R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor 1932 – 2011

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ComingSoon.net has just learned from various news sources that legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor has passed away from congestive heart failure early this morning at the age of 79.

Although she hasn’t appeared in a movie since 1994’s The Flintstones, Taylor was thought to be one of the last great movie stars, a classic beauty from “Old Hollywood” who started her career as a child actor at the age of 10 in There’s One Born Every Minute in 1942 followed by roles in Lassie Come Home and National Velvet, the latter being her big breakout. As an adult, she received acclaim for playing Maggie in the film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof but her most famous role was playing the title character in Joseph Mankiewicz’s 1963 epic Cleopatra for which she was paid the lofty sum of a million dollars. There she met actor Richard Burton, whom she married not once but twice.

Taylor won two Oscars for her performances in Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff? after three previous nominations as well as another one for her humanitarian work. She also was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement award from AFI and a Cecille B. Demille award from the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Her family released the following statement:

Legendary actress, businesswoman, and fearless activist Elizabeth Taylor died peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her children- Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. She was 79 years old. In addition to her children, she is survived by 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

The actress had been hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, a condition with which she had struggled for some 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.

Her son, Michael Wilding, said tonight:

“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. 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.”

A private family funeral later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org). People wanting to send personal messages can log onto Facebook.com/pages/ElizabethTaylorTribute.

It is respectfully asked that the public allow the family privacy at this difficult time.

Details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.