Larry Fortensky

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Larry Fortensky
Larry Fortensky.jpg
Born(1952-01-17)January 17, 1952
DiedJuly 7, 2016(2016-07-07) (aged 64)
Priscilla Joan Torres
(m. 1972; div. 1974)

Karin McNeal
(m. 1978; div. 1984)

Elizabeth Taylor
(m. 1991; div. 1996)

Larry Fortensky (January 17, 1952 – July 7, 2016[1]) was a construction worker best known as the seventh and last husband (but eighth marriage) of actress Elizabeth Taylor. Fortensky and Taylor were married on October 6, 1991, at Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch and divorced on October 31, 1996.

Early life[edit]

Fortensky, the eldest of seven children, was raised in working-class Stanton, California,[2] and dropped out of Garden Grove, California's Pacifica High School in the 10th grade. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1972 and discharged three months later. He married Priscilla Joan Torres in 1972, divorcing in 1974 after having one daughter, Julie Fortensky.[3] He subsequently married Karin McNeal and divorced in 1984.[3]

Substance addiction and marriage to Elizabeth Taylor[edit]

In 1987 he was convicted for driving while intoxicated. Police found him in a San Clemente, California, parking lot "very intoxicated" and in possession of marijuana.[3] Using Teamster medical insurance from his construction job, he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in 1988, where he met Elizabeth Taylor. At the time he was living in a small house in Stanton.[4]

During the courtship she would sometimes deliver "goodies" to Fortensky at his work site.[5]

The wedding, which cost between $1.5 and $2 million, was attended by 160 at the Neverland Ranch and presided over by Marianne Williamson. It was a high-profile event with paparazzi helicopters buzzing overhead and a guest list that included Liza Minnelli, Eddie Murphy, and Nancy Reagan, as well as Franco Zeffirelli, Arsenio Hall, Pia Zadora, George Hamilton, Merv Griffin, Quincy Jones, and Macaulay Culkin.[6] Taylor's $25,000 dress was a gift from Valentino. She was escorted by Jackson and her eldest son Michael Wilding, Jr. Their toast was with mineral water. Fortensky's best man was Taylor's hairdresser José Eber. Fortensky's family arrived in their own cars rather than limousines.[7][8] The couple donated money from selling wedding photos to AIDS charities.[9]

When Taylor and Fortensky married in 1991, Fortensky was reported to have a prenuptial agreement in which he would receive $1 million (with no additional support) if the marriage lasted five years. The couple split after five years in 1996 with Fortensky hiring New York divorce attorney Raoul Felder.[10][11]

Fortensky's sister, Linda Untiet, said they were divorced because Fortensky did not want to be known as "Mr. Elizabeth Taylor" any more and that the two had remained in contact after the divorce.[12]

In August 1996, Fortensky was arrested for drug use after police in Hemet, California, found him in an illegally parked luxury motor home with no license plates with a woman he identified as his live-in maid. Fortensky, whose black BMW was parked by the home's front door, refused to allow police to search the motor home, but he was arrested for being under the influence of drugs at the time.[13]


Fortensky fell down a flight of stairs at his home in San Juan Capistrano, California, on January 29, 1999, and was hospitalized for two months during which he was in a coma for six weeks. He suffered short-term memory loss as a result of the fall. He was reported to have been drunk at the time, mourning the death of a prized pet.[2][14][15]

He bought a three-bedroom house in Temecula, California, in 2002 with money from the divorce settlement. In 2009 Taylor,[16] with whom he remained friendly and spoke on the phone twice a month,[2] reportedly gave him $50,000 to pay the $5,800/month mortgage and keep the house out of foreclosure.[16] It was repossessed in 2010 after plummeting in value.[2]

Fortensky's last phone call with Taylor was a day before she entered the hospital[2] in February 2011.[17] Following her March 2011 death, she left Fortensky $800,000 in her will. From April 2011 he lived with his sister Donna in Menifee, California. He was unable to work following his accident, for which he took medication. He was estranged from his sister Linda, who sold information to the National Enquirer, and from his daughter Julie.[2]


Fortensky died from skin cancer surgery complications on July 7, 2016.


  1. ^ Elizabeth Taylor Ex Larry Fortensky Dies—Sister Reveals Sad Final Days
  2. ^ a b c d e f Graham, Caroline. "'She put on a fur coat over her nightdress and fell giggling in the snow: Elizabeth Taylor's builder ex-husband on their truly bizarre marriage", Daily Mail, April 24, 2011
  3. ^ a b c Rosen, Marjorie (1991-10-07). "Here Comes the Groom..." People. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  4. ^ Schindehette, Susan (1989-03-13). "Still Reigning After All These Years - Recovery, Elizabeth Taylor". People. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  5. ^ J Randy Taraborrelli (2011-03-30). "Elizabeth Taylor fell for 7th husband Larry Fortensky in rehab". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  6. ^ "Liz 'N' Larry Say `I Do' Over Drone Of Choppers". Deseret News. 1991-10-07. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  7. ^ Park, Jeannie (1991-10-21). "He Does, She Does-They Do! - Celebrity Weddings, Elizabeth Taylor, Larry Fortensky". People. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  8. ^ "In Pictures: The 20 Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings". Forbes. 2002-05-22. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  9. ^ "The Worlds' Most Expensive Celebrity Weddings". 2010-09-06. Archived from the original on 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  10. ^ Leerhsen, Charles (1996-03-04). "Life After Larry - Divorced, Coping and Overcoming Illness, Elizabeth Taylor". People. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  11. ^ "In Pictures: Celebrity Divorces-Women Who Paid". Forbes. 2002-05-22. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  12. ^ "Elizabeth Taylor | Taylor Wrote Goodbye Letter To Last Husband". Contactmusic. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
  13. ^ Kennedy, Helen. "Taylor's Larry is Hit with Drug Rap" Archived 2010-12-16 at the Wayback Machine, Daily News, August 23, 1996
  14. ^ "Larry Fortensky Accident - Larry Fortensky Critically Injured in Fall". Los Angeles Times. 1999-01-29. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  15. ^ Marcus Errico (March 29, 1999). "Liz Taylor Ex Released from Hospital". E! Online. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  16. ^ a b "Elizabeth Taylor''s eighth husband faces eviction". Yahoo! News. 2011-03-18. Archived from the original on 2011-03-21. Retrieved 2011-03-25.
  17. ^ Weber, Christopher. "Elizabeth Taylor remains hospitalized for heart failure" Archived 2011-02-17 at the Wayback Machine, Los Angeles Daily News, February 13, 2011
Husband of Elizabeth Taylor
Preceded by
John Warner
Husband of Elizabeth Taylor
(by order of marriage)

Succeeded by