Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79


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On March 23, 2011, actress Elizabeth Taylor, who appeared in more than 50 films, won two Academy Awards and was synonymous with Hollywood glamour, dies of complications from congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital at age 79. The violet-eyed Taylor began her acting career as a child and spent most of her life in the spotlight. Known for her striking beauty, she was married eight times and later in life became a prominent HIV/AIDS activist.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London, England, on February 27, 1932, to an American art dealer and his wife, a former actress. In 1939, the family moved to Southern California, and in 1942 Taylor made her film debut in There’s One Born Every Minute. At age 12, she rose to stardom in 1944’s National Velvet, later moving on to adult roles such as 1951’s A Place in the Sun, for which she garnered strong reviews. As one of Hollywood’s leading stars in the 1950s and 1960s, her credits included 1956’s Giant, with Rock Hudson and James Dean; 1957’s Raintree County, with Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint; 1958’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Paul Newman; and 1959’s Suddenly, Last Summer, with Clift and Katharine Hepburn. The latter three films each garnered Taylor Oscar nominations, before she took home best actress honors for 1960’s Butterfield 8, with Laurence Harvey and Eddie Fisher, and 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, with Richard Burton.

Off-screen, Taylor’s colorful personal life generated numerous headlines. In 1950, the 18-year-old actress married hotel heir Conrad Hilton. The union lasted less than one year, and in 1952, she wed British actor Michael Wilding. The couple had two sons before divorcing in 1957. That same year, Taylor wed producer Mike Todd, with whom she had a daughter. A little over a year later, Todd died in a plane crash. In 1959, Taylor married singer Eddie Fisher (who left his wife Debbie Reynolds for Taylor); the union ended in 1964. Days after her divorce from Fisher was finalized, Taylor wed Welsh actor Richard Burton, with whom she co-starred in 1963’s Cleopatra. (Playing that film’s title role, Taylor became Hollywood’s highest-paid actress at the time.)

The public was fascinated by Taylor and Burton’s lavish lifestyle (among his gifts to her was a 69-carat diamond) and tumultuous relationship. The couple, who adopted a daughter, divorced in 1974, remarried the following year and divorced again in 1976. Taylor later called Mike Todd and Burton, who died in 1984, the great loves of her life.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Taylor Was 'Still Madly in Love' With Ex Richard Burton When He Died

In 1976, Taylor wed Virginia politician John Warner, who went on to become a U.S. senator. The pair divorced in 1982. In the 1980s, Taylor, who battled addictions to alcohol, drugs and overeating, spent time at the Betty Ford Center. In 1991, she married construction worker Larry Fortensky, whom she met at the treatment center. After a wedding ceremony at entertainer Michael Jackson’s Neverland Valley Ranch in California, the couple divorced five years later. In addition to her addiction issues, Taylor suffered from a variety of health problems throughout her life, ranging from hip replacements to smashed spinal discs to a brain tumor.

In addition to her film career (her last silver-screen appearance was a cameo in 1994’s The Flintstones), Taylor’s legacy includes her work as a pioneering activist in the fight against AIDS. Starting in the 1980s, the actress helped raise millions of dollars to combat the disease.

Taylor was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California, the same place where her friend Michael Jackson was interred.


Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

As news spread of Elizabeth Taylor's death on Wednesday, a trickle of fans began to stop by the actress' star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame.

Taylor, 79, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Taylor's children—Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton—were with her at the hospital when she died, according to her publicist, Sally Morrison.


Dame Elizabeth Taylor dies at the age of 79

The double Oscar-winning actress had a long history of ill health and was being treated for symptoms of congestive heart failure.

Her four children were with her when she died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, her publicist said.

In a statement, her son Michael Wilding called her "an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest".

"We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it," he continued.

"Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."

Dame Elizabeth's most famous films included National Velvet, Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

She was equally well-known for her glamour and film partnership with Richard Burton, one of seven husbands.

In her prime, she was arguably one of the world's greatest actresses and most beautiful women.

Her colourful private life, screen success and Aids charity work ensured she was never far from the spotlight since finding fame at the age of 12.

The peak of her film career came in the 1950s and 1960s, with four Oscar nominations in a row from 1958 to 1961.

She lost out in her first three attempts - for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly, Last Summer - but triumphed at her fourth attempt with Butterfield 8.

Her second Oscar came in 1967 for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, one of 12 films with Burton.

She met the actor while filming 1963's Cleopatra - which became notorious as one of the most expensive films of all time, but which also sparked one of Hollywood's greatest romances.

Taylor had already been married four times - to Conrad Hilton Jr, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd and Eddie Fisher - before she wed Burton in 1964.

Their tempestuous relationship saw them divorce and remarry in 1975 before she moved on to further marriages with John W Warner and Larry Fortensky.

Her health problems began with a fall while filming her first hit film, National Velvet, which led to a lifetime of back problems.

A rare strain of pneumonia almost killed her in 1961 and she also battled addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

In the 1990s, she endured two hip replacement operations and another near-fatal bout of pneumonia and survived surgery for a benign brain tumour in 1997.

In 2004, it was revealed that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, with symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath, and scoliosis, which twisted her spine.

But she continued to campaign for her Aids charity, which she set up in 1991 after the death of her friend and co-star Rock Hudson.

In addition to her four children - Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey - Dame Elizabeth is survived by 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private family funeral will be held later this week. Instead of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.

British actress Joan Collins, who starred alongside Dame Elizabeth in the 2001 TV film These Old Broads, called her "the last of the True Hollywood Icons".

"A great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating to the World throughout her tumultuous life and career. She will be missed," she added.

Singer George Michael said: "She also did a great deal in the last 25 yrs [sic] to help the world deal with the HIV epidemic. I am proud to have known her if only a little."

One-time co-star Sir Michael Caine also paid tribute, remembering her as "a beautiful woman, a wonderful actress, and a great human being."


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Hollywood Legend Elizabeth Taylor Dies

Elizabeth Taylor, the English-American actress who became a star at age 10 and an icon by the time she was 30, died Wednesday.

A publicist told The Associated Press that Taylor died of congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital. She was 79.

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Remembrances


Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dies

One of the most famous and most talked-about actresses to come out of Hollywood has died. Film legend Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at the age of 79.

Taylor's striking beauty demanded the attention of audiences from the moment she appeared on the silver screen.

Her role in National Velvet made Taylor a star at the age of 12, and the parts and the fame kept on coming.

Twice she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her role in Butterfield Eight, about a call girl involved with a married man, and in 1966 as a constantly bickering wife opposite actor Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Related video report by Penelope Poulou

Born in London to American parents, she moved to Los Angeles before World War II, and went from child star to Hollywood starlet. But she gained attention for more than just her beauty and acting talent.

Her stormy personal life and eight marriages - two to Virginia Woolf co-star Richard Burton - as well as her friendship with the late pop-icon Michael Jackson, made her a constant source of stories for the press.

She also introduced her own perfume and raised money for several causes, including money for medical research on AIDS.

Taylor was hospitalized for congestive heart failure six weeks ago in Los Angeles. A statement from Taylor's family says she died peacefully, with her children at her side.


Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Died at the Age of 79

Legendary Hollywood movie star Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. In the hospital, Liz was surrounded by her four children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton.

Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized six weeks ago, diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born to American parents in London, England, on February 27, 1932.

Liz Taylor quickly grew from a beautiful young girl to become one of the silver screen’s most successful leading ladies. In addition to being an incredible actress, Elizabeth Taylor was also one one of the world’s most famous movie stars.

In 1942, Elizabeth at the age of only 10 years old, starred in her first film – There’s One Born Every Minute.

As a twelve-year-old in 1944, Elizabeth Taylor played the role of Velvet Brown,who was a young English girl in love with a horse, in National Velvet.

Liz Taylor, was a two-time Academy Award-winning actress who starred in many hit movies.

In 1955 Liz appeared in the hit Giant with James Dean. Sadly Dean never saw the movie after tragically dying himself in a car accident.

In 1958 Elizabeth starred as Maggie Pollitt in popular movie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

After numerous Academy Award nomination, Elizabeth Taylor finally was given an Oscar in 1960 for her magnificent performance in BUtterfield 8. Taylor played the role of Gloria Wandrous who was a c

Starred in the epic film Cleopatra in 1963, Elizabeth Taylor was part of one of the most expensive productions made up to that point. For her role as Cleopatra, Taylor received a staggering $1,000,000.

As Elizabeth Taylor movie career waned, she became an advocate for helping those in need and made generous contributions to AIDS research.

Taylor’s involvement in AIDS started when her long-time friend, Rock Hudson died in 1985.

In 1991, Liz launched the popular perfume “White Diamonds, which eventually became the most successful celebrity fragrance of all time.

Elizabeth Taylor was also known for her multiple marriages. She acknowledged the challenge she had in relationships and it was partly due to eccentric behavior.

Taylor was married 8 time to seven different men including: Conrad “Nicky” Hilton, Eddie Fisher, John Warner, Larry Fortensky, Michael Todd, Michael Wilding and of course Richard Burton.

The passing of Elizabeth Taylor leaves an emptiness in Hollywood and with her millions of movie fans. Liz was known for her elegance and stunning beauty, especially her piercing violet eyes.


Legendary Actress Elizabeth Taylor Has Died

Taylor hadn't made a movie in years — and she had spent decades raising millions of dollars for causes including HIV and AIDS — but to most anyone born before 1975, she was always the woman who was Cleopatra, the legendary beauty with a famous weakness for jewelry.

The world first got a glimpse of that oval face, those dark arched eyebrows and those deep blue-violet eyes when she made her movie debut in There's One Born Every Minute — a 10-year-old with shoulder-length hair and lashes so long a makeup man thought they were false.

Lassie Come Home was next, with Roddy McDowall and that collie whose name was in the title. But it was the role of a young English girl with a passion for horses — in the 1944 film National Velvet — that won Taylor the hearts of moviegoers.

From there on out, Taylor was an integral part of MGM's stable of young stars, working alongside other child actors including Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien. It was glamorous, yes, but as she suggested in the 1974 film That's Entertainment, it made for a bittersweet childhood:

"I was 10 years old when I first came to MGM, and I spent the next 18 years of my life behind the walls of that studio," she said. "[I was] a young girl growing up in that strange place, where it's hard to recall what was real and what wasn't."

Taylor's teen years are recorded in films like Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy, and Little Women, opposite Peter Lawford — not to mention Cynthia, in which the 15-year-old Taylor, playing a sheltered teen, received her first screen kiss.

She grew into womanhood opposite some of Hollywood's biggest leading men. Director George Stevens cast the 17-year-old Taylor opposite Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun, and five years after that film's release she appeared with James Dean and Rock Hudson in Giant, the sprawling, three-hour adaptation of Edna Ferber's Texas epic. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof paired the 25-year-old Taylor with Paul Newman — and earned her a second Academy Award nomination.

Her first had come the year before, for Raintree County, and her first Oscar win would come for 1960's Butterfield 8, in which Taylor starred as a loose-living New Yorker who thinks she has found love at last — with a lawyer who married for money. Her second statue would come six years later, for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Edward Albee's lacerating portrait of domestic warfare among the academic set.

'Bigger Than The Movies'

In the years that would follow, Taylor seemed to embody the phrase "movie star." Her life, full of success, personal tragedies and multiple marriages, played out in the headlines and on the covers of magazines.

"Elizabeth Taylor was launched by the movies but became bigger than the movies," says Peter Rainer, past president of the National Society of Film Critics. "What she had was this kind of star presence that was part and parcel of her private life, and there was just no way to separate out the two."

Indeed, the public watched bemused as the woman who loved diamonds went to the altar eight times — with a Hilton hotels heir, with an actor and a producer and a singer and a construction worker, with a man who'd soon become a U.S. senator, and twice with Richard Burton, the Welsh actor with whom she co-starred in Virginia Woolf and with whom she first became romantically involved in 1963 on the set of Cleopatra, when both were still married to others. She had made a million dollars for signing on to play the Egyptian queen — the first star ever to earn a seven-digit paycheck — and before the legendarily troubled film shoot was over, she and Burton had became the couple the Hollywood media couldn't get enough of.

'She's Out There . And She Never Stopped'

In the 1980s, though beset with her own illnesses and addictions to painkillers and alcohol, the Hollywood icon took up the battle against an emerging disease called AIDS. Taylor went on to raise more than $100 million as co-founder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and to launch her own AIDS foundation focused on patient care. Author, playwright and activist Larry Kramer credits Taylor with exhibiting a kind of courage that few others showed during that time.

"What's so remarkable about it is, so few people use their gift, their intelligence, their celebrity for the sake of humanity like this," Kramer says. "She's out there, this beautiful woman, and she never stopped."

For her philanthropic efforts, Taylor received a humanitarian award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1992. A Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute soon followed.

"You made me realize how much I do miss it," the largely retired star told that AFI audience in 1993. "But my life is full and good it has taken so many twists and turns, and I have grown into what I do now wholeheartedly."

Plagued by health problems for much of her life, Taylor continued to extend a sense of humor and strength to others, never hesitating to share her own fears and vulnerabilities with the world.

Asked why she appeared in public with her head shaved after a brain-tumor surgery, she told an interviewer that maybe others would see the picture — and say, "Hey, if she can get through it, so can I."

In October 2009, after a Twitter posting announced her trip to the hospital for a heart-valve procedure, she followed up with another tweet: "Any prayers you happen to have lying around I would dearly appreciate."


Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

Film icon Elizabeth Taylor died this morning of congestive heart failure at LA's Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. She was 79. Associated Press reports that she was surrounded by her four children when she passed away. Some of her most notable films include National Velvet, Father of the Bride, A Place in the Sun (which: awesome), Butterfield 8, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Cleopatra.

"We have just lost a Hollywood giant," Elton John, a longtime friend of Taylor, told AP. "More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."

In addition to being tabloid fodder (she was married 8 times) and snagging two Academy Awards, Taylor was also one of the first celebrities to speak out against AIDS during the early '80s. ng. She helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her friend, Rock Hudson.

Below: scene from Taylor's second Oscar-winning role, that of Martha in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Great stuff.

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She didn't set out to have more husbands than Meryl Streep has accents. She just didn't want to sleep alone. At least that's what she once told an interviewer, and that's the sort of quote the world holds onto. A keeper.

By the '60s, there wasn't a celebrity publication in the free world that didn't have "Liz" in its style book as a synonym for "Elizabeth Taylor." Even in Britain, where Elizabeth is also the name of the queen, Liz was Liz.

More to the point, she left that same indelible image with the masses. Yes, part of it was being photogenic, but there are lots of people who are photogenic. Liz had the intriguing extra dimensions: a little classy, a little crude.

"A tad overweight," she was once described by "Doonesbury" character Dick Davenport. "But with violet eyes to die for."

Dick Davenport was a gentle man whose passion was bird-watching. But as infrequently as he glanced away from the lens, he knew Elizabeth Taylor. She was a language we all spoke.


Watch the video: Dame Elizabeth Taylor dies aged 79 Personal memories BBC