Elizabeth Taylor’s Most Dramatic Marriage Was Slammed From the Vatican to Congress

Actors typically date around and have a long list of failed marriages in their back pocket, although we do have our handful of successful relationships to root for too. It seems like ‘the thing to do’ in Hollywood, especially when various talented and like-minded celebrities get together to dive deep into romantic roles that often require unmatched chemistry and steamy kissing. When you think about it, it’s a wonder it doesn’t happen more often.  

However, none of them can compare to Elizabeth Taylor’s marriage that was so badly received by the public, it was denounced as immoral by the Vatican Newspaper and members of congress.

Elizabeth Taylor smiling, looking down, in black and white
Elizabeth Taylor | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor and her many husbands

Taylor was an outstanding actor with a long list of successful roles dating back to her childhood and peaking in the 1950s of classical Hollywood cinema. She’s most prominently known for her beauty and portrayal of strong-willed female characters. Some of her most famous works include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Cleopatra, and Suddenly, Last Summer.

IMDb describes Cleopatra as one of her most successful and challenging films, earning her a significant income and another husband despite her health. “[Cleopatra] was one of the most expensive productions up to that time–as was her salary at a whopping $1,000,000. The film took years to complete, due in part to a serious illness during which she nearly died,” IMDb reports. “[It was also] where she met her future and fifth husband, Richard Burton.”

Before Richard Burton, there were four husbands – Conrad Hilton, Michael Wilding, Mike Toff, and Eddie Fisher. After Burton, there was John Warner and Larry Fortensky. Altogether, there were eight marriages and seven men, with the first being with Hilton in 1950, at age 18, and ending due to his temper and alcohol addiction. She would go on to lose husbands to tragedies, conflicting careers, jealousy, and more. She would also bring into the world two sons, a daughter, and countless incredible memories and stories.

What the public thought about the man she married twice

RELATED: Elizabeth Taylor Married Richard Burton Twice But Avoided His Funeral

After meeting on the set of Cleopatra, Taylor was paired with the man she would later marry twice – Richard Burton. In fact, there was so much chemistry, her Twitter account reports, “Elizabeth & Richard Burton’s 1st scene in Cleopatra produced instant, sizzling chemistry. They held their 1st kiss for so long that the director called out sarcastically: ‘I’m sorry to interrupt you two … but, it’s time for lunch.'”

Unfortunately, the public wouldn’t take lightly the two actors hooking-up since they were both still married when filming Cleopatra. Britannica reports that although “… the two ultimately divorced their respective spouses, their affair [still] became a scandal.” They married for the first time in 1964 and divorce in 1974. The second time, shortly after the first, they would marry in ’75 and divorced less than a year later. 

How a Vatican Newspaper and a Georgia congresswoman responded to their relationship

RELATED: Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor Bonded Over Their Dislike For Eddie Fisher, Who They Both Married

Taylor’s scandal with Burton was by no means her first, being heavily scrutinized years earlier for her marriage to her BFF Debbie Reynold’s husband at the time – Eddie Fisher. However, her scandal with Burton topped the charts when the Vatican Newspaper and a Georgia congresswoman put their “two-cents” in on how they felt about the relationship.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the paparazzi had a heyday with the news. Not to mention, “A congresswoman from Georgia asked the Attorney General to block the stars from coming back into the country on grounds of ‘undesirability,'” and the “Vatican newspaper printed an open letter taking Taylor to task for ‘erotic vagrancy.'”

There’s no doubt Elizabeth Taylor is a legend among legends in Hollywood, and it isn’t only because of her long list of marriages. She not only took on roles of strong female characters but represented one in real life. Her strength, talent, and ambition were simply unstoppable.