Legally born as Nick Pryor, Liz lived a closeted life in Topeka, Kansas as the father of Douglas Pryor and the husband of Tracy Pryor. Unbeknownst to “his” wife, he would take some of her clothing while on business trips to sell medical products, wearing them while alone in hotel rooms.
In 1984, one such business trip led Nick and two co-workers to the Hotel Cortez, where in the privacy of his boudoir, he proceeded to dress in one of his wife's fur coats and a pair of heels. This became interrupted by the sudden presence of Elizabeth, who appeared seemingly out of nowhere and calmly sat on his bed, staring at him. Nick was deeply frightened, but this quickly turned to feeling ashamed of being found in his wife's dress, unsuccessfully attempting to convince Elizabeth that it was not as it appeared. Elizabeth, already aware of Nick's true nature, responded, “You dress like a man, walk like a man, but you smell like a woman… not your skin, your blood”.
Nick is brought to tears, stating that while Elizabeth is a beautiful woman, he will forever be trapped as an ugly man. Elizabeth tells him, "You don't lack beauty, you lack commitment", and proceeds to give him a makeover. He is christened with a new name, "Liz Taylor", and is encouraged by the vampire to embrace his true identity as female. Elizabeth urges her to go to The Roxy, stating, “Goddesses don’t speak in whispers, they scream”, but Liz is not yet comfortable with such an undertaking, so Elizabeth proposes for her to instead walk down the hallway and get ice.
On the way back to her room, Liz runs into her two coworkers, who misinterpret Liz as being gay and begin to launch homophobic slurs at her, misgender her, and demand to know if she has AIDS. After a brief onslaught of this, Liz shouts at them, saying “I’m not gay!.. Look at me, you piece-of-shit bastards! See me and go to hell!”, and pushes them away down the hallway. Elizabeth appears behind the duo and slices both of their throats with her chain mail glove, much to a shocked and horrified Liz. Elizabeth samples her victims' blood by licking the blade on her finger, revealing her true inhuman nature. At some point shortly after this, she hires Liz to work at the hotel.
Liz is a bartender at the hotel and shares desk duty with the manager, Iris.
In 2010, Liz met John Lowe during his first visit at the hotel, but pretended as though he was a new tenant in 2015 during his investigation of the Ten Commandments Killer case, after Elizabeth and James March made an agreement to erase his memories of being a serial killer.
Personality and Appearance
Liz Taylor is a transgender woman who works as a bartender at the haunted Hotel Cortez, usually listening to other people's conversations without participating in them; she will, however, discreetly advise her unaware patrons to be cautious if she sees they could potentially be in danger.
Partial to large earrings, thin embroidered neck scarves, and Cleopatra-style makeup, Liz challenges society's notions of external female beauty due to her masculine bald head and wrinkles, but her empathetic, wise, and world-weary nature cements her as one of the most heartwarming characters in American Horror Story's cruel universe. Having lived her entire life trapped in the shadows of others' judgements until she was "reborn" her true self, Liz is easily able to recognize the losses of those around her due to her own misfortunes as an outcast, and is always willing to offer a helping hand towards those who've experienced trauma.
Because of her compassion and loyalty, Liz does not treat the supernatural beings she encounters with fear or disdain, as she recognizes that they, too, have suffered similarly to their human counterparts. She reminds them that they are not the monsters society has made them out to be, and demonstrates how wonderstruck she is by their ability to defy the laws of physics, live forever, or practice magic when she sees they're feeling upset. As a result, Liz is one of very few human beings to not only befriend denizens of the supernatural, but be protected by them as well, who consider Liz a close friend or part of their family.
When Will Drake held a fashion show at the hotel, Liz had the enthusiasm to show the models some real-vogue moves for the show, even giving Vogue magazine editor Claudia Bankson some advice on what's "in" and what's "out".
Richard Ramirez checks into the Cortez for the Devil's Night dinner and is welcomed by Liz Taylor. When John comes to the bar, he talks to Liz and suddenly the famous serial killer Aileen Wuornos comes before she goes to Mr. March's annual Devil's Night soirée. She seduces John and he agrees to take her to his room, though Liz tries to make him say no. Later, Liz describes March's annual tradition and discovers John himself is on the invitation list for dinner. His room is missing Aileen, but a garment bag is laid on his bed with a card "Knock 'em dead tonight - Liz".
Liz questions Iris upon her return to the hotel, and offers the pallid woman some "hair of the dog". The astute Liz pours her some of Elizabeth's private stash of blood with a drop of triple sec. She reminds her that she will need to feed regularly. She is excited that the old woman has been reborn, but Iris is much more reluctant. She muses on an eternity of the invisibility of older women.
A couple of hipster guests want a cheeseboard and grilled romaine from room service. They then modify their order to pâté, and Liz is happy to oblige them with cat food on a silver platter. Liz and Iris begin bonding, and she mentions that she's not homophobic. Liz responds that she's not gay.
She recounts to Iris her married life as Nick Pryor in 1984 Topeka, and her wife (whom she married for her dress size). She was a pharmaceutical rep for Eli Lilly, and she passed up the strip clubs for transvestite sessions in her hotel room. Her room service came with an unexpected visit from Elizabeth. Elizabeth notes that her blood smells like a woman, despite her male attire and behavior. This outs Liz as a transgender woman. Liz breaks down in sobs, noting the Countess' beauty in contrast to what Liz perceives as her own "ugliness". Elizabeth says that Liz doesn't lack beauty; she lacks commitment. She offers her a life as a goddess. Elizabeth makes her over, crafting the image of Liz Taylor. She offers to take her to the Roxy, but the transwoman is afraid to emerge from the room. The Countess sends Liz on a trip for ice as a trial run, and she breezes through the hallway. She encounters her coworkers, and they are shocked to see her wearing feminine attire in public for the first time. They are cruel to Liz, as they wonder aloud if she is gay and demand to know if she has passed on AIDS to them. Elizabeth cuts their taunts short with slices to the throat and a philosophy lesson for Liz.
She never returned to Topeka, but continued sending money earned from her new job at the hotel until her children turned 18. She insists that Iris teach the hipster couple some manners, which Iris does.
Liz is thanked by Iris for the inspiration in taking accountability, and they wheel the hipsters to the cadaver chute. The two finish off the wine the couple had ordered. Iris says it's ironic that she never learned how to live until she'd died.
Tristan and Liz have an affair. Liz introduces her new paramour to books by Brontë and Oscar Wilde. Liz explains that only after her transition did she feel free. Tristan asks if Liz is falling in love with him, and Liz is unsure; Tristan says that he is falling in love with her. They cuddle, and Liz explains the finer points of being a transgender, heterosexual girl. Liz is unsure about having betrayed Elizabeth, but Tristan thinks she'd understand.
Liz serves Ramona a drink. She says that while she appreciates Ramona's return, she must ask her to leave. Before she leaves, Liz also tells Ramona about her affair with Tristan. Liz and Ramona disagree about how violent Elizabeth's reaction will be once she finds out about them.
Elizabeth notices that Liz appears concerned about something. Liz reveals to her that she and Tristan have been carrying on an affair for a few weeks. Elizabeth says that she doesn't share, but that she would consider giving Tristan to her when she was done with him. Liz pleads her case again, and Elizabeth says that they will talk it over.
Liz and Tristan are greeted by the Countess, and she asks the two lovers to sit while she pours them each a drink. Elizabeth says that she does not enjoy betrayal. Tristan objects and points out that Elizabeth's great passion is abandoning those in her wake. She asks them if they truly want each other, and when they agree she slices Tristan's throat while Liz cries over his body.
Liz is mourning Tristan at the Blue Parrot Lounge when she is verbally attacked by a greatly shaken John Lowe, who wants answers about the killings. Liz then tells him, raising her voice, that she will make him regret it if John will again lay hands on her and their little discussion is interrupted by Sally.
While planning her wedding, Elizabeth tells Liz to have the flowers delivered on Wednesday morning. Liz balks, incensed that Elizabeth would involve her in wedding tasks after she killed Tristan. Elizabeth says that Tristan didn't know how to love, and therefore could not have loved Liz. Liz insists that Elizabeth didn't know him at all, and walks away.
Liz escorts an elderly couple to their final room service, where they jointly shoot each other in the head. Liz thinks that their pact to die by each other's side is beautiful, but Iris is annoyed at the amount of scrubbing required. Liz breaks into tears, still reminded of Tristan. She contemplates her own suicide, but is stopped by Iris with the reminder that her ghost will be stuck on the premises if she has unfinished business. Liz always planned to make things right with her son. Iris reveals that she plans her own death, now that she doesn't have Donovan to live for. Together they make a suicide pact to be enacted once their affairs are in order.
Hazel brokers a vacation to the Cortez for Liz's son, whom she hasn't seen in 31 years. She cautions Liz to be cautious of how accepting her son will be. Liz presents Hazel with oxygen infused laundry soap in exchange.
Liz serves her son Douglas Pryor, who now works for a storage-unit company. As time wears on, they talk about Douglas' life and his lost dreams. Liz does not tell Douglas that she is his biological father. Douglas talks about his father's abandonment and their chance at re-connection. Liz offers to buy him another drink, but Douglas shies away with a "maybe next time".
Liz and Iris present an elated Hazel with a hybrid washer and dryer unit in gratitude for helping him with her son. As they leave, they begin to plan their double suicide. Hazel calls after them, telling Liz that Douglas awaits him in the bar. Douglas tells Liz that they are going to be following his dreams in Boulder, as Liz suggested. Liz becomes tongue-tied while trying to tell her son the truth, but Douglas has already derived it and knew from the beginning that Liz is his father. Liz apologizes for having abandoned him, but he is well adjusted and has his wife for a sympathetic ear. Liz is still skeptical that he is not more unnerved at his father now being a woman, but Douglas responds that reality television prepared him and says that there's plenty of room for another woman in his life.
An elated Liz breaks the news to Iris, who has prepared a tribute video and a selection of implements. Iris is upset at having been abandoned again, now by her best friend. Liz says that "women of a certain age" should be running the world, and are entitled to another chance. The bartender says that the best is yet to come, and alludes to taking over the hotel and killing the Countess.
Liz loads a revolver and hands it to Iris, who heralds the arrival of Elizabeth. They plan their raid on the penthouse to kill the Countess. Their plan does not go as planned, as a tender moment between Elizabeth and Donovan is interrupted as Liz and Iris, who break into the penthouse hold guns in each hand and begin shooting at the couple. Donovan attempts to be a human shield for Elizabeth, who is hit multiple times but makes a hasty exit. Iris and Liz carry the severely injured Donovan out the door to the curb as he pleads not to be trapped as a ghost with her former lovers. He asks if he is safe before he dies in the street.
Liz incinerates Donovan and brings Iris his ashes, in a Campfire Gold coffee can.
Iris and Liz discuss freeing Ramona as a weapon against Elizabeth (having failed to kill her themselves). They were unaware of the Lost Boys and Will being inside, but are terrified when they discover Ramona is already free. Ramona is skeptical about their loyalties and she assumes that Elizabeth sent them to finish her off. They try to mollify her, and she feels ill. She needs to take a fresh life. They are about to bring in someone off the street and are armed to do so, but they find Queenie in the lobby. Liz recognizes Queenie from her coven's announcement on CNN. They lead her to her room.
More than a year after his death, Will regrets the death of his business in his heirless absence. Liz suggests that he bring Lachlan from boarding school for a visit, but Will doesn't want his son to be exposed to the hotel's darkness. Publicly, Will has simply disappeared. Liz inspires Will to start sketching new designs, with Liz herself as the "face" of the line. Will mulls over the offer. As a result, Liz acts as Will Drake's proxy before the fashion house's board, and the resulting runway shows in the Drake have a palpable air of mystery.
Liz reflects on the reinvention of the Hotel Cortez under new management as an upscale family hotel. Their first guests are a duo of travel bloggers, who are amazed at the beautiful amenities. As soon as the guests check into their room, they are killed by Sally and Will.
Liz and Iris lament the new problems that the murderous ghosts are leaving them with, and decide they will need a meeting with the ghosts to resolve things before guests permanently stop arriving.
During the meeting, March intervenes, and agrees with Liz and Iris that they need to stop defiling their home and will have to start making a viable business, or the building will be sold or repurposed. It can only become a historical landmark in 2026, and they must keep it operating until then.
Liz still misses Tristan, and Iris invites Billie Dean Howard to communicate with Liz's lost love. Billie Dean wants also to film an episode of her hit Lifetime show in the notoriously supernatural hotel. The medium wades through the sea of ghost voices and senses a strong masculine presence, and explains that Tristan simply doesn't want to speak to Liz. Liz realizes that Tristan still blames her for his death.
Douglas and his family continue to visit and are a fantastically positive presence in Liz's life until Liz discovers that she is terminally ill with prostate cancer. Ramona offers to turn Liz, but Liz intends to die in the Hotel instead and declines Will's medical funding offer. The assembled ghosts have all become fond of Liz and her care of them; Liz wants them, her adopted family, to all simultaneously murder her so that she can be reborn as a ghost. Moments prior, Elizabeth arrives and calls Liz her finest creation. The Countess wanted to be there to do the deed, and slices open Liz's throat while the others watch. One last time, and the spirit of Liz arises. She is visited at last by Tristan, who has not wanted to interfere so that Liz can continue living. Now they can finally be together, and they embrace. Liz is last seen giving Ashley Rhodes her key to her room with Liz saying fine.
Douglas is a character in Hotel and is portrayed by Josh Braaten. Douglas is the son of Liz Taylor who yearns to reconnect with his biological father.
- To Iris: "You see everything when the world doesn’t see you."
- To Iris in 1994: "I'm sorry, lady! This is a no-tell-motel."
- To Will Drake: "Just teaching the folks from Vogue how to vogue. I couldn't resist. The irony!"
- To Claudia Bankson: "Skinny jeans are out, fringe is in, and ponchos are forever. Make a note of it."
- To Donovan: "And I've got a floppy appendage between my legs which keeps me from wearing pencil skirts. We all have our flaws."
- To Donovan: "No pity party in my bar!"
- To co-workers: "I’m not gay!.. Look at me, you piece-of-shit bastards! See me and go to hell!"
- To Will Drake: "I was a salesman in another life. In this one, I am the mother of style. Cut me and I bleed Dior."
- To Sally McKenna, Nick Harley and Tina Black: "Poets' skid marks stain as much as us commoners."
- To Billie Dean Howard: "I've been around a lot longer and let me tell you something. Believe me, love kills a lot more than hate."
- To Iris: "People today are obsessed with anything shiny and new. But it's all an illusion. Everything new fades. But forgotten hotels are still good for some things: Drug deals, May-December indiscretions, and ending it all."
- To Tristan Duffy: "Oh, baby you are to die for."
- This is the fourth character portrayed by Denis O'Hare. For a complete list of his characters, see Cast.
- Liz Taylor has only been absent from one episode, "Flicker".
- Liz seems to be an avid reader as she is seen throughout Hotel reading multiple books in several languages such as: Ulysses by James Joyce, Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie by Karl Marx, Candide, ou l'Optimisme by Voltaire, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. She also lends books by Brontë sisters and Oscar Wilde to Tristan.
- She is the first transgender character to be featured in American Horror Story.
- The character takes her name and fashion style from the famous actress Elizabeth Taylor; in particular, the characteristic make-up she had in 1963 film Cleopatra.
- Due to Liz's compassionate and world-weary nature, she is the only character in the American Horror Story universe to have personally befriended every ghost trapped in one location. In the words of Hazel Evers, "We've all grown rather fond of you. We couldn't possibly murder you!" Liz is, in addition to this, the only LGBTQ character to have achieved this feat.
- In "Be Our Guest", Liz reveals that she can't accept the bloody smell of steak, thus she doesn't want to become a vampire, despite suffering from prostate cancer.
- She seems to appreciate witches.
- See also: Liz Taylor/Media