Talk:Elizabeth Taylor

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Former good article nominee Elizabeth Taylor was a Media and drama good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 6, 2015 Good article nominee Not listed
In the news A news item involving this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "In the news" column on March 23, 2011.
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Readability and trivial details[edit]

The following sentence was inserted in a section explaining that the family had to evacuate England after the war started. I tried to remove and shorten it since it's glaringly off-topic.

"During the Atlantic crossing, Taylor watched a film for the first time, The Little Princess (1939) starring Shirley Temple; the children had not been allowed to go to the cinema in England, as their parents considered films to be working-class entertainment.[13]"

The fact that she wasn't allowed to see "working class" entertainment could be stated in a better less jarring context. We certainly don't need the name of the movie or who starred in it, or the wikilinks. As it is, it's equivalent to saying that on the ship she was able to eat apple pie for the first time since her parents were allergic to apples and broke out in a rash which lasted for days and required visiting a doctor Smith five miles away.

A similar detailed sentence was added about her mother, who the section states was a "retired stage actress Sara Sothern."

Using the stage name Sara Sothern, she found success playing a crippled girl in Channing Pollock's play The Fool, which ran for four years in the early 1920s and was performed on Broadway and in the Apollo Theatre in London.[4]

These kinds of trivial facts and wikilinks will bloat the article and make reading it as easy as walking through this.

Paragraph structure and size[edit]

The paragraphing issue is another problem, as massive multi-topic paragraphs make readability and flow more difficult. The recommended averages for a paragraph are 100 to 150 words for ordinary writing, per writing guides. The two paragraphs in the early life section are over 450 words, besides covering a half-dozen subjects. When I see this, I will split paragraphs. --Light show (talk) 01:26, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

I'll reply to both concerns here.
1.) The bit about her seeing a film for the first time. This is included because it was quite uncommon for children to not have been to the cinema, and is especially interesting considering that she was soon to become a film actress. Given how unusual it was (and is) for a child to have never seen a film before the age of 8, it is necessary to also state why she wasn't allowed to go to the cinema or see films. I'm fine with the title of the film being removed, however I think it is useful to include it as people reading "During the Atlantic crossing, Taylor watched a film for the first time" will most likely wonder which film that was, as it's implied that Walker knows this given that he knows so specifically that it was the first time she had seen a film.
2.) If Taylor's mother's background is trivia, then surely we shouldn't provide any information about her parents as it must all be trivial? Without that sentence, all the reader knows is that by 1932 she was "a retired stage actress"; the reader won't have any idea about whether she achieved any success or notability in her career, or where she worked.
3.) Can you tell me where the recommended averages for paragraph length are listed? The only thing I can find is this: "Paragraphs should be short enough to be readable, but long enough to develop an idea. Overly long paragraphs should be split up, as long as the cousin paragraphs keep the idea in focus. One-sentence paragraphs are unusually emphatic, and should be used sparingly. Articles should rarely, if ever, consist solely of such paragraphs." from Wikipedia:Writing better articles. If you compare the paragraph you believe is "massive" to paragraphs in GA/FA level articles, it actually seems to be quite standard length.TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 10:05, 3 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
1.) In 1940 it was probably unusual in England for a child of 8 to have been to movies. The basic fact borders on trivia, as most people wouldn't care. And they'd care less about which film she saw or who was in it.
2.) It's not only a run-on sentence, but includes so many trivial details it could almost be in its own paragraph. It appears as clutter and should be tightened.
3.) You could review Charlie Chaplin, a FA which you helped write, and note that it has around 120 words per paragraph. I commented there once and said it was well-written. --Light show (talk) 16:03, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think we reached a consensus on this at all? No, it's not true that British children didn't go to the cinema as you claim. You still haven't told me where the "recommended paragraph length" idea comes from – does it actually exist? TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 10:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
You need a consensus? England was at war with Germany in 1940, which probably wasn't conducive to taking kids to movies. A few sources: Readability Monitor; About education; Quick and Dirty Tips; The Writing of English, by John Matthews Manly, Edith Ricker. --Light show (talk) 16:59, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Nominated for GA[edit]

I've nominated this article for Good Article quality consideration, at Good Article nominations. Any suggestions for improvement would be welcome. --Light show (talk) 07:50, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Would need to remove 50 plus quotes to get this to GA level....this many quotes will be the biggest problem there is for GA promotion. Very poor flow as of now....writing an encyclopaedic article relies on summaries rather than a multitude of random quotations. Some of them can be moved to [] ...and those of some value should be summarized.
Per suggestions made by User:SNUGGUMS from their list at Talk:Elizabeth Taylor/GA1, most of those issues have been modified, with some more to do. I'm curious if they will review the changes and update the list to see if it's getting closer to GA quality and should be renominated. Especially since nothing in that list implied the article needed an "overhaul," as one new editor noted below is planning on doing unilaterally. --Light show (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
It would definitely need to have no ongoing content disputes or substantial changes in order to be stable enough for renomination. I guarantee it will automatically fail again as unstable otherwise. Snuggums (talk / edits) 22:02, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
OK, but in the meantime Snuggums, can you comment on the changes made per your list? And if the part about disputes and unstable status is important, maybe you could inform the new editor to the article who is planning to overhaul it to GA quality. In order to clear the field, they have already engaged in PAs, inferred hidden agendas and bad intent, edit warred, proudly violated AGF, and threatened ANI reporting.
Note there was once a similar situation where a new editor to a bio announced they were going to overhaul a stable article, and used the same advance tactics. The primary editor actually complained to the ANI, with the result that the complaining editor was banned from editing the article, most of which they had written. Therefore the ANI threat is serious. Maybe you could ask the new editor to restrain themselves until you or some other editor can review it. --Light show (talk) 22:56, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Things that still need addressing:
  • The lead's first paragraph is reads like something from a fansite rather than a neutral encyclopedia entry
Yes check.svg Done Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It still has too many images
It has about half as many images as Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe. Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "Francis and Sara met in New York in 1925 and were married the following year" needs to be removed; it should instead be in her parents' own articles
Yes check.svg Done Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Her marriages need to be in paragraph form rather than a numbered list
That will take some talk page discussion, it seems. We could have a simple list such as in Zsa Zsa Gabor or David Lean; a chart as in Mickey Rooney; or a bulleted list with commentary as in Lana Turner. I don't know of anyone that has over 5 marriages that doesn't have some sort of list. Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Friendship with Michael Jackson is trivial
Yes check.svg Done The sentence was removed. His name is mentioned in relevant context as part of another. And it may not be trivial in any case, certainly not to her.[1]
  • "Other appearances" is entirely unreferenced
Yes check.svg Done Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
That's all I'll say for now. Snuggums (talk / edits) 23:53, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Is there an automatic way to check for dead links? --Light show (talk) 02:11, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

Overhauling the article[edit]

The two major issues this article has are a.) lack of reliable sources and inline citations; and b.) insufficient coverage of Taylor's career and life. Taylor has had several books written about her, yet the article in its current state mostly cites obituaries and websites. What is also concerning is that many of these sources are not reliable at all, such as The Daily Mail, a British tabloid that's infamous for its disregard for good journalistic practices. Please also note that just because a bio of Taylor was published and sold well doesn't necessarily mean it's suitable for use in writing WP articles. When I say this, I in particular mean many of the newer biographies, which are mostly about gossip, e.g. Tarraborrelli and Mann (if you google them and read the reviews for their various books in NYT, LAT, The Guardian, The Times..., you'll get a good idea what I mean). I'm not saying those biographies shouldn't be used at all, just that they should be used with extreme caution and awareness of the writers' intents. As for insufficient coverage, I mean especially the fact that the peak years of her career are now all lumped into one section, 1955–1979. IMHO, I think this period should probably be divided into three sections at least.

Regarding the edits I've made today: I added inline citations to reliable sources, and corrected factual inaccuracies (e.g. LBM's enthusiasm, the significance/size of Taylor's roles pre-National Velvet...). Sadly, I had to remove some information which would be useful if reliably cited (e.g. that National Velvet grossed $4 million; the article cited doesn't mention this.). It was disconcerting to notice that at least the first paragraph of the first section had been copied almost in verbatim from Walker's book; this is not ok, it's copyvio. I also added material, based on Walker's book, about Taylor's career and films during these stages, especially about how MGM shaped her image and how strictly they controlled her life. There is still lots of room for improvement; I do not pretend that my edits have made those two sections perfect, merely that they are improvements. I would refrain from cutting a lot of detail before the entire career-section has been overhauled, as often it's only at that stage that one can really clearly see where cutting needs to be done. My goal is to improve the article in the coming weeks by adding more information about Taylor's career, based on Walker, Kashner & Schoenberger, possibly Spoto, and books on people who worked with Taylor. Hopefully this will create a useful "skeleton" for the article so that it can then be developed to GA-level.

Light show, please let's be civil when editing this article; if we have further issues, I'll have to take this to ANI, unfortunately, as it's clear there's more to this than a content dispute. Let's collaborate in order to get the article to GA stage. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 13:17, 6 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

You've said nothing positive about the current article. Nothing. You've just started editing the article a few weeks ago for the first time, and you're already threatening the primary editor based on your apparent skill of knowing what they're thinking and assuming bad intent? Are you aware of AGF? The comical part is you added "let's be civil." Have you ever talked to me under another username, just so I know? --Light show (talk) 17:25, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
LS, you have a pattern of hounding editors, it's what's gotten you topic banned before. By bringing up Chaplin again on this talk page, you've pretty clearly demonstrated that you have an ongoing grudge against me. Your actions with this article also demonstrate this: you've not majorly edited it since 2012 or so, only when I showed up did you get interested in again. And then you nominate it for GA, even though it's clear that this article has a long way to go until it's anywhere near that stage. At this point, if I say "the sky is blue" you're going to insist it's green just because you want to be against anything I say or do. Drop it already. Also, stop plagiarizing Walker. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 17:36, 6 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
It's on my watchlist, so naturally when massive edits are suddenly made I'll see them. But can you explain how you conclude that "By bringing up Chaplin again on this talk page, you've pretty clearly demonstrated that you have an ongoing grudge against me?" I only said "You could review Charlie Chaplin, a FA which you helped write, and note that it has around 120 words per paragraph. I commented there once and said it was well-written." That seems like an example of the "sky is blue" comment. And yes, I'd still like to know if we've talked.--Light show (talk) 17:52, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly what I mean. You also brought CC up in Marilyn Monroe. And no, I don't have any other usernames. Seriously, stop being disruptive. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 18:00, 6 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3


I've got to wondering, is it accurate for us to describe Taylor as "British-American"? She had a British passport because she was born there, but her parents were American and (as far as I know) she constantly lived in the US from a young age. I'd be surprised if she considered Britishness as part of her identity. Do the sources say anything about this? If she did then fair enough, but if not I suggest that we just say "was an American actress" in the lead, and the infobox can mention that she had joint citizenship. --Loeba (talk) 14:12, 8 November 2015 (UTC)

In general, I think we should always go with what a person's legal status was, and for most of her life, Taylor was a citizen of both the UK and the US. I think you are correct in that she was certainly more American than British, but she did also renounce her American citizenship during her marriage to Burton, and only regained it when she married Warner. Her early childhood in England was often stressed in press stories when she was an MGM child star (to make her seem more refined or something), and she was chosen for several roles because she could speak with a British accent. As an adult, she also always spoke quite fondly of the UK, in the Sixties (I think during the time when Cleopatra was being filmed at Pinewood) made a tv special in which she spoke about her childhood, her love of London and recited Shakespeare and other British authors, and was made a Dame. Therefore I think it might be preferable to keep "British-American", although of course it needs to be mentioned in the lead that her parents were American and she lived there for only seven years as a child (e.g. "Taylor was born in London to American parents; the family moved back to the United States in 1939 due to the Second World War"). TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 15:01, 8 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
Oh I didn't know she renounced her US citizenship! That's interesting, why did she do that? Anyway, ultimately it depends on how she self-identified - if she became "only British" for a while then I guess she must have embraced that side of her. I took a quick look at some obituaries, and it seems that most avoid designating her a nationality and just describe the circumstances. So it's a tricky one but I guess this will do. It would be good to find an interview where she was questioned about it, to see what she said. --Loeba (talk) 18:21, 8 November 2015 (UTC)
I didn't know about it either before I saw it mentioned in the article! If you look at note A in "early life", there's a link to a newspaper article – apparently she did it because Burton was British and because they wanted to travel to North Vietnam in 1967, which would've required US gov. approval for an American citizen (in other words, it sounds like she didn't really care whether she was legally a British or American citizen). I'm still doing research about her 1950s films, so I'm not quite there yet :) TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 20:40, 8 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
Should not be in the lead as per WP:OPENPARAGRAPH....odd to see it here in a GA article. Should be removed and all explained in life section. -- Moxy (talk) 00:29, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, this is not a GA-level article yet as Light show's nomination failed. Taylor's citizenship certainly should not be explained in depth in the lead (i.e. the details about her renouncing her American citizenship for several years), but I see no harm in describing her as "British-American" (especially since she's named Dame Elizabeth Taylor, which I believe is a title only British subjects can get), and then using that sentence ("Born in London to American parents...) as it's customary to briefly refer to the subject's early life already in the lead. However, I really think the focus right now should be in improving other sections, the lead should usually be left as the last thing to be written. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:40, 9 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

Acting career[edit]

I've added details and material from reliable sources to the "Acting career" section. It definitely needs copyediting, trimming, more sources, etc., but I hope my additions have built a useful 'skeleton' of basic facts on Taylor's career. A couple of things I'd like to note:

  • What should '1952–1955' be called? I don't think it should be merged with the previous section, as by 1952 she had already transitioned to adult roles. She made several films during this period, but none of them were remarkable; yet she was still on of MGM's biggest stars.
  • Unfortunately I wasn't able to find information about the box office stats/critical reception for several films during the 1946–1955 period. I doubt any of them were critically acclaimed, but they probably did fare well in the box office. If anyone is able to find information from reliable sources on how Cynthia, A Date with Judy, The Conspirator, The Big Hangover, Rhapsody, Elephant Walk and Beau Brummell performed, that would be wonderful and would make trimming a lot easier!

Feedback is certainly appreciated, and I'll be happy to address any issues! :) TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 20:08, 12 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

Rationale for recent changes:
I've created a new section, "Other ventures", which includes information about Taylor's HIV/AIDS activism and her perfume and jewelry brands. I think it's reasonable to have such a section as during the last two decades of her life, she focused much more on the perfume brand and AIDS philanthropy than on acting. She wasn't just a rich person donating money to AIDS charities, but took an active role in creating those charities; her perfume brand was a 'second career' for her and earned her more money than her acting career.
I've also merged the sections about Taylor's conversion to Judaism and her subsequent support for Israeli causes, as I think it makes sense to have all of this information in the same spot given how closely linked they are. I've also removed a few sentences:
  • "In 1974 Taylor and Richard Burton considered marrying in Israel, but were unable to do so because Burton was not Jewish." Since they weren't able to do so, it's probably not worth mentioning.
  • "After the success of the operation in which the hostages were freed, she acted with Kirk Douglas in a TV special, Victory at Entebbe, broadcast in January 1977. Of her role, she stated, "I couldn't pass up this opportunity. I have strong ties to Israel and I firmly believe in the courage and dedication of the Entebbe mission."[1]" The link is dead, and since she offered herself as a replacement hostage, it probably goes without saying that she didn't need much convincing to participate in the film. "Acted with Kirk Douglas" implies that she had a major role in the film, which is false.
Since accepting the part was important to her for personal reasons, it could simply be rephrased to "... she played the part of Kirk Douglas's wife." --Light show (talk) 21:59, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't see why we need to mention Kirk Douglas at all? TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
True, there's no need to mention any names. --Light show (talk) 02:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • "Biographer Alexander Walker suggests that Elizabeth's conversion to Judaism at the age of 27 and her lifelong support for Israel, may have been influenced by views she heard at home. Walker notes that Cazalet campaigned for a Jewish homeland, and her mother also worked in various charities, which included sponsoring fundraisers for Zionism." > I'm not completely opposed to the inclusion of this factoid, but I deleted it for now as it sounds speculative.
Walker's opinion or presumptions as her biographer are worth noting, especially concerning a significant aspect of her personal life. In the book, he said it was "likely" that those childhood facts contributed to her later conversion. And other sources include relevant quotes by her: In Elizabeth Taylor: The Last Star, she claimed that she converted partly because "I felt terribly sorry for the suffering of the Jews during the war. I was attracted to their heritage. I guess I identified with them as underdogs." --Light show (talk) 21:59, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Does The Last Star state where she said that? As I said, I'm fine with adding a line stating that Taylor's mother and Cazalet supported Zionist causes, and that Walker thinks this may have influenced Taylor – however, it most definitely needs to be paraphrased, the sentences that were there previously contained plagiarism. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
She said it during an interview apparently given soon after her conversion. It doesn't say exactly where she was. BTW, since you've twice claimed that some of Walker's book was plagiarized, can you point out what you're referring to? I just rechecked the pages and it seems the original article text was well paraphrased and/or quoted. --Light show (talk) 02:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
You're correct in that the sentences related to Judaism weren't plagiarism, although they do use some of the same words – my bad, I'm sorry! However, these are another matter:
  • The article previously stated: "Cazalet encouraged the Taylor family to think of England as their permanent home. Additionally, as a Christian Scientist and lay preacher, his links with the family were spiritual", while Walker writes "He was also a Christian Scientist and a lay preacher: another of the links between this worldly yet spiritual man and Sara Taylor" and "...Cazalet, the man who more than anyone else, perhaps, encouraged them to think of England as their permanent home..."
  • In the para about Woolf: "For the part, however, Taylor worried that she did not look old enough, as her character was to be twenty years older. To compensate, she added gray hairs and transformed herself both physically and vocally: she intentionally gained weight, minimized makeup, and added excessive mascara to her eyes along with smudgy bags beneath them" while Walker writes: "transform herself so physically and vocally" "adding smudgy bags beneath them"
  • First section in 'Career' used to begin with: "Soon after settling in Los Angeles, Taylor's mother discovered that Hollywood people "habitually saw a movie future for every pretty face". Some of her mother's friends, and even total strangers, urged her to have Taylor screen-tested for the role of Bonnie Blue, Scarlett's child in Gone with the Wind, then being filmed. Her mother refused the idea, as a child actress in film was alien to her, and in any case they would return to England after the war..." while Walker writes "She quickly discovered that Hollywood was a place where people habitually saw a movie future for every pretty face... Mrs. Taylor found acquaintances, even strangers on the street, urging her to have her beautiful little girl screen-tested for the role of Bonnie Blue, Scarlett's child by Rhett Butler.... The idea of being a child in films was alien to Elizabeth's upbringing; and, anyhow, they were all going back 'home' one day, weren't they?"
In other words, sometimes exact same words are used and often the sentence structures are pretty much the same. Now, I hope this was accidental, and I've further tweaked them so they are no longer a concern — but let's be more careful in the future! TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 14:06, 11 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
The exact time or place she made the statement is secondary. It could have been slang or made during an interview in Mexico. She had been divorced and later married in Mexico. She went there often for vacations with her husbands. She was with Burton in Mexico while he was filming Night of the Iguana. Her referring to not needing an expensive "house of worship" to pray, while people starved outside, probably implies she was referring to the churches in Mexico. BTW, you might have better luck using the English version instead of the Finish version of Google books.--Light show (talk) 21:59, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Better luck, in what way? Tarraborrelli is still not a reliable biographer, it doesn't matter which version of Google Books I use. We also have to remember to not bloat the section about Taylor's Judaism, it's not one of the key things she is remembered for. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
He was giving direct quotes from her interviews. It's unlikely that he, or anyone, would make those up while she was still alive. But it's worth noting that although she was married eight times, she apparently never had a "desperate need" for any of them, nor did she equate them with her attitude about "life and death." Converting was, by her own words, per above, a significant part of her life and identity and including her own comments are details that many readers value.
Speaking of bloat, do we really need over 20 mentions of exactly how many $millions her movies and businesses grossed? I feel that financial figures belong in the film's articles, if anywhere. It makes parts of the bio read like a company's annual report. --Light show (talk) 02:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
If we want this article to reach GA some day, Tarraborrelli should not be used — however, let's find another source, as 1-2 sentences about why Taylor converted could be useful. Can we find an interview where Taylor talks of her conversion? I don't doubt that Judaism was important to her personally, but it does not seem that she often discussed it publicly (perhaps because it was so personal), at least I've not been able to find interviews about it? As for the box office figures, I understand your view and used to think the same, but learnt from other editors while working on Monroe that they should be mentioned. We need to be as precise as possible and by including the exact figures, we're giving the reader additional information so it doesn't just seem that we're stating a film was a 'success' because we're fans of it. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 14:06, 11 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
  • "For a period, Taylor was a follower of Kabbalah and a member of the Kabbalah Centre."[3] This isn't at all what the source says, CNN simply stated: "How much Judaism played into Taylor's life in recent years is unclear. But the Jewish Journal reported in its obituary that Taylor had been a supporter of the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles." I'm fine with including "supporter of the Kabbalah Center", but I have no idea whether the Jewish Journal is considered a legitimate source.
It seems The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles is a RS. --Light show (talk) 21:59, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Can we get a third opinion on this? In any case, all we can write is that she was a supporter of the Kabbalah center, not a 'follower & member'. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
I think someone added that when the article was worked on right after her death. Unless she was a follower or member, I don't think we need to add her involvement as a supporter. That could have been implied from some of her donations.--Light show (talk) 02:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
  • "During an interview when she was 55, Taylor described how her inner sense of identity, when a child actress, kept her from giving in to many of the studio's demands, especially with regard to altering her appearance to fit in. She went against fads and had a good sense of her identity. "I've always been very aware of the inner me that has nothing to do with the physical me," she said. "It has to do with a connection with nature, God, your inner being—whatever you want to call it ...."[4] Already discussed elsewhere.

TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 18:39, 16 November 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

  • Since most of the above cites were added by me, I'll try to respond to the concerns noted. I would have replied earlier, but just discovered that my watchlist got hacked right after my last comment above, and this article was removed from it, so I wasn't aware of all the activity. --Light show (talk) 08:20, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Whether the quote box could be replaced by an image, per comment, I think the quote in this case may be better than an image. If an image is needed in addition, I could upload this one after the seller confirms there's no copyright on the back. The same goes for this one, showing her feeling slightly amorous. Or this one, looking a bit upset; or this one, showing Burton after she burnt his toast. Here's another one, showing her in a better mood standing next to Albert Einstein's distant cousin, yet relevant to the film. --Light show (talk) 23:37, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
I think an image would be preferable given how different she looked in that role and that it was the most acclaimed performance of her career. I think any of the images you've listed would be fine, although it's probably preferable to show her in character rather than just standing next to Nichols. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
I'll try to get one of them approved at the Commons. While we can then remove the quote box, which is a bit long anyway, some of Nichols' comments are valuable.--Light show (talk) 02:56, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
Ok, let's discuss it once we have an image. If you could find a color image of Cleopatra as well, that would be great! TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 14:06, 11 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3

Rationale for the edits I've made today:

  • GA/FA-level actor articles don't normally list religions in infobox, therefore I don't think we should do so here, as it looks like we're placing undue importance on Taylor's religion.
  • Early life: My copy of Walker does not mention warning letters sent by the US embassy, so I deleted the mention and merged that Cazalet was informed by Churchill to the previous sentence. I further trimmed the sentence about the Kennedy warning (we don't need to know it was a telephone call or that he advised FT to close up gallery, that's already implied in that he advised him to move back to the US with his family). We also don't need to know the exact date for when Sara Taylor & the children left, or what was happening in Czechoslovakia at the time; we've already informed the readers that it was the looming war that made them leave, but the war did not begin until September. Furthermore, I wonder whether it would serve readers better to move the mention of Cazalet & Sara Taylor's Zionism to the section about Judaism? I don't think those readers who are specifically looking for info on Taylor's Judaism will necessarily also read 'Early life', they'll expect all the info to be provided by 'Conversion to Judaism...'
  • Judaism: Taylor's purchase of Israeli bonds was part of her Zionist charity/activism, hence it belongs to the section with her other such activities. Please properly cite the Kelley book using the sfn format. Do we have a year for the Look magazine interview? I replaced The Daily Beast with a direct statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 12:21, 12 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3
I moved the mention about Cazalet and her mother as suggested. There's no date for the Look magazine interview, but the context it was used in implies it took place shortly after she converted. I'm also still working on getting a PD image for Virginia Woolf, but a color one for Cleopatra isn't likely.--Light show (talk) 18:35, 12 December 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Photo commentary to film
  2. ^ a b c d Taraborrelli, J. Randy (2006). Elizabeth. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-53254-9. Retrieved March 24, 2011. 
  3. ^ Ravitz, Jessica (March 24, 2011). "Exploring Elizabeth Taylor's Jewish conversion". CNN. Retrieved March 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Taylor: The Lost Interview", Rolling Stone magazine, April 14, 2011 (never published interview from 1987)

Subsection titles[edit]

I've named the subsection dealing with Taylor's career in 1956–1960 'Critical acclaim' because this was the most critically acclaimed period of her career, and the time when she was constantly nominated for major acting awards, winning a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. While she was a big star already before this period, she didn't usually act in critically acclaimed films, and had not been nominated for major acting awards. After this period, she remained a major box office star, but critics disliked many of her films and she wasn't constantly nominated for acting awards anymore (Woolf of course being the notable exception). Therefore I think it's not against WP:Weasel to call the section 'Critical acclaim'. If there are other ideas on how to name the subsection (or any of the other ones), let's discuss them here. TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 18:57, 3 December 2015 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3


I have yet to see a reliable source stating that Taylor was offered the role on Dynasty. Spelling and Cramer don't mention it in the Richard Hack article, and other sources like the Soap Opera Encyclopedia don't either. Joan Collins did say "Aaron wanted me to play Alexis. All the people at ABC wanted Sophia Loren or Elizabeth Taylor.", but this doesn't directly support a claim that Taylor was actually offered the role. I tend to think this Daily Mail piece and even this PBS page are regurgitating this unsourced "fact" which has been repeated over and over but never seems to be attributed to a real source. I really don't know if it's true or not, but it doesn't belong here as an uncited urban legend.— TAnthonyTalk 21:42, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Good to hear from someone who has more information on this! I did not add that rumour, but I didn't revert it when it was added as it does sound like something that could've happened, especially seeing that Joan Collins, aka poor man's Liz Taylor, was cast in the part. Thank you for correcting this! TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 08:02, 7 June 2016 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3


@TrueHeartSusie3: Although there have only been photos of acting in her career section I thought the (very good) photo would fit to that tragic part about Mike Todd as that picture with its media attention (at Madison Square Garden) could rather be seen as a career aspect and part of a career promotion for her husband than a private photo. Instead I prefered a (quite sweet looking) family photo with her children in the personal life section. --SamWinchester000 (talk) 13:37, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

I think the section would be a bit too crowded with photos if we add a third one... TrueHeartSusie3 (talk) 13:52, 27 July 2016 (UTC)TrueHeartSusie3