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After her success in NATIONAL VELVET, Elizabeth was
considered a big-enough box-office draw to carry a picture (with a little
help from Lassie). In the third of the Lassie series, THE COURAGE OF
LASSIE (1946), Taylor, now in her early teens, plays the daughter of a
sheep-herding family in the Pacific Northwest who adopts and raises a
wounded puppy (whom she names "Bill").
Although the dog is, as usual, the star of the show, and the
story doesn't give Taylor the acting opportunities she had in NATIONAL VELVET,
the fact that Frank Morgan was the only significant supporting character in this
film demonstrates the confidence MGM had in their new
- "Every day I pray to God to give me
horses -- wonderful horses -- to make me the best rider in England." --as
Velvet Brown in NATIONAL VELVET.
- "I can't help it, Father. I'd sooner have that
horse happy than go to heaven." --as Velvet Brown in NATIONAL VELVET.
- "You mustn't steal things." --as Kathie Merrick
in THE COURAGE OF LASSIE.
- "It's a very odd feeling -- to be someone's God."
--as Kathie Merrick in THE COURAGE OF LASSIE.
- "But how do you make hope happen?" --as Kathie
Merrick in THE COURAGE OF LASSIE.
- "If I followed my natural impulse, I'd push you in the
flower bed." --as Carol Pringle in A DATE WITH JUDY.
- "Steven's a man, Judy. And once a person is a man,
there's nothing anyone can do about it." --as Carol Pringle in A DATE WITH
- "As far as I'm concerned, there are three ages: youth,
middle age and infirmity." --as Carol Pringle in A DATE WITH JUDY.
that awkward age when she wasn't really a child or a young adult, Elizabeth
found good roles a little hard to come by, but managed to hang on to her career
with supporting roles in films with adult stars. At left is a still from
LIFE WITH FATHER (1947) starring Irene Dunne and William
After a musical debut in CYNTHIA (1947), for which her voice
was eventually dubbed, Taylor left the singing to MGM's
more qualified vocalists. In A DATE WITH JUDY (1948), Taylor appeared with
the studio's rising soprano star Jane Powell, in
the scene at right, too love struck to eat any ice cream.
Taylor joined a
host of young MGM starlets (including
Janet Leigh and
Margaret O'Brien, with Taylor and Mary
Astor at left) in the studio's Technicolor film adaptation of Louisa May
Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN (1949). Cast as Amy, the March family's
vain, proud and frivolous third daughter, Taylor wore a blonde wig for the
film and was romantically paired with Peter Lawford.
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