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by Peter Knegt
March 23, 2011 8:00 AM
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Elizabeth Taylor, 1932-2011

Elizabeth Taylor.

Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away of congestive heart failure this morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Born in 1932, Taylor was considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden age, while her remarkable beauty and tumultuous personal life (she was married 8 times) served as a predecessor to modern notions of celebrity.

Taylor's acting career began at age 9, when she starred in Harold Young's 1942 film "There's One Born Every Minute," which led to work as an adolescent star in films such as "Lassie Come Home," "National Velvet," "Life With Father" and "Little Women."

By the 1950s, she came to considerable prominence as an adult actress most notably with "Father of the Bride" (1950), "A Place in The Sun" (1951), "Giant" (1956), "Raintree County (1957), "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958) and "Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959). She finally won her first Academy Award in 1961 for her work in "Butterfield 8," which came after four consecutive nominations.

Taylor is perhaps best known for two roles in the following decade: 1963's "Cleopatra," which remains the most expensive movie ever made when adjusted for inflation (Taylor herself made $7 million - equivalent to $47 million today), saw Taylor suffer through considerable illness during the intensive and delayed shoot (it was also where she met two-time husband Richard Burton); and 1967's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," which would earn Taylor her second Academy Award for her iconic portrayal of Martha.

The actress would continue to work through the next few decades, in films such as "Ash Wednesday" (1973), "The Blue Bird" (1976, opposite Jane Fonda), the TV film "Malice in Wonderland" (1985, opposite Jane Alecander), and "The Flintstones" (1994, which would be her last theatrical role).

Taylor was also a great philanthropist, most notably in the last few decades of her life. She was one of the first public figures to speak up about HIV/AIDS after her frequent co-star Rock Hudson died of the illness, helping start the American Foundation for AIDS Research and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. By the time of her death, she had helped raise over $50 million to fight HIV/AIDS.

For more takes on the late, great Taylor, check out indieWIRE blog network posts from Leonard Maltin, Thompson on Hollywood, The Playlist, Women on Hollywood, and The Lost Boy.

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3 Comments

  • ronnie | March 24, 2011 2:52 AMReply

    DEATH CONQUERS ALL !!!!!!!!!!! Time to make amends and survive for the HUMAN good.
    Miss Taylor is now at peace, free of pain and suffering.

    TOOMUTCH, you are on the right tract although there are many other factors and causes to be considered in her case.

  • Marris | March 23, 2011 9:06 AMReply

    What a beautiful actress. She was 9 years older than myself and I saw every movie she made. I grew up watching her grow up. Rest in peace, pretty lady.

  • TooMutch | March 23, 2011 5:24 AMReply

    It’s sad, but life.
    The way it was is something that for me is still bit difficult to comprehend.
    She was diagnosed a quit long time ago with a heart condition, and passed long periods on hospitals since then.
    A bug/disease/condition that is commonly to acquire involuntarily on hospitals is “staphylococcus” bacteria.
    Staphylococcus bacteria is a thing that if not properly treated can evolute to heart disease, liver, kidney, lungs diseases.
    Just Google it to known more about it.
    Another thing that is normally associated whit “staphylococcus bacteria” is allergies whit the denomination IgE, IgA, IgG and IgM, that normally make lots of victims that died on the start of spring and at the start of autumn/fall and during those seasons due to mistreatment of symptoms that are commonly associated whit Staphylococcus and Allergies.
    just Google this and read about the common symptoms associated that normally are considered other things completely in an oppose direction.
    Rest In Peace