In 1942, bright-eyed and London-born Elizabeth Taylor made her Hollywood debut in the film One Born Every Minute. She was a near-instant success — an incredible feat for a 10-year-old. Unlike many child stars, Taylor was able to navigate the tricky waters of show business and transition into adulthood with the same level of success.
Beyond having a long and fulfilling career, Taylor led a personal life that some would dub “scandalous.” With one sordid affair and a whopping seven marriages, Taylor could’ve written the book on romance. Despite her many marriage mates, Taylor had just four children: Michael Wilding Jr., Chris Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. Her grandchildren, however, number into the double digits. According to Vanity Fair, Taylor enjoyed having her 10 grandkids, along with her own children, visit her at her home, an impressive mansion in Bel Air.
Although she has since passed, Elizabeth Taylor’s grandchildren are keeping her legacy alive — and did we mention they’re absolutely gorgeous? Get ready to see for your self.
Laela Wilding: Elizabeth Taylor’s first granddaughter
In 1971, Taylor got to meet her very first grandchild, Laela Wilding. Growing up in northern California, Laela spent lots of time with her grandmother — including almost every holiday and occasional Sundays. Though they were close, Laela told Art & Understanding Magazine that her grandmother “didn’t play favorites” — all grandkids were loved by Taylor equally.
Laela recounted memories of her grandmother cutting her hair: “She was very artistic. She had a great eye,” Laela explained. She also enjoyed helping with makeup (smoky eye was key) and styling. “She once said to me, ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it,'” Laela revealed to the magazine. Not your typical grandmotherly advice, but, then again, Elizabeth Taylor was not your typical grandmother. These days, Laela is a graphic designer in Portland, Oregon and works closely with the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, as Taylor did when she was alive. “We are determined to support the legacy of our grandmother and let the world know the foundation is thriving,” she explained.
Naomi deLuce Wilding: a different kind of grandmother-granddaughter relationship
Laela’s little sister, Naomi deLuce Wilding, came into the world in 1975. Despite being just four years apart in age, they had different relationships with Taylor. Unlike Laela, Naomi was only able to see her grandmother over the holidays due to living in the United Kingdom. In the late ’90s, Naomi decided to take a job as a fashion designer in an attempt to get a green card. After her Manhattan apartment was burglarized, Taylor stepped in to help her second-born granddaughter.
“She said, ‘I’ll get you a lawyer, we’ll get you a green card, and everything will be okay.’ I came to stay with her and I never left [California],” Naomi told Art & Understanding Magazine. For nearly two years, she resided with her grandmother and called the experience “amazing.”
Like her big sis, Naomi is also an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Additionally, she runs the Wilding Cran Gallery, a contemporary art gallery, in Los Angelos, California, along with her husband, Anthony Cran. Like Taylor, Naomi has grown up to be a true success.
Elizabeth “Eliza” Carson: the granddaughter with Taylor’s namesake
Taylor’s adopted daughter, Maria Burton, with husband Richard Burton, went on to have a child of her own in 1982. She decided to name her little girl Elizabeth Carson.
When Elizabeth, or Eliza as she prefers to be called, was a teenager, she often stayed at her grandmother’s sprawling estate. Sometimes they’d even travel together. Eliza told Over Sixty that they’d once vacationed in the Dominican Republic for two weeks, but they “didn’t want to say goodbye” so Eliza ended up spending the whole summer with her grandmother.
While Eliza admitted that she loved the glitz and glamour of her grandmother’s lifestyle, she appreciated her humanitarianism most of all. “She always stood up for what was right,” said Taylor’s third-born granddaughter. Eliza has copied her grandmother in that aspect too. “I work for the Department of Child Protection in Manhattan. I’m doing social work,” she explained. Like her older cousins, she, too, is an ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Caleb and Andrew Wilding: the first grandsons
In the early 1980s, Taylor met her very first grandson, Caleb Wilding. Caleb was adopted by Christopher Wilding and his wife Aileen Getty after Getty had several unsuccessful pregnancies. “It was traumatic because I really wanted a child,” she told People. After adopting Caleb, Getty did go on to have a successful pregnancy and gave birth to a son, Andrew Wilding.
Getty received more traumatic news when Caleb was a toddler and Andrew was only six months old: she tested positive for HIV. She took Caleb and Andrew and fled to New York City where she binged on cocaine. “I just lost it,” the mother of two admitted. For a time, Caleb and Andrew were removed from her custody. “My children are my lifeline. But they deserved better,” Getty told People. Getty did eventually get clean and, from the looks of it, Caleb and Andrew have grown up unscathed. Andrew has even taken to Hollywood — much like his grandmother — as a cinematographer.
Quinn Tivey: is he “raunchy” like his grandmother?
While speaking at Town & Country’s Philanthropy Summit, Taylor’s sixth grandchild and the child of Liza Todd Burton and Hap Tivey, Quinn Tivey, spilled tea about his late grandmother. “A lot of people do not know this, but Grandma could be really raunchy,” he told the crowd (via Page Six). “I remember going to her house and getting into bed with her, wearing my pajamas, watching ‘Law & Order,’ eating [peanut butter and jelly] sandwiches,” he revealed. Grandma goals.
Quinn grew up to be an artist as well as a co-trustee of the Elizabeth Taylor Trust, Town & Country reported. After his beloved grandmother’s death, he and his cousin participated in an event in her honor. It was there that Quinn knew he wanted to be more involved in the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “Through that experience we had the opportunity to see how crucial it was for her family to be participating in her legacy,” he explained.
Tarquin Wilding: number seven in this “wacky, caring, sensitive” family
Tarquin Wilding, not to be confused with Quinn Tivey, is Laela and Naomi Wilding’s younger brother and the seventh grandchild to Taylor. The Taylor family tree is, of course, only made exponentially more confusing when cousins, like Tarquin and Quinn, share such similar names. That’s not all Tarquin has in common with his family members, though.
Similar to Andrew Wilding’s career as a cinematographer, Tarquin grew up to embrace Hollywood. At just 28 years old, he’s already working as a filmmaker. Tarquin is also close with his large family and reminisces fondly about his grandmother. “I often think about how lucky I am to have been born into a group of such wacky, caring, sensitive people,” he told Town & Country, “We admire my grandmother for her boundless generosity, and I believe that we all feel grateful to be able to honor and continue her legacy. Especially together.” Surely, Taylor would feel equally grateful for her amazing grandchildren.
Lowell Wilding: the grandson archiving Taylor’s life
“I was always in total awe of the good my grandmother was able to accomplish in her lifetime,” Lowell Wilding told the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. It’s obvious that Lowell’s love and appreciation for his grandmother runs deep. “She could so easily have done nothing, like so many others. Instead she fought, she cared, and she worked for people suffering with HIV/AIDS,” Taylor’s eighth grandchild explained.
Lowell said his hope is to continue her legacy, as well as preserve it. He has since backed up his words with actions. As of this writing, he is working to create a new addition to the Elizabeth Taylor Trust: an Elizabeth Taylor Archive. What a beautiful tribute to his late grandmother. Lowell, not unlike many of his relatives, lives in Los Angeles. This way, he is but a hop, skip, and a jump away from Beverly Hills, where his grandmother’s trust is based and her legacy is, as Lowell hoped, preserved and continued.
Rhys Tivey: an accomplished and artsy grandson
At 27, Rhys Tivey has already accomplished so much. According to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Rhys grew up in a rural part of upstate New York before moving to the city to pursue a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. These days, he is a triple threat: a trumpeter, vocalist, and a songwriter. In addition to performing throughout the Big Apple, Rhys has taught music and yoga to middle school children all over the city, from Brooklyn to Manhattan to the Bronx.
He definitely echoes his grandmother’s legacy, which is, as he says, to “acknowledge the soul of every person… and treat them with great respect” regardless of “color, culture, or class.” Not only that but, as a vegan, Rhys told Vegan Food & Living that he’s very interested in reducing his carbon footprint. “Climate change is a giant concern, and I hope will be for everyone, especially those in my generation and younger,” he explained.
Richard McKeown: grandbaby number 10
Although not much is known about Elizabeth Taylor’s youngest grandchild, 17-year-old Richard McKeown, we do know he was swept up in all kinds of drama as a child. According to Wales Online, Richard, who is named after his grandfather, was living with his mother, Maria Burton, when she filed a restraining order against Tom McKeown, young Richard’s father.
In a familiar case of he-said she-said, McKeown claimed his wife hadn’t been “functioning as a mother” when a restraining order for verbal abuse came out of nowhere — supposedly, of course. “I ended up homeless,” he explained. Maria Burton’s friend, on the other hand, said there had been “violence against Maria, and that’s why the courts have given her custody of her son.” Mike McCormick, director of the American Coalition For Fathers And Children, who supported McKeown, further added, “It’s a tragedy not only for him, but for a child too young to express his loss.”
Thankfully, her grandson appears to be just fine, according to his Facebook page, and we haven’t heard anymore talk of custody battles. No news is good news, right?