Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, 79, died today in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from congestive heart failure. She had been hospitalized a number of times in the past few months. Her four children were with her at the time of her death.
"Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born to American parents in London, England, on February 27, 1932. She lived in London until the age of seven, when her family returned to the United States when the clouds of war began brewing in Europe in 1939," according to IMDb.
Her first film, ''There's One Born Every Minute' (1942) was made with Universal Studios who dropped her from her contract after it hit the theatres. She was then picked up by MGM Studios where she was embraced by studio executives who found her film roles that would eventually make her one of the most loved actresses in the movie business.
The two-time Academy Award-winning actress co-starred in a number of hit pictures for MGM. These included Lassie Come Home (1943), White Cliffs of Dover (1944) and Jane Eyre (1943), reports IMBd.
She then appeared in the film that was to make her known world-wide at 12-years-old. She starred in MGM's National Velvet (1945) opposite Mickey Rooney and became endeared in the hearts of millions of movie-goers. "The film was a smash hit, grossing over $4 million," reports IMDB.
In 1960, Elizabeth Taylor negotiated a contract for one million dollars with 20th Century Fox to star in Cleopatra, which made her the highest paid actress in Hollywood. Her relationship and romance with Richard Burton developed while filming the movie. Burton played Mark Antony in the hit film.
"Taylor won her first Academy Award, for Best Actress in a Leading Role, for her performance as Gloria Wandrous in Butterfield 8 (1960), which co-starred then husband Eddie Fisher," according to Wikipedia. "Her second Academy Award, also for Best Actress in a Leading Role, was for her performance as Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)."
The accomplished actress was married seven times, including twice to Richard Burton. She was also married to former Senator John Warner, actor Eddie Fisher, Conrad Hilton, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd and lastly to construction worker Larry Fortensky. Her controversial marriages were the center of much publicity, not always good, including Hollywood rumors that she had broken-up the marriage of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher.
"Her publicist Sally Morrison said she was surrounded by her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton," reports ABC News.
"My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," Michael Wilding said in a statement.
"Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.
Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished.
We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."
"In addition to her children, Taylor is survived by 10 grand children and four great grandchildren. Morrison said that a private family funeral will be held later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and said that those wanting to send personal messages can log on to Taylor's official Facebook page," said Morrison.