, Oy gevalt, here's the great lover, the great wit, the great intellectual of Wales, and he comes out with a line like that."

So scandalous was their union that the Vatican denounced their relationship as an affront to morality. An undaunted Taylor said of their tempestuous relationship, "If Richard and I divorce, I swear I will never marry anyone again. I love him insanely." Their first marriage would be Taylor's longest, lasting a full decade.

In the interim between her marriages to Burton, Taylor was the companion to the Iranian ambassador to Washington, Ardeshir Zahedi. The relationship began while she was still with Burton -- both divorced their partners during the relationship -- and Taylor traveled with him to Tehran for a time. Ultimately, Shah Reza Pahlavi convinced Zahedi to end his affair with Taylor, and Taylor returned to Burton.

They would remarry 16 months after their divorce, in the Chobe National Park, Botswana. In 1964, the couple adopted a 3-year-old German girl they named Maria. The two starred in a number of films together, most notably in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" which was likened in the popular imagination to the couple's real-life marriage. The tumult of their stormy relationship, however, was exacerbated by Burton's drinking and within a year the couple would be divorced again. Burton would marry twice more before his death in 1984.

7. John Warner: December 1976 - November 1982

A World War II veteran, Republican politician and five-term Senator, Warner met Taylor on the Washington diplomatic circuit when he was serving as Nixon's secretary of the Navy. Despite being a lifelong Democrat, Taylor bucked her party to assiduously campaign for Warner in his first successful bid for senator of Virginia. He would hold the seat much longer than he would Taylor -- the couple divorced in 1982.

8. Larry Fortensky: Oct. 1991 - Oct. 1996

Taylor's last marriage was also her unlikeliest. She met the mullet-topped Fortensky -- a construction worker 20 years her junior -- when they were both doing a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic. The two were married at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. "This is it, forever," she said at the time. Five years later she would file for divorce.

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