Elizabeth Taylor has died of congestive heart failure at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, according to numerous press accounts. She was 79.
"In a world of flickering images, Elizabeth Taylor was a constant star," The New York Times writes. "First appearing on screen at the age of 9, she grew up on screen, never passing through an awkward age. It was one quick leap from ‘National Velvet’ to ‘A Place in the Sun’ and from there to ‘Cleopatra’ as she was indelibly transformed from a vulnerable child actress into a voluptuous film queen."
The story continues, "In a career of more than 70 years and more than 50 films, she won two Academy Awards as best actress, for her performances as a call girl in ‘Butterfield 8’ (in 1960) and as the acid-tongued Martha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ (in 1966). Mike Nichols, who directed her in ‘Virginia Woolf,’ said he considered her ‘one of the greatest cinema actresses.’ ”
"She helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former co-star and friend, Rock Hudson," writes LGBTQNation, adding, "She also created her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. By 1999, she had helped to raise an estimated $50 million to fight the disease."
"Even when judged by the absurd extent to which the cult of celebrity has intruded on life today, Elizabeth Taylor was famous like no one else,’ writes longtime Hollywood watcher David Gritten in the U.K. publcation The Telegraph, continuing, "And apart from the Queen, no woman on Earth had been famous for so long."
Taylor was also known for being married eight times, twice to Richard Burton in stormy marriages that kept the tabloids busy. She once said, "I’ve only slept with men I’ve been married to. How many women can make that claim?" And she joked, "I am a very committed wife. And I should be committed too–for being married so many times."
Probably her best-known program for the small screen was HBO’s "Between Friends" (1983), which co-starred Taylor and Carol Burnett. Back in 1981 she appeared briefly in her favorite soap opera, "General Hospital."
"Taylor’s career and personal fame came to seem indivisible," Gritten writes in The Telegraph. "Indeed, given that she has not had a significant film role in more than 30 years (a small 1980 role in ‘The Mirror Crack’d’) she is best known to people under 40 for her jewellery, her abiding health issues and her exemplary, tireless work on behalf of AIDS patients."
Gritten’s tribute ends, "She will be remembered as a larger-than-life character who, for all her excesses, could inspire great affection. At her peak, she was a shining example of the ability enshrined in Hollywood’s fantasy factories to unearth talent. That four-letter word ‘star’ has suited very few people quite so well."
A beauty like no other, with gorgeous violet eyes: