Elizabeth Taylor, a legendary actress from Hollywood’s Golden Age, has for decades captivated our hearts. To commemorate her legacy, illustrator and caricaturist Robert Risko created a visual tribute celebrating her life and career.
Featuring a collection of never-before-seen images, Risko’s Forever Elizabeth: Iconic Photographers on a Legendary Star (ACC Art Books) offers an intimate glimpse into what it was like to work with Taylor. Photographers Douglas Kirkland, Milton Greene, Gered Mankowitz, Norman Parkinson, Eva Sereny, Terry O’Neill, Gary Bernstein, and Greg Brennan each share personal memories with Taylor in the book.
Taylor’s lasting magnetism is, in part, due to her undeniable beauty. (Her softer, more refined features redefined beauty standards set by earlier stars like Ava Gardner.) But more than that, it’s about her womanhood. “My mother idolized her because she was a real woman, not just a pin-up,” Risko writes in the book’s introduction. “She showed us every aspect of what a real woman experiences throughout her life and, along with being one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the planet, I think that’s a big reason why we love her.”
These “real woman” experiences documented throughout Risko’s photo book range from the scope of Taylor’s eight marriages to quiet moments on set with photographers and stylists. And they all have one thing in common: “Her appearance is intoxicating, and her spirit is temperamental, and we [still] can’t look away,” as Risko writes.
Taylor at 21, the year she starred in The Girl Who Had Everything and a year after marrying second husband Michael Wilding.
Taylor at the MGM lot with 16-month-old son Michael Wilding Jr.
Taylor and Richard Burton in front of the Houses of Parliament a year prior to their first marriage.
Headed to the opera.
Dressed in leopard print (courtesy of Olga di Grésy for Mirsa) for 1972’s X, Y & Zee.
On the Boom! set in Italy.
Visiting former husband Burton while on set in Italy for The Assassination of Trotsky.
From Harper’s Bazaar US