18 Of Elizabeth Taylor’s Most Iconic Magazine Covers

Lindsay Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and Jennifer Aniston may have cornered the market on celebrity weekly covers, but Elizabeth Taylor’s fame — and, let’s be honest, beauty — puts them all to shame. In honor of the late screen siren, we’ve compiled 18 of Taylor’s most iconic covers, plus an excerpt from Time magazine’s 1949 cover story of the then-bourgeoning starlet.

From “Elizabeth Taylor: Star Rising”:

At 17, 5 ft. 4½ in., 112 Ibs., Elizabeth Taylor is a great beauty. She is a perfect type of the Black Irish. She has heavy black hair and brows that are also black and thick, but not a whit too thick to frame her large, luxuriantly lashed blue eyes, which darken into violet in the least shadow. Her complexion has been described by an ecstatic publicity man as “a bowl of cream with a rose floating in it.” Cameramen have paid her Hollywood’s ultimate compliment to beauty: “She doesn’t have a bad angle.”

…Elizabeth has only a little temperament and almost no side; she pretends to no more learning than she needs, reads little besides movie magazines, hates school, loves ice-cream sodas, convertibles and swimming pools, and admires big strong men.

Then one day a Metro photographer walked up to Elizabeth and said: “I thought you’d like to know that the boys have voted you the most beautiful woman they have ever photographed.” “Mother!” gasped Elizabeth, “did you hear what he said? He called me a woman!”

…The day is coming soon, say some Hollywood seers, when Elizabeth may get fed up with being watched. They already see signs that she is trying her wings: she is tired of her Cadillac and wants another; she wants a mink stole; in Paris last winter she went on a clothes-buying spree and overdrew her checking account; in London she snapped back at her teacher, “Wouldn’t it be nice if Miss Anderson dropped right through the floor!”

…When Elizabeth talks about her future in the movies, her eyes flash sapphire sparks. “What I’d really like to play,” she gasps excitedly, “is a monster—a hellion.” MGM’s Billy Grady thinks she has the temperament as well as the beauty to become a great star—”And when she begins to show it—Oh, Brother!”

LIFE magazine covers via Life.com and for never before seen images of Taylor, click here.

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