Heathwood, 8 Wildwood Road,
Hampstead (February 27, 1932-April 1939)
Heathwood is the Hampstead (North London) home where Elizabeth was born in
1932. Located on 8 Wildwood Road, the three story, 5082 square foot red
brick Georgian style home designed by Matthew Dawson was built in 1926.
Inside, the home has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, a sitting
room, a large kitchen/breakfast room, and even servant’s accommodations. The
home was previously owned by the esteemed painter Augustus John, whose
paintings remained on the walls when the Taylors moved in. A few years
later, Augustus John’s success in America would be in large part due to
Francis Taylor, who sold his paintings exclusively in the United States.
Outside the home features lush gardens, described by Elizabeth’s mother,
Sara Taylor as having “tulips almost three feet high, forget-me-nots, yellow
and lavender violas, flaming snapdragons, rich red wallflowers, and a formal
rose garden that terraced down to [the] heath”. The seven acre Turners Wood
Bird Sanctuary was accessible through the Taylor’s garden, and if that
wasn’t enough, the backyard also sported a tennis court.
In 2008, Heathwood was put up for sale for the first time in almost thirty
years for £6.5 million pounds—and sold quickly.
Little Swallows was the Taylors weekend and summer country home; a
sixteenth-century gamekeeper’s lodge located on family friend Colonel Victor
Cazalet’s country estate, Great Swifts, near Cranbrook, Kent. The home was
named Little Swallows after the family of swallows that lived outside
Elizabeth’s bedroom window, but previously it was known locally as the
“haunted house” as immortalized by Jeffrey Farnol in his novel, The Broad
The home was described as a place where birds perpetually sang. “It was so
beautiful,” Elizabeth once wrote, “like a little house out of a Walt Disney
film nestled against a lovely woods that was almost like a bird sanctuary.”
It was pure heaven for the budding animal lover. “There were hundreds of
acres to roam over and a farm of sorts. My brother and I made pets of all
the animals—pet rabbits, pet turtles, pet lambs, pet goats, pet chickens. It
was my idea of real bliss.” On the weekends Elizabeth would ride her pony,
Betty, a gift from her godfather Victor Cazalet.
The Taylors made the lodge more habitable for a modern family, adding
electricity and a bathroom (created in the old dairy), which, according to
biographer Alan Levy, “had water pumped from fifty miles away.” The spacious
home boasted fourteen rooms of beautiful proportions, each featuring
beautiful leaded casement windows and warmed by a fireplace. The rooms were
furnished with antiques found at auction (including a twenty person
captain’s table), and each bedroom contained a brass bed. The coal cellar
was made into a pub, a wood paneled room christened the ‘Ye Olde Rat Hole’
where visitors, relaxing on discarded beer kegs, could order their drink of
choice. Elizabeth and her brother Howard added their own touch to the home’s
decor, painting the letters of the alphabet on the Wedgwood blue painted
floor in the bathroom.
Elizabeth’s father, Francis, also turned his attention outside, where he
created a lush, herbaceous English country garden. Elm, linden, fruit trees
and a new lawn were planted, and a stone fireplace was transformed into a
barbecue, perfect for summer meals.
(December 1939-Autumn 1941)
In 1940, the Taylors rented a bungalow for a short time in Pacific
703 North Elm Drive, Beverly
Hills (Autumn 1941-1950)
After Francis Taylor relocated his uncle’s art gallery to the Beverly Hills
Hotel, the Taylors moved into a home at nearby 703 North Elm Drive.
Biographer Alexander Walker described it as “A low building in the Spanish
style, with pink stucco walls and red roof tiles, it had a huge round-arched
window facing the road and a dusty front ‘yard’ with an olive tree in it.”
Elizabeth would call North Elm Drive home for a decade, until her marriage
to Nicky Hilton.
Hotel Bel-Air (1950)
Elizabeth and her new husband Nicky Hilton resided for a short time in a
five-room suite at the Hotel Bel-Air where Nicky was the vice president and
manager. The stay was supposed to be short lived as the pair had plans to
build their own home, but the marriage quickly turned sour, and the couple
1060 Wilshire Boulevard,
Westwood (February 1951-July 1954)
After Elizabeth and her first husband Nicky Hilton separated, Elizabeth
relocated to an apartment on Wilshire Boulevard in the Westwood area of Los
Angeles with her secretary, Peggy Rutledge. The apartment, which was in a
five-story, pink stucco building, consisted of five rooms which included two
bedrooms. Elizabeth’s downstairs neighbour was her Little Women
costar, Janet Leigh, and her then husband Tony Curtis. Elizabeth lived at
the apartment for a little while during her marriage to Michael Wilding, but
the newlyweds were forced to look for a larger home when Elizabeth found out
she was pregnant with son Michael Jr.
Bruton Street, London
Elizabeth lived for a short while at Michael Wilding’s London home before
moving permanently to Los Angeles.
1771 Summitridge Drive,
Beverly Hills (Summer 1952-July 1954)
When expectant parents Elizabeth and Michael Wilding began searching for a
family home, Elizabeth fell in love with 1771 Summitridge Drive and its
beautiful, lush garden. Elizabeth immediately made plans for the inside of
the $75,000 home: “We will have the outside painted yellow, with white
shutters, the living room will be in grey with periwinkle blue—my favourite
colour.” $40,000 was the amount Elizabeth anticipated shelling out to
decorate the home’s interior, which had three bedrooms and a spectacular
view over the city.
1375 Beverly Estate Drive,
Beverly Hills (July 1954-?)
Noticing a for sale sign at 1375 Beverly Estate Drive, Elizabeth and Michael
Wilding hopped over the wall to get a better look at the property. Realizing
that the sliding glass door was unlocked, the couple crept inside and began
exploring the home. Elizabeth quickly fell in love. What she didn’t know was
that the home, which was made of glass and adobe, was designed by architect
George MacLean with her in mind. In her book, An Informal Memoir,
Elizabeth describes the unique interior: “One whole wall was built of bark
with fern and orchids growing up the bark, and the bar was made of stone.
And the fireplace had no chimney. There was a device making the smoke go
down under the building and out through the barbecue pit.” Elizabeth also
recalled that “You really couldn’t distinguish between the outside and
inside. And all the colors I loved—off white, white, natural woods, stone,
beigy marble. The pool was so beautiful. There were palm trees and rock
formations—it looked like a natural pool, with trees growing out of it. It
was the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen.” The state of the art home also
featured an intercom, automated doors, light dimmers, automated curtains,
and a movie screen. The architect later became godfather to Elizabeth’s son,
After Elizabeth put the home on the market, Ingrid Berman toured the home as
a potential buyer.
715 Park Avenue, Manhattan
Elizabeth and Mike Todd lived for a short while in a chic apartment at 715
Park Avenue in Manhattan.
After the Todds gave up their Park Avenue apartment, they leased a home in
Westport, Connecticut. The Todds chose the home in part because it was near
Harkness Pavilion where Elizabeth was due to give birth to baby Liza Todd.
Other Westport residents at the time included Paul Newman and Joanne
1330 Schuyler Drive, Beverly
Hills (September 1957-1958)
Elizabeth and Mike Todd had planned to live in this white stucco,
Mediterranean style home only for a short time, before looking for a more
lavish home. Unfortunately, after the death of Mike Todd, all of Elizabeth’s
plans for the future were put on hold. She vacated the home on Schuyler
Drive because it brought back too many painful memories.
Copa de Oro Road, Bel-Air
After the death of Mike Todd, Elizabeth lived in a home on Copa de Oro Road
Chalet Ariel, Gstaad,
Elizabeth and then husband Eddie Fisher purchased Chalet Ariel for $280,000
in the early 1960s. The home was originally built for an oil tycoon from
Texas, and his ballerina wife, but the two divorced during construction—work
on the unfinished house grinding to a halt. At the time the Fishers
purchased the chalet, Gstaad was quickly becoming a favourite hot spot for
the rich and famous. Over the years, residents would include Henry Ford II,
the Aga Khan, the former King Umberto of Italy, Blake Edwards and Julie
Andrews, Peter Sellers and Lynne Frederick, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood,
and Roger Moore. Since Elizabeth purchased Chalet Ariel (which she still
owns to this day), the home has become a mainstay in a very busy and hectic
life, and has been the hub of many holidays and family gatherings.
Originally leasing Casa Kimberley (named after a former inhabitant), a white
stucco villa in the Gringo Gulch area of Puerto Vallarta, the Burtons were
so taken by the property that they eventually purchased it for $40,000. Once
a small fishing village, Puerto Vallarta became a world-class destination
after Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made it their home.
Although the spacious home already had seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms,
the Burtons built another villa across the alley and joined the two by a
bridge inspired by Venice’s Bridge of Sighs. The newer house, used primarily
by Burton, has a deck on the roof which provides a magnificent view over all
Elizabeth’s main four floor villa had a tiled roof, patios, and six
bedrooms. According to biographer Alexander Walker, “Shutters allowed the
air to circulate, Caribbean-style, through every room in the building.” The
Burtons touch is apparent everywhere. The bar, designed by Richard, has
images of several of the Catholic Saints. In Elizabeth’s penthouse, Burton
had a heart-shaped bathtub commissioned just for her. Outside the property
is shaded with fragrant banana and papaya plants, lemon trees and coconut
palms. Throughout the property one can see spectacular views over Puerto
Vallarta’s Banderas Bay, Old Town, and the River Cuale.
Elizabeth owned Casa Kimberly until 1990, when she sold it, leaving behind
the home’s original furnishings, art, and her other personal property. Today
the home is run as a bed and breakfast, but you can also stop by for a tour.
Click here for more information.
Kalizma (May 1967-?)
After renting the 279-ton, 147-foot former steamboat called the Odysseia,
the Burtons bought it for $192,000. The Burtons renamed it the Kalizma,
after their daughters: Kate Burton, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. Updated by
the designer Barbosa, the yacht, finished in Edwardian mahogany and chrome,
had seven cabins and two staterooms which could house a total of fourteen
guests, including the five man crew. Inside, the yacht was brimming with
beautiful objet d’art, including expensive paintings by Monet, Picasso, Van
Gogh, and Vlaminck; a bust of Churchill by Epstein in the salon, Burton’s
books, as well as fine Chippendale furniture and English tapestries. Said
Burton of their new floating home, “I can’t as ‘twere stop touching it and
staring at it, as if it were a beautiful baby or a puppy-dog. Something you
can’t believe is your very own.”
Nearly every week the yacht was docked at some fabulous foreign port along
the Mediterranean, and filled with such VIP guests as Rex Harrison, Rachel
Roberts, and Tennessee Williams. Each night a cold buffet of salmon, caviar
and chicken was laid out for their guests, where, over dinner, the Burtons
could tell the tale of a previous owner who would play Bach on the organ
during storms at sea.
Elizabeth later sold the Kalizma for $6 million dollars.
John Warner’s homes
After falling in love with politician John Warner, Elizabeth moved into his
2,700-acre Virginia cattle farm in Middleburg, Virginia, called Atoka Farm.
The picturesque stone home sits about a mile from the front gates. Outdoors
there is a pool, two tennis courts, and horse stable.
Elizabeth also lived in Warner’s Georgetown, Washington townhouse.
In 1981, Elizabeth, who was house hunting, purchased her current home on the
spot: a two-story brick and shingle California ranch-style house dotting a
hillside in a lush enclave of Los Angeles. The sale of the home, originally
owned by Nancy Sinatra Sr., included all the furnishings.
The home is furnished with eighteenth century English antiques, expensive
French Aubusson carpets, and one of the world’s foremost Impressionist art
collections hanging on crisp white walls. The beautifully appointed living
room contains Elizabeth’s magnificent collection of amethyst crystals,
bronze horses sculpted by daughter Liza Todd, treasured photographs, a
gilded birdcage, and an aquarium which is home to an array of tropical fish.
Flowers and plants scent the rooms, which includes several guest rooms, a
library, and a screening room. Elizabeth’s quarters, with soaring cathedral
ceilings, encompasses the entire second story of the home. The bedroom
proper (painted in Elizabeth’s signature violet) has a view over the
swimming pool below, which is surrounded by lush potted plants.
Outside, a lush tropical garden (which can be seen from the living room) was
designed by Elizabeth and her former husband Larry Fortensky, with white and
purple flowers, done at a reported cost of $200,000. Another garden, called
the jungle, is a home to many unusual birds and insects, and contains palm
fronds, birds-of-paradise, and bamboo. Elizabeth has said, “My garden is my
private world, filled with beauty and romance. It’s a source of inspiration
for many of my fragrances.” It is also a place of reflection and serenity.
“I can look out on the lovely garden, where one tree in particular inspires
me if I am down. It has an exotic, magical quality, like the woods that come
alive in The Wizard of Oz.”