Elizabeth Taylor diamond ring and other pieces of jewelry break auction record
Two-time Best Actress Oscar winner Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8, 1960; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, 1966), who died of congestive heart failure at age 79 on March 23 in Los Angeles, was known for wearing diamonds the size of icebergs.
Unsurprisingly, the Elizabeth Taylor jewelry collection – including her notorious North Pole-sized diamond ring – fetched a record-setting $115 million this past Dec. 13 at Christie’s in New York City.
Multi-carat diamond ring & Michael Jackson gift
For starters, the 33.19-carat diamond ring given her by two-time husband Richard Burton (Taylor and Burton were married and divorced twice) fetched $8.81 million.
Another trinket Taylor received from Burton – a pearl, diamond, and ruby necklace known as “La Peregrina” – went for $11.84 million. That’s a world record, as per an Associated Press report.
Also at the Elizabeth Taylor jewelry auction was a diamond bracelet Michael Jackson bought his actress-friend: it sold for $194,500.
An unspecified percentage of the proceeds from the auction will reportedly go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, established in 1991.
Five Best Actress Academy Award nominations
The London-born Elizabeth Taylor (on Feb. 27, 1932) was nominated for a total of five Best Actress Academy Awards. Her win for Butterfield 8 came on the heels of a tracheotomy; her win for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? came on the heels of some excellent acting.
- Raintree County (1957).
Cast:Montgomery Clift. Eva Marie Saint. Agnes Moorehead. Rod Taylor. Lee Marvin. Nigel Patrick.
Winner: Joanne Woodward for Nunnally Johnson’s The Three Faces of Eve.
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).
Director: Richard Brooks.
Cast:Paul Newman. Burl Ives. Judith Anderson. Jack Carson. Madeleine Sherwood.
Winner: Susan Hayward for Robert Wise’s I Want to Live!.
- Suddenly Last Summer (1959).
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Cast:Katharine Hepburn. Montgomery Clift. Mercedes McCambridge.
Winner: Simone Signoret for Jack Clayton’s Room at the Top.
- Butterfield 8 (1960).
Director: Daniel Mann.
Cast: Laurence Harvey. Eddie Fisher. Dina Merrill. Susan Oliver. Betty Field. Mildred Dunnock. Jeffrey Lynn. Kay Medford.
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
Cast: Richard Burton. Sandy Dennis. George Segal.
Elizabeth Taylor movies
Below are a few other key Elizabeth Taylor films. On the big screen, Taylor was active from 1942 (There’s One Born Every Minute) to 1980 (The Mirror Crack’d).
There would be two comebacks: Franco Zeffirelli’s Young Toscanini (1988), as one-time opera singer Nadina Bulichoff, and a cameo as Pearl Slaghoople in Brian Levant’s The Flintstones (1994).
- National Velvet (1945).
Cast: Mickey Rooney. Anne Revere. Angela Lansbury.
- A Date with Judy (1948).
Director: Richard Thorpe.
Cast:Jane Powell. Carmen Miranda. Wallace Beery. Xavier Cugat. Robert Stack. Scotty Beckett.
- Little Women (1949).
Director: Mervyn LeRoy.
Cast: June Allyson. Peter Lawford. Elizabeth Taylor. Janet Leigh. Rossano Brazzi. Margaret O’Brien. Mary Astor. Lucile Watson.
- A Place in the Sun (1951).
Cast: Montgomery Clift. Shelley Winters. Anne Revere.
- Giant (1956).
Director: George Stevens.
Cast:Rock Hudson. James Dean. Mercedes McCambridge. Jane Withers.
- Cleopatra (1963).
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton. Rex Harrison. Roddy McDowall.
- The V.I.P.s (1963).
Cast: Elizabeth Taylor. Richard Burton. Margaret Rutherford. Rod Taylor. Louis Jourdan. Elsa Martinelli. Orson Welles. Maggie Smith. Linda Christian.
- The Sandpiper (1965).
Director: Vincente Minnelli.
Cast: Richard Burton. Eva Marie Saint.
- Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967).
Director: John Huston.
Cast: Marlon Brando. Brian Keith. Julie Harris. Robert Forster. Zorro David. Gordon Mitchell.
- A Little Night Music (1976).
Cast: Diana Rigg. Lesley Anne-Down. Len Cariou. Margaret Lockwood. Hermione Gingold.
- The Mirror Crack’d (1980).
Director: Guy Hamilton.
Cast: Angela Lansbury. Kim Novak. Rock Hudson. Geraldine Chaplin. Tony Curtis. Edward Fox. Dinah Sheridan.
Check out another December 2011 Old Hollywood auction: Orson Welles’ Oscar statuette.
Elizabeth Taylor movies’ info via the IMDb.
Elizabeth Taylor Sweet Bird of Youth image: NBC.
“Elizabeth Taylor Diamond & Jewelry Collection Breaks Auction Record” last updated in July 2018.