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The REAL Elizabeth Taylor: Photos show actress's journey from child star to silver screen legend
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PUBLISHED: 19:58 EST, 24 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:07 EST, 25 November 2012
As Lindsay Lohan prepares to unveil to the world her take on Elizabeth Taylor in a new TV biopic that premieres Sunday, a series of vintage photos take a look at the late screen siren who had inspired a generation with her violet eyes and sparkling talent.
Taylor, an American film legend who passed away in 2011 at age 79, appeared on the cover of Life magazine 14 times, starting when she was just 15 years old, and already an old pro in the movie business.
During the following decades, many esteemed photographers were eager to capture the smouldering thespian at work, cavorting with her many husbands and paramours and always surrounded by hordes of adoring fans.
To see more vintage pictures of Elizabeth Taylor, visit Life.com and click on 'Culture' tab.
Adored: In 1945, at age 13 and already a veteran of five films, Elizabeth Taylor signs autographs during a charity cricket match at Los Angeles' Gilmore Stadium
Young love: Taylor gazes into the distance while wearing an 'All America' belonging to Glenn Davis, a 1946 Heisman Trophy winner, she was dating at the time
Many of the stunning black-and-white shots never made it onto the pages of the magazine, like a picture of the fresh-faced 18-year-old Taylor getting married for the first time in a lily-white princess gown.
Her marriage to Nicky Hilton in 1950 lasted less than a year, and by 1952 the young beauty tied the knot for a second time.
The treasure trove of Life's behind-the-scene photos feature images from the set of Cleopatra, where Taylor starred in the larger-than-life title role opposite her two-time husband, Richard Burton as Marc Anthony.
Studious: Elizabeth Taylor sits at a desk in a classroom at Hollywood's University High School in 1950
Princess bride: Taylor looking glamorous on her first wedding day, May 6, 1950, but the marriage to Nicky Hilton would last less than one year
On the set: Taylor chatting with her friend and A Place in the Sun co-star Montgomery Cliff during a break, left; the actress caresses her daughter Liza Todd during the shooting of Cleopatra, right
In a note sent in March 1962 from the set of Cleopatra in Rome, a Life reporter wrote that Taylor ‘looks absolutely relaxed' and visibly enjoying the company of her handsome co-star.
One candid shot in the series shows Taylor as a 13-year-old girl in 1945 signing autographs for a young sailor during a charity event in Los Angeles. By that point, she had already starred in five films.
In another image, the British-born star is depicted wearing a sweatshirt belonging to her football player boyfriend with the words 'All American' emblazoned across the front.
Big shoes to fill: The release of the photos comes on the eve of the premiere of Liz & Dick on Lifetime starring Lindsay Lohan as the legendary screen siren
Plot: The biopic follows the tempestuous relationship between Taylor and her two-time husband, Richard Burton
A few years later, a Life photographer caught a glimpse of Taylor chatting with her lifelong friend and co-star in A Place in the Sun, Montgomery Cliff, during a break on the Paramount lot.
The release of the photos depicting the quintessential movie icon set the stage for the highly anticipated premiere of Liz & Dick on Lifetime, which focuses on Taylor's tempestuous relationship with Burton.
Liz & Dick will be screened on Lifetime at 9pm Sunday, November 25.
Now watch the trailer...