Taymor is the director who traded the fringe for the masses when she brought The Lion King and Spiderman to life on Broadway. One was a major success and one was a complete disaster. You guess which one's which.
Massachusetts-born Taymor first honed her skills when she landed a gig doing the choreography, puppetry and costumes for King Stag, a far-out American Repertory Theatre touring show. A handful of well-regarded avant-garde shows in the U.S, Europe and Asia followed-earning her a MacArthur "genius" grant in 1991-and she began to focus on classic works in the early 1990s, directing The Magic Flute, Salome, and an off- Broadway staging of Titus Andronicus.
In 1997, Taymor hit the family-friendly mainstream when she transformed Disney's The Lion King into a spectacle packed with large-scale puppetry. Since then she's directed a handful of movies, including the biopic Frida, the film version of Titus, and 2007's trippy Beatles-scored Across the Universe. As successful as The Lion King has been, her stab at the musical Spiderman: Turn of The Dark was equally horrific: after years of gestating from injuries, casting drama, and the budget spinning out of control, she left her post as director in 2010, and critics have largely dismissed the show.
Taymor has been in a relationship with composer Elliot Goldenthal for over 20 years, and they frequently collaborate on projects. [Image via Getty]