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Elizabeth Taylor: Her Ten Essential Movies

The world has lost one of its most iconic actresses -- Elizabeth Taylor died this morning at the age of 79. While she wasn't the most prolific actress later in life, she worked from a young age, won two Oscars, and appeared in some of the most epic or acclaimed films of all time, although they usually weren't both. In case you only know about her abstractly, as that actress who was married a bunch of times, here's our list of the ten Liz Taylor films everyone should see, for better or worse, and in chronological order. They're not the best, they're just the ten we recommend.

National Velvet (1944)
This beloved classic, about a horse destined for the glue factory who becomes a champion, starred 12-year-old Taylor as the little girl who believes in him, and becomes his trainer and jockey. It arguably inspired every girl-and-her-horse story ever published or made into a movie, thereby making the Family Channel possible.

Life with Father (1947)
This comedy about a stuffy stockbroker's interactions with his family was a book, a play and later a TV series, but the movie featured Taylor as the love interest of the man's oldest son. Their romantic subplot is secondary to the stockbroker's misadventures, but the movie is still funny 60-plus years later.

Father of the Bride (1950)
Before Steve Martin began his long decline into family-friendly comedy with the 1991 remake, Taylor played the daughter of gruff patriarch Spencer Tracy in this story about the hazards of planning a wedding. Taylor also appeared in a sequel the following year, Father's Little Dividend.

A Place in the Sun (1951)
Taylor plays the rich girl and Shelley Winters the poor girl in a Monty Clift love triangle, but if the title of this six-Oscar picture makes it sound uplifting, bear in mind that it's based on a book and play called An American Tragedy. You've been warned.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Taylor and Paul Newman play a married couple with issues in this adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play, and they both got Academy Award nominations for it. Marital problems -- Oscar bait for over 50 years now, and counting.

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Another Tennessee Williams joint, in which a woman (Katharine Hepburn) wants to get her institutionalized niece (Taylor) lobotomized after she witnesses her cousin's murder while on vacation. To be fair, if I saw what she saw, I'd want to get a lobotomy, too.

BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Taylor won the Academy Award for playing a woman of loose morals in this movie, which imitates life by having her steal actor Eddie Fisher away from his wife. She truly was the Angelina Jolie of her day. Speaking of the woman who would play Cleopatra...

Cleopatra (1963)
Critically panned, historically inaccurate and slow to recoup its massive budget, this movie is mainly legendary for its excessive cost and Taylor's affair with Richard Burton. But it's worth seeing just for the lavish sets and Taylor's numerous costume changes. (She wore 65 different outfits in the movie.)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967)
Taylor got her other Oscar for playing the ugly-drunk half of an epically dysfunctional intellectual couple who drag another couple into their verbal and psychological warfare. The movie is still the only one to be nominated for every applicable category.

The Flintstones (1994)
Taylor plays Wilma's mom in this adaptation of the cartoon, and was nominated for a Razzie for her efforts. It is epically terrible, but everyone should see it, so as to never forget.

What's your favorite Taylor film? Tell us below.

Look back at Taylor's most memorable cameos and see why she was a Hollywood legend.

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