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'I don't pretend to be an ordinary housewife'. So said Elizabeth Taylor, and therein lay her secret. From her days as a youthful minx at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to her post-studio reign as America's lustiest middle-aged movie queen, Taylor has defined the very essence of Hollywood stardom. Marching through the decades swathed in mink, discarding husbands nearly as frequently as she changed her diamond necklaces, Taylor dominated the headlines as other star before or since. From America's sweetheart to America's homewrecker and then back again, she uncannily reflected (and at times predicted) the always shifting cultural zeitgeist. How to Be a Movie Star is a different kind of book about Elizabeth Taylor: an intimate look at a girl who grew up with fame, who learned early - and well - how to be famous.
William J. Mann has written for the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and other publications. He is the author of Kate: The Woman Who Was Katharine Hepburn. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts.