Dec. 4, 1976–Nov. 7, 1982 Taylor entered the political realm when she married Virginia Republican (and former Secretary of the Navy) John Warner, whose wife's star power helped elect him to the U.S. Senate in 1979. But the role of the senator's wife did not suit her. "I was told to wear tweeds," she recalled to PEOPLE in 2006. "I couldn't wear purple or Halston pantsuits." An unhappy Taylor – whose weight ballooned, at one point reaching 180 lbs. – ultimately divorced Warner, who retired from the Senate in 2009.