The movie star is Earth Mother, and we are all flops. Rising from child star to respected actress and a key figure in the rise of celebrity culture as audiences lapped up her off-screen romances, Taylor was a star like no other. Her longevity and dedication to philanthropy only furthered that image. Her career spanned from actor to activist and so much in between.
But in spite of all that, Taylor has never been the subject of an authorized biography. Until now. EW can exclusively debut the cover for Elizabeth Taylor: The Grit and Glamour of an Icon by Kate Andersen Brower. Coming to bookshelves Dec. 6, the biography is the first to tell Taylor’s story with the full cooperation of the Trustees of her estate: Barbara Berkowitz, Tim Mendelson, and Quinn Tivey.
“We are proud to announce the first-ever, authorized written biography about Elizabeth,” said the estate in a statement. “Because she was the most famous woman in the world, everyone thinks they know her. We can assure you that they don’t. Kate Andersen Brower will lean into her journalistic background and curiosity to delight readers and introduce them to an Elizabeth only those closest to her knew.”
The biography will tell the story of Taylor’s life using rare archival materials, never-before-seen love letters, unpublished photographs, and interviews with many close friends and family who have never spoken about Taylor publicly before. Brower’s work will explore Taylor’s indelible influence on pop culture and the concept of modern-day celebrity.
“I’m honored to be the first biographer granted access to the private archives of Elizabeth Taylor who is unmatched as the most famous celebrity and influencer of her time,” Brower said in a statement. “I hope that reading Elizabeth’s own words describing her many loves and losses, and her own revelations about what it takes to survive Hollywood will give the reader insight into who she really was and the nature of global celebrity. Her close friend the actor Colin Farrell said it well when he told me: ‘She was honest and raw and brutal and grotesque and feminine and delicate and aggressive and soft and tender and warm and acerbic. She was limitless.'”
Brower, a CNN contributor and author of The Residence, First Women, and Team of Five, brings plenty of biographical experience to bear. “This is a perfect match of author to subject,” said HarperCollins VP, Executive Editor Gail Winston in a statement. “A best-selling highly acclaimed author of intriguing biographical subject matter, Kate will bring grace, wonderful writing, empathy and style to a new consideration of this remarkable woman.”
The biography is just one of a slew of projects about Taylor’s life that the estate has in the works. There’s also Elizabeth the First, a podcast about Taylor narrated by Katy Perry coming this fall, and a film, A Special Relationship, starring Rachel Weisz as Taylor.