Hollywood Icon Elizabeth Taylor Dead at 79

March 23rd, 2011
 
 
Several sources have confirmed that Elizabeth Taylor passed away
in the early hours of the morning.

 
 
 
Taylor died “peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles,” said a statement from her publicist. She was hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, “a condition with which she had struggled for many years. 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. Sadly, this was not to be.”

Though a two-time Oscar winner — for “Butterfield 8? (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966) — Taylor was more celebrated for simply being Elizabeth Taylor: sexy, glamorous, tempestuous, fragile, always trailing courtiers, media and fans. She wasn’t above playing to that image — she had a fragrance called “White Diamonds” — or mocking it.

“I am a very committed wife,” she once said. “And I should be committed too — for being married so many times.”

She was hailed, in her prime, as the world’s most beautiful and desirable woman. Her affair with actor Richard Burton, which began on the set of the film “Cleopatra,” fueled a paparazzi rush unrivalled in its time. The two later married — twice — providing gossip columns and movie magazines with a wealth of material.

Taylor was a champion for a number of charitable causes, notably the fight against AIDS. She founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation after the death of her friend Rock Hudson, and plowed both her time and money into its work, especially as her acting career waned in the 1980s. The BBC once noted that her charity work had grossed as much as her film career.

 
 
 
 
 
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