Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963.
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Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away on 23 March 2011, at the age of 79. She died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in England to American parents on 27 February 1932. Her first film appearance, at the age of nine, was in There's One Born Every Minute (1942). At the age of 12, she played the lead role in the film National Velvet. The film was a huge success, and Taylor shot to fame.
One of the actress's most memorable roles was in the film Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958). She went on to win two Academy Awards, in 1960 for Butterfield 8 and in 1966 for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Her private life was every bit as dramatic as the roles she played on screen. She was married eight times. She said:
"I've only slept with men I've been married to. How many women can make that claim?"
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton began a romance on the set of Cleopatra (1963). They were both married to other people at the time. They then married each other in 1964 — and again in 1975, 16 months after divorcing. Burton said of Taylor:
"She was unquestionably gorgeous. I can think of no other word to describe a combination of plenitude, frugality, abundance, tightness. She was lavish. She was a dark, unyielding largesse. She was, in short, too bloody much."
In 1985, Taylor's long-time friend, actor Rock Hudson, died of Aids. Elizabeth Taylor started the American Foundation for Aids Research that year.
In 1992, Taylor was honoured with a special Academy Award for her HIV/Aids humanitarian work.
She is survived by four children, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
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