Elizabeth Taylor started out as a child star in films like Lassie Comes Home, National Velvet, and Little Women throughout the 1940s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that she ascended to true Hollywood royalty. Her purportedly violet eyes and porcelain features transfixed audiences in films like A Place in the Sun, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Butterfield 8. She was married eight times, to seven men (she married Richard Burton twice). She won two Oscars and was nominated for three more, eventually nabbing the Academy Awards’ humanitarian prize as well. As her on-screen career waned, she had a second act as an AIDS activist, befriending Elton John and Michael Jackson in the process. And throughout it all, she showed off her decadent, globe-trotting style— she has become perhaps just as well known for her extravagant jewelry box as the film roles that brought her acclaim. (Many of her biggest statements, of course, being gifts exchanged with ex-husband Burton, who once said, “I introduced her to beer and she introduced me to Bulgari.”) She paired high-wattage jewels with brightly colored chiffon and an array of fur coats, swaddling herself in white fur any chance she got. See a few of her best archival style moments, here.
British-born actor Elizabeth Taylor swings her leg over a horse as she mounts it, 1947. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
British-born actress Elizabeth Taylor with a female friend or relative, circa 1949. Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor in a quilted velveteen skirt and a rhinestone-buttoned blouse by Hi-Dee, October 1948.
Elizabeth Taylor with fiancé Conrad Hilton at the Auteuil Racecourse steeplechase in Paris, France, June 1950.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor attends the premiere of the movie “Moby Dick” on July 2, 1956 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
British-born American actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011) in a swimming pool, wearing a one-piece, leopard print swimsuit, circa 1955. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor emerges from a limousine on her wedding day to Conrad ‘Nicky’ Hilton on May 6, 1950 in Beverly Hills, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a wide-brimmed had and silk, A-line dress, heads back to Hollywood from Moscow with then-husband Eddie Fisher, July 1961.
Elizabeth Taylor looked positively regal in a yellow coat with marabou feather trim and a matching head piece for the Maxim’s 75th anniversary party with Richard Burton in Paris, France, October 1968.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a white dress and loafers with a fur coat draped over her arm, arrives at the Plaza Hotel with Richard Burton’s daughter Kate and her dog in New York, New York, May 1969.
Elizabeth Taylor in a blue sundress with a yellow embroidered sash with Richard Burton at the annual Publicists Guild Awards in Century City, California, April 1970.
Elizabeth Taylor and Maria Bruton at a formal event in New York circa 1970. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor at Hollywood party after winning an Oscar, which is on table in front of her. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor led stars like Gene Kelly, Jack Nicholson, and Audrey Hepburn in “America the Beautiful,” wearing a strapless red dress, at the 48th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, March 1976.
Elizabeth Taylor at the “A Flea in Her Ear” Paris premiere on October 1, 1968. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a fur-trimmed hooded coat, with Richard Burton, February 1982.
British-born American actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011), holding her Oscar for Best Actress in ‘Butterfield 8’, with her husband, American singer and actor Eddie Fisher (1928 – 2010), at the 33rd Academy Awards, Santa Monica, California, 17th April 1961. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a very mod crocheted look with a wicker bag and head scarf, on holiday with Richard Burton, February 1982.
Elizabeth Taylor, ever the fan of a white fur coat, paired it with black heeled booties and a black beret in Washington, D.C., February 1982.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor posing on a sofa at her home in Los Angeles, California, April 1987. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor, in a majestic sea blue dress, with Roddy McDowall, August 1985.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor stands January 19, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Married actors Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011) and Richard Burton (1925 – 1984) arrive at Heathrow Airport in London, en route from South Africa, 10th November 1975. A month earlier, they had married each other for the second time in Botswana. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor, wearing dark sunglasses, and Richard Burton in an airplane, c. 1970. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor in a black, white, and grey gown at the Film Society of Lincoln Center Tribute to her career in New York, New York, May 1986.
Elizabeth Taylor wore a black long-sleeved gown with a daring front cutout for the 42nd annual Golden Globes, where she won the Cecil B. DeMille award — whose most recent recipient was none other than Meryl Streep — in Los Angeles, California, January 1985.
Actress Liz Taylor in a Theatre on September 24,1982 in New York, New York. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor leaving the Carlyle Hotel in New York on December 1, 1980. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor in a yellow gown with matching heels at the 65th annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles, California, March 1993.
Elizabeth Taylor concocted a birthday look for the ages — teal velvet with a beaded chiffon jacket — at the ABC special celebrating her 65th birthday with Michael Jackson, February 1997.
English actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932 – 2011), circa 1986. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor, who never met a white coat she couldn’t match to an occasion, celebrated her 53rd birthday in London, England, February 1985.
Even in her older years, Elizabeth Taylor still favored fur trim; here, she opts for brighter colors at the 15th annual Carousel of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills, California, October 2002.
Elizabeth Taylor is honored at PACT at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on November 16, 1991 in Los Angeles, California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Elizabeth Taylor attained Peak Muu Muu in a mint green ensemble with silver trim embellishments, accompanied by Elton John in Chopard jewelry, at the 13th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Oscars party in West Hollywood, California, February 2005.
Elizabeth Taylor wore a futuristic silver cloak (and a brief sighting of her silver hair) attending a CFDA honors in her name in New York, New York, February 1998.