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Elizabeth Taylor had family ties to Arkansas City

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, March 30, 2012, at 4:21 p.m.

Although Elizabeth Taylor was born in England, her parents were raised in Arkansas City.

Consequently, her first Christmas, in 1932, was spent in her grandparents' home at 310 N. A St. in Arkansas City. She was 10 months old.

She returned to Ark City to her grandparents' home during the winter of 1937, and she and her brother, Howard, briefly attended Ark City's Roosevelt Elementary School.

During World War II, Taylor's parents settled in Los Angeles, where her maternal grandparents, the Warmbrodts, were living. Taylor's father was an art dealer. Her mother was a stage actress, who changed her name to Sara Sothern.

In 1979, Taylor returned to Kansas briefly with her then-husband, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., to visit the Topeka home of former Gov. and Mrs. Alf Landon.

In 2006, Taylor was invited to attend the 75th anniversary of the Arkalalah Festival in Ark City. She turned down the invitation but sent a check for $750 to help cover the costs of the festival's Parade of Lights.

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