Local Connection: Elizabeth Taylor's Marriage to VA Senator John Warner Made Georgetown her Home
The actress would spend time at both a town house in Georgetown and on Warner's Atoka Farm, in Loudoun County.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor died today in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure, according to publicist Sally Morrison. Taylor was 79.
Former Virginia Senator and current Belle Haven resident John Warner was married to the famed Hollywood star from 1976 to 1982.
Taylor and Warner had their first date at a Bicentennial dinner at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and within six months, the couple wed, according to People magazine.
The couple married at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Middleburg, Va., Dec. 4, 1976. In addition to Warner's 2,400-acre estate, Atoka Farm, in Loudoun County, Warner and Taylor also lived in a house in Georgetown at 3240 S St.
Both before and during their marriage, the couple spent a lot of time at Atoka Farm. According to People, Warner was impressed with how "countrified" Taylor was, as the actress showed familiarity with farm animals and comfort in a rural setting.
Taylor helped Warner campaign for Senate in 1978. Although Warner lost the Republican Party's nomination to Richard Obenshain, he later became the candidate after Obenshain died in a plane crash. Through his movie star looks and marriage to Taylor, Warner became known in Washington as the Senator from central casting.
Politics sometimes divided the couple, but Warner said it was the nature of their competitive relationship that gave the marriage strength.
In a disagreement made public at Republican policy conference in 1980, Taylor supported women registering for the draft, while Warner did not. Although they disagreed vehmenently, Warner told People the couple wasn't "'upset at the least about that'."
After effectively killing the bill on the floor through a filibuster, Warner called Taylor—who was in London—at 3:30 a.m. in Washington, "'just to try and provoke a response across satellite telephone'," Warner told People.
"'I've always been a people person, I've never been a partisan'," Taylor said in The Washington Post in 1979.*
The couple would talk about the issues, but it never escalated into an argument. "'And he is the senator'," Taylor said.
Taylor's marriage to the busy politician was difficult for the actress, who turned to food and drink to bolster her lowered self-esteem, Taylor later wrote in Elizabeth Takes Off.
"I felt I'd become redundant," Taylor said in the book. "I had nothing to do."
Warner retired from politics in 2008 and currently lives on Fort Drive in Belle Haven with wife Jeanne, a local real estate agent.
Warner could not be reached for comment.
*An online version of this story is unavailable. Please see the photo gallery for a PDF version.
Georgetown Patch Local Editor Shaun Courtney contributed.