Elizabeth Taylor, the grande dame of Hollywood, has passed away early Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure. She was 79.
Surrounded by her children, Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton, Taylor closed her eyes and joined other classic Hollywood icons to live in cinema heaven.
In a statement to ABC News, her son, Michael, said: "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."
Instead of sending flowers, her family has asked that contributions be made to Taylor's longtime passion -- her AIDS Foundation. (You can make donations and contributions by clicking here)
You can also write personal messages to her Facebook page right here.
Taylor starred in more than 50 films. Born in northwest London in 1932, her first movie was "There's One Born Every Minute" when she was just nine years old. (Taylor in Pictures Through the Years)
If you guys haven't seen her two Academy Award-winning performances, watching them would make great homages. She won for "Butterfield 8," a movie that can be deemed campy now, but her searing performance as a prostitute lives on. (Watch when Taylor accepted her Oscar for "Butterfield 8")
My favorite, which I always try to see every now and then, is "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." It's a cinematic spitfire from director Mike Nichols and screenwriter Ernest Lehman from a story by Edward Albee. Watch Taylor's fiery performance as she dukes it out with Richard Burton, George Segal, and Sandy Dennis. (See "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" trailer right here)
Like a true Hollywood legend, Taylor's career is marked by world-renowned beauty, acting, failed marriages, and unmitigated passion towards helping her community and fellowmen, her AIDS foundation.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor will be missed
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