She had recently divorced the first of her eight husbands, Conrad Hilton, Jr., and married British actor Michael Wilding. It was a period in her life when for the first time, the tight control over her life by the MGM studio felt so suffocating that she was considering leaving her acting career. She was tired and indecisive about her profession and Wilding, being 20 years her senior, represented a safe haven. Wilding, on the other hand, felt marriage to Taylor might boost his sagging career.
In 1954, the newlyweds bought a new Beverly Hills house that Taylor described in her book Elizabeth Taylor: An Informal Memoir, as “the most beautiful house I've ever seen.” Taylor put the movie studio out of her mind and threw herself into being a wife and mother to her two sons who were born and raised at their home during their infancy.
After several years as a housewife and mother, in 1956 Elizabeth was offered what she felt was a good film and was happy to accept the female lead in Giant. Rumors flew around Hollywood that while she was filming, Wilding was entertaining a bevy of strippers inside the home. A year later, she and Michael were divorced and she sold the house in 1957. About the same time she married her third husband, Mike Todd.
The current owner, now 90 years old, hired starchitect Budd Holden to redesign the house when he purchased it in 1997. He added 2,000 square feet and opened it to the expansive city and ocean views by adding a large number of windows and ceiling-to-floor glass doors to access the terraces and gardens. Sited on over two private gated acres with a palm-shaded fountain entry courtyard, the 7,781-square-foot house has six bedrooms, seven baths, four fireplaces, an art studio, sauna and library. All rooms are large with glass walls to view the surrounding garden, patios, pool or city views from every room.
The estate where 22-year-old legendary beauty and film star Elizabeth Taylor began her family with her second husband Michael Wilding is for sale, priced at $15.9 million. Listing agents are Joyce Rey & Arlene Rutenberg of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, Beverly Hills.
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