Thursday, March 24, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, Savvy, Steely-Eyed Business Woman

Elizabeth Taylor may be remembered for her sultry and dramatic roles in Cleopatra, Butterfield 8, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Yet despite being the first actor to receive $1 million for a movie two Best Actress Oscars, her main source of recent income was most likely not from her films, but her branded products. One of the first celebrities to endorse a perfume, Taylor launched her first fragrance, Passion, in 1987. It's still licensed with beauty products company, Elizabeth Arden.

"That was really setting the standard. Celebrities had not really done that before," said William J. Mann, author of How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood.

Doing so allowed Taylor to "keep herself comfortable in her later years," according to Mann.

"It shows how smart she was," Mann said. "People think about her as a glamorous movie star. She was actually a very smart business woman."


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