When producer Mike Todd married actress Elizabeth Taylor, it was the third marriage for both, and the only one for either that did not end in divorce. Taylor and Todd married in a civil ceremony in Acapulco, Mexico, just weeks after her divorce from actor Michael Wilding. Eddie Fisher, Taylor’s future husband, stood as Todd’s best man, and Fisher’s wife, Debbie Reynolds, was matron of honor. Gossip magazines at the time characterized the relationship as tempestuous, but later in life, Taylor herself said, “I was happiest with Mike Todd,” according to ABC News. The couple welcomed a daughter, Liza, in August 1957, six months after their wedding. Todd was a prolific Broadway producer, moving from project to project, embracing new ideas and opportunities. In the early 1950s, he entered the film world, promoting a new projection technology for theaters. Notable films using his “Todd-AO” process included Oscar winners Oklahoma! and Around the World in 80 Days, but the new method failed to catch on.
Sadly, after just 13 months of marriage, Todd was killed March 22, 1958, in a plane crash while flying from Burbank to Tulsa. An investigation found that the plane, named “Lucky Liz” in honor of Taylor, was overloaded and flying too high. Taylor had originally planned to join her husband on the fateful flight, but as she had a cold at the time, Todd told her to stay home and recuperate.