Her deep violet eyes and ability to bring men to their knees, a collection of jewelry to rival a royal makes summing up Elizabeth Taylor as a mere "actress" silly.

Elizabeth Taylor was a force to be reckoned with. Born with an innate confidence that allowed her, at age 12, to stun the nation with her performance in "National Velvet."

In an effort to rebrand herself for adult roles, in later years Taylor lowered her necklines and raised eyebrows. It was a confident, decidedly mature kind of sex appeal. She never seemed a victim of the male gaze, instead, she possessed and controlled her sex appeal. Her reinvention reached its pinnacle in her role as Maggie in 1958's "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." Her image, clad in a silk nightgown reclined on her bed should be as iconic as Marilyn Monroe's "The Seven Year Itch."

Many think of Taylor in 1963's "Cleopatra." The movie where she fell in love with Richard Burton, viewers can feel the tension between the two. It was also the movie that seemingly set Taylor's makeup style for the next decade. The dramatic eyeliner and pastel shadow would be her go-to look as she sampled the styles of the 60s, eventually settling on caftans.

The 70s and 80s saw Taylor married multiple times but her true love affair became jewelry. She said that the acquisition of bling was not so much a hobby but fate. "My mother says I didn't open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring," she says. "I was hooked."

It's hard to find a photo where Taylor isn't wearing a stunning rock. Her image became intertwined with lavish jewelry, she named her perfume "White Diamonds." She was the first celebrity to venture out into the world of fragrance and one of the first to advertise a fragrance through commercials. The commercial occasionally still airs although Taylor died in 2011.
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"Im a survivor -- a living example of what people can go through and survive." -Elizabeth Taylor http://huff.to/Y0nGQn

(Photo credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)