In 1941, Universal Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) offered Elizabeth Taylor an opportunity to sign with them. Under the guidance of her mother, Taylor chose Universal Pictures. She made her silver screen debut in 1942 when she bagged a small role in There’s One Born Every Minute. Despite having a promising career, Taylor saw her contract terminated in March 1942 because Taylor looked different from other child actors.
A second opportunity to re-launch her career came in late 1942 when her father’s associate Samuel Marx (MGM producer) gave Taylor a chance to audition. She was chosen for a role in Lassie Come Home (1943). After impressive performances, she landed a seven-year contract with MGM in January 1943. In her early days, she portrayed uncredited roles in Jane Eyre (1943) and The White Cliffs of Dover (1944).
After accumulating large success in her teenage career, Taylor began appearing in adult roles. Her first movie as an adult came in 1949 when she portrayed the role of married woman in Conspirator. The transition to adult roles in the American entertainment industry proved fruitful. It helped Taylor grow up as an artist and more importantly as a person.
Signing with MGM provided a significant career growth for Taylor. She landed her first starring role, at the age of 12, in National Velvet (1944). The movie was a blockbuster. Following the success of the movie, Taylor was part of several major movies, which provided her with unimagined fame and career growth. The courage of Lessie (1946), Life with Farmer (1947), A Date with Judy (1948) and Little Women (1949) were some of the movies that defined her early career.
Taylor received her first Oscar nomination for the 1957 civil war drama, Raintree County. She was also nominated for her roles in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her last film with MGM, Butterfield 8.