Elizabeth Taylor dies

Oscar
winning actress Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday at Los Angeles, Calif.’s Cedars-Sinai
Hospital at the age of 79.

“She
was surrounded by her children- Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza
Todd, and Maria Burton,” Taylor’s publicist, Sally Morrison, said in a
statement.

In
addition to her children, Taylor is survived by 10 grand children and four
great grandchildren.

Taylor
had been hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure.

Though
she had recently suffered a number of complications, her condition had
stabilized and it was hoped that she would be able to return home.

Taylor,
a two-time Academy Award-winning actress who in later life became notorious for
her seven marriages and sometimes eccentric behaviour, had reported health problems
in recent years and appeared frail in public appearances.

Taylor
reported in October 2009 that she was having a heart
procedure done.

Via
Twitter, she said it was “very new and involves repairing my leaky valve
using a clip device, without open heart surgery so that my heart will function
better.”

Taylor’s
past health setbacks included a fall from a horse during one of her early film
shoots, bouts with pneumonia and skin cancer, a tracheotomy, treatment for
alcohol and painkiller addictions, and lung, hip, brain and heart surgeries.

She
has had anywhere from 30 to 40 surgeries, according to biographers.

In
addition, she has seen her dramatic life frequently covered by gossip magazines,
which have documented evident fluctuations in her
weight over the
years.

But
she’s iconic for being one of the most popular actresses of Hollywood’s golden
age.

Born
in London in 1932 to American parents who returned to the U.S. with WWII looming,
Taylor bounded into the spotlight at age 12 after starring in the 1944 box
office sensation “National Velvet.”

She
won acclaim as an adult with 1951’s “A Place In The Sun” and went on
to score best actress Oscar nominations for “Raintree County,”
“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and “Suddenly, Last Summer.”

In
1963, she memorably starred in “Cleopatra.” She later won Oscars for
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Buatterfield 8.”

Beyond
acting, Taylor is credited with bringing the world’s attention to AIDS with her
fund-raising and activism. In 1985, when Taylor’s lifelong friend Rock Hudson
died of AIDS, she brought national attention to the growing disease.

 It satisfying to her to use her celebrity for
good – she raised and donated millions to the cause, founding the American
Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

She
was also an entrepreneur, spearheading a successful line of perfume and
multiple jewellery lines. In 1999, Taylor was appointed Dame Commander of the
Order of the British Empire.

Taylor’s
last major interview appeared in the March issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

In
it, she dished to reality TV star Kim Kardashian about her love life, her
iconic roles and her jewels.

“I
never planned to acquire a lot of jewels or a lot of husbands,” Taylor
said. “I have been supremely lucky in my life in that I have known great
love, and of course, I am the temporary custodian of some incredible and
beautiful things.”

Taylor
also mused about one of her former husbands, actor Richard Burton.

“It
was inevitable that we would be married again, but it’s not up for discussion,”
she said

 

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