It was not only her great beauty that made Elizabeth Taylor a star, it was how she lived her life and shared her good fortune with others. Because of her many gifts, her name will live on long after her death, which took place exactly a year ago, March 23.
To mark the anniversary, Life.com has assembled a special gallery of the legend who graced the weekly magazine’s cover a record 14 times – starting on July 14, 1947, when Taylor was only 15 but already an MGM star for having created a sensation three years before, in National Velvet.
The 13 never-before-published photos all come from Life‘s visit with Taylor and her similarly stunning costar (and close friend) Montgomery Clift on the Paramount lot while the two were making the 1951 tragic drama A Place in the Sun.
It was in that classic film that Taylor wore a party dress by costume designer Edith Head that an entire generation of high-school girls then imitated for their prom gowns – just as Liz’s wedding dress in Father of the Bride served as the model when American brides walked down the aisle.
As nearly any photo of her proves, rarely is the word “icon” so accurate as when it is applied to Elizabeth Taylor.
To see the Life.com gallery, click here.