Liz Taylor: The First Paparazzi Magnet

New biography offers a 'yummy' look at the actress who truly mastered fame
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2009 10:10 AM CDT
Elizabeth Taylor with husband Eddie Fisher whilst on holiday in Venice.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Elizabeth Taylor, whose affair with Eddie Fisher was more scandalous than the Brad-Jen-Angelina triangle can ever hope to be, is “a pioneer for the Madonnas and Lindsay Lohans of today, women whose personal lives occupy more of the public imagination than does their creative work,” writes Laura Miller in Salon. As William J. Mann’s new biography How to Be a Movie Star makes clear, Taylor was—and still is, as evidenced by her use of Twitter—a master of the celebrity game.

The husband-stealing Taylor was one of the first stars to enjoy 24-hour publicity—and she did seem to enjoy it, flaunting her affair with Richard Burton. Mann’s “eminently yummy entry” in the Elizabeth Taylor canon is an enjoyable look at the woman who just wanted “to lounge around on yachts and in luxury hotels, chowing down on fried chicken with ‘lots of gravy’ and waking up to a Tiffany's box on her pillow on a fairly regular basis. Acting, fame and a few of her marriages were little more than means to those ends.”