Elizabeth Taylor
Screen legend also heralded

for her humanitarian efforts

LOS ANGELES  Elizabeth Taylor went from dazzling beauty in her glory years to self-described ruin in old age.

She spent almost her entire life in the public eye, from tiny dancer performing at age 3 before the future queen of England, to child screen star to scandalous home-wrecker to three-time Academy Award winner for both acting and humanitarian work.

A diva, she made a spectacle of her private life  eight marriages, ravenous appetites for drugs, booze and food, ill health that sparked headlines constantly proclaiming her at death's door. All of it often overshadowed the fireworks she created on screen.

Yet for all her infamy and indulgences, Taylor died Wednesday a beloved idol, a woman who somehow held onto her status as one of old Hollywood's last larger-than-life legends, adored even as she waned to a tabloid figure.

Taylor, 79, died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks.

"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," her son, Michael Wilding, said in a prepared statement.

Tumultuous life

A star from her teen years in such films as "National Velvet," "Little Women" and "Father of the Bride," Taylor won best-actress Oscars as a high-end hooker in 1960's "BUtterfield 8CQ" and an alcoholic shrew in a savage marriage in 1966's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

In the latter, she starred with husband Richard Burton, their on-screen emotional tempest considered a glimpse of their stormy real lives (they divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975 and divorced again a year later).

For all the ferocity of her screen roles and the turmoil of her life, Taylor was remembered for her gentler, life-affirming side.

"The shock of Elizabeth was not only her beauty," said "Virginia Woolf" director Mike Nichols. "It was her generosity, her giant laugh, her vitality, whether tackling a complex scene on film or where we would all have dinner until dawn."

"She is singular and indelible on film and in our hearts," he said.

Though Taylor continued acting in film, television and theater in the 1980s and 1990s, she called it quits on the big screen with 1994's "The Flintstones," playing caveman Fred's nagging mother-in-law.

Took up fighting AIDS

Taylor bid farewell to the small screen with 2001's "These Old Broads," a geriatric diva romp co-starring Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins and one-time romantic rival Debbie Reynolds, whose husband, Eddie Fisher, left her for Taylor in the late 1950s.

She was remembered for her friendship, standing by Michael Jackson, Rock Hudson and other troubled friends.

"I don't know what was more impressive, her magnitude as a star or her magnitude as a friend," MacLaine said. "Her talent for friendship was unmatched. I will miss her for the rest of my life and beyond."

Collins called Taylor one of the last of the true Hollywood icons. "There will never be another star who will come close to her luminosity and generosity, particularly in her fight against AIDS," she said.

AIDS activism had become Taylor's real work long before she gave up acting. Her passion in raising money and AIDS awareness brought her an honorary Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in 1993.

"Acting is, to me now, artificial," Taylor told The Associated Press at the 2005 dedication of a UCLA AIDS research center. "Seeing people suffer is real. It couldn't be more real. Some people don't like to look at it in the face because it's painful.

"But if nobody does, then nothing gets done," she said.

Legion of Honor, dame

One of the groups that benefited, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, praised Taylor for being "among the first to speak out on behalf of people living with HIV when others reacted with fear and often outright hostility."

Taylor's work "improved and extended millions of lives and will enrich countless more for generations to come," the group said.

Taylor received the Legion of Honor, France's most prestigious award, in 1987 for AIDS efforts. In 2000, Queen Elizabeth II made Taylor a dame  the female equivalent of a knight  for her services to charity and the entertainment industry.

Taylor herself, however, suffered through the decades.

She fell from a horse while shooting 1944's "National Velvet," causing a back injury that plagued her for the rest of her life. Her third husband, producer Michael Todd, died in a plane crash after only a year of marriage.

Taylor had life-threatening bouts with pneumonia, a brain tumor and congestive heart failure in her 60s and 70s, and from drug and alcohol abuse, including a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and painkillers, which prompted her to check in to the Betty Ford Center.

She had at least 20 major operations, including replacements of both hip joints and surgery to remove the benign brain tumor.

Taylor also dealt with obesity, packing on as much as 60 pounds and writing, "It's a wonder I didn't explode" in her 1988 book "Elizabeth Takes Off," about how she gained the weight and then shed it.

"Eating became one of the most pleasant activities I could find to fill the lonely hours and I ate and drank with abandon," she said.

After a lifetime of ailments and self-abuse, Taylor said in a 2004 interview with W magazine that "my body's a real mess. ... Just completely convex and concave."

Her trials made her a butt of jokes, but even when people made fun, she preserved a hint of the divine aura of her youth.

When cartoonist Garry Trudeau mocked Taylor and then-husband John Warner, newly installed as a U.S. senator, in a 1979 "Doonesbury" comic strip, he memorably described her as a "tad overweight, but with violet eyes to die for."

Her eyes were only part of the charms that took her to the top in Hollywood and kept her there for decades.

Born in London on Feb. 27, 1932, to art dealer Francis Taylor and American stage actress Sara Sothern, Taylor seemed born for the spotlight. A seasoned ballerina at age 3, Taylor danced before Princess Elizabeth, the future queen.

Her family moved to Hollywood at the outset of World War II. She then made her screen debut with a tiny part in the 1942 comedy "There's One Born Every Minute." Her big break came a year later in "Lassie Come Home."

Taylor's screen test for the film won her both the part and a long-term contract. She grew up quickly after that.

"I have the emotions of a child in the body of a woman," she once said. "I was rushed into womanhood for the movies. It caused me long moments of unhappiness and doubt."

__Steady work and high-profile romances followed into her late teens, with early lovers including athletes Ralph Kiner and Glenn Davis and hotel heir Conrad Hilton Jr., whom she married at age 18 and divorced just months later.

Taylor got four straight Oscar nominations from 1957 to 1960, for "Raintree County," the back-to-back Tennessee Williams adaptations "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "Suddenly, Last Summer," then her win for "BUtterfield 8," a film she later disparaged.

_Professional success was tempered by the headlines that came with Taylor's personal life. She was wed again at 19, to British actor Michael Wilding, a marriage that lasted four years and produced two sons.

She married producer Todd, with whom she had a da
Published by The Record/Herald News on Mar. 24, 2011.
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2730 Entries
Erhard Ulbrich
February 23, 2020
Some eminently talented people are used to slight avail in this Anglo-French production, a haunted-chateau teaser with a cast headed by Deborah Kerr and David Niven.
March 31, 2019
Elizabeth, THANK YOU for sharing your great life with us. I'll be your #1 fan til death.
Ann Henry Byrd
February 2, 2019
PS: I loved you, Elizabeth Taylor, for your precious heart and soul, your great great talent, and your stunning unmatched beauty. R I P brightest star in the heavens.
Ann Henry Byrd
February 2, 2019
January 15, 2019
Sorry For Your Loss!
Thomas & Libby Widgeon
April 1, 2018
You were a terrific actress and one of the most elegant classy and beautiful women to ever grace the silver screen.Today's actresses can't even hold a candle to you.Hope you and Richard Burton are together in Heaven.
Maria Pignataro
March 5, 2018
Happy holidays to elizabeth family.Love to all of you.Remembering her at Christmas time.I know she loved christmas.love forever not forgotten. Rest in heavenly peace.Miss you.Say hello to mickael up there.
December 29, 2016
Hi,Sorry about the mistake I made in my message.Antoinette.I.I loved Elizabeth she was a very strong woman. My condolences go out to her Family.I loved her with all my heart.She was Someone really special.She is in heaven with one of her best friend mickael Jackson love to both of you.Antoinette.I.xxxxxxxetc.Send
September 29, 2016
To the most beautiful woman is not the world.Rest in peace.You will never be forgotten.xxxxxxxetc.Send.
September 29, 2016
My sincere condolences to family and friends.Elizabeth was the most honest person in the world of entertainment.She brought joy and laughter to the world and was not shy about it.She stood by mickael jackson till the end.What a true Friend.Today we do not see too much honesty in entertainment.Her heart was warm and kind.She cared about us.She will never be forgotten.I for one appreciate her loyalty.She was the most beautifully woman I ever laid eyes on.Well my freinds that's what I think.Love always to family.Keep the faith and be good to your world.Make a difference just like Elizabeth did.Love and Peace to All.Antoinette.I from Montreal Canada.xxxxxxxetc.Send.
September 29, 2016
When I think of the classic age of the movies ,I think Elizabeth Taylor. When I think selfless entertainer, I think Elizabeth Taylor. Humanitarian also applys . You left a mark, in my heart. To see really see ....to not only look at the outer shell but but what they stand for. Elizabeth saw life not on the projection screen of a movie theater but with a careing heart. She lived less then a mile from me. And on her birthday I would drive by to send her a blessing. I still do. You were then and will forever be my favorite all time screen star. You light up the world with that fabulous face, even today. All your past loves have joined you in eternal sleep. Rest peacefully fair beauty. You have earned the rest. The people you've touched are many. You fought for so many. You will never be forgotten .
Peni prince Andrews
August 11, 2016
THANKS for one's relentless fight supporting AIDS, when so many other celebrities were afraid. One who is beautiful inside and out, you were a TRUE FRIEND to the few who needed one. NEVER FORGOTTEN...RIP....
Valenda Newell
June 28, 2016
Elizabeth was the most beautiful woman I have ever saw. I was just a child, but as I got older, she became a goddess to me. She helped many people with Aids, and was very unselfish. God bless, you will be missed forever. Ron.
January 12, 2016
November 22, 2015
elizabeth you will you will be missed.
gerldine green
April 19, 2015
Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.
Harry Simpson
March 23, 2015
Truely the most beautiful woman ever born. Reunited with Richard. God bless.
December 29, 2014
Will always miss your great talent , beauty and concern about people. You were the Queen of Hollywood. B. Nolan(Detroit)
December 4, 2014
A truly great and magical star! l will hold her glowing memory close to my heart as long as l live l am comforted by the knowledge that she is with god the father.
Linda e. Martin
June 27, 2014
One of my earliest memory's was watching "National Velvet" with my Mother when I was a small child...I thought she was so beautiful and wished I looked like her, and wanted to be a horse jockey like her in that movie! :)
(This was about 1980...
Elizabeth Taylor is who I see in my mind when I hear the words "Movie Star" she is timeless and classy, and I will show my own Daughter her movies also. She led a very impressive life and I'm sure her Children look back in awe of her person.... Now she can be with her old pals! Rip Beautiful Movie Star.... ;)
Sunshine Anderson (Kvistad)
April 17, 2014
Elizabeth such beauty. My favorite movie was Place in the Sun with Montgomery Cliff. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, what a love story. I want to thank you for the person whose heart was bigger than life. You gave so much in helping people with Aids. You will never be forgotten. Today actors just don't have what the actors had in your era. God Bless you and your family.
Catherine Runnals
January 28, 2014
Richard Herrick
November 8, 2013
Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren had been in mind for the role of LYGIA in the epic 1951 motion picture "QUO VADIS." The part was played by the English film star Deborah Kerr. She was photographed well in splashing Color it, however was not to be one of her better performances! There was, however, a role that will always stand out. . . .in the memory af a true Deborah Kerr fan, and that was her three-role performance in the written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger production of "THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP."
Erhard Ulbrich
September 18, 2013
July 16, 2013
Linda e. Martin
June 12, 2013
It was an honor to have lived in the same century as you beloved elizabeth . hope to see you again in another magical time and place .
Linda e. Martin
June 12, 2013
MS Taylor was a true entertainer no one could every play Virginia Wolf as she did, to Lizz
here,s your SNAP DRAGONS
April 28, 2013
R I p with your true love Richard burton x
Loretta Loftus
April 24, 2013
You were loved by so many people! You are so beautiful and we will never forget you!
Elizabeth McCarthy
April 9, 2013
God Bless you, Liz! We miss you!
rosemary zalewski
April 8, 2013
Rest In Peace, Ms. Taylor. You Were Truly A "Queen Elizabeth" In Every Sense Of The Word. See You On The Other Side Some Beautiful Day, Ma'am.
Richard Owen
March 3, 2013
Elizabeth we have loved you through the years as a family member, a friend apart of us through film. Rest in Peace beautiful Elizabeth
Sherry Stokes
February 24, 2013
Miss you so much you will never be FORGOTTEN
Connie E.
February 24, 2013
What a life, a great movies, love her
acting, good with words, rest in peace
Joan Tonini
February 23, 2013
Your were my "MOMS" Favorite. RIP
February 21, 2013
you will be remembered!
Tony M
February 19, 2013
February 19, 2013
To Elizabeth Taylor,
You were a very talented actress. You did a great job playing Helena Cassadine in the daytime Soap opera General Hospital. My prayers are with you Miss Taylor. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
February 15, 2013
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Milton & Margaret Boston
January 13, 2013
To Elizabeth, you are a beautiful person inside & out. I loved all your movies. I'm glad you had a big family & you will watch over all of them. Love, Dee
Dee Cheslock
January 5, 2013
To Elizabeth Taylor,
You were a very talented actress. You did a great job as Helena Cassadine in the daytime soap opera General hospital. My prayers are with your family. Lisa Weiner
Lisa Weiner
December 21, 2012
Like your children I had the distinct pleasure of growing up watching you in movies and television shows. Everything about you was mesmerizing. Especially, your violet eyes! Hope you and all your loved ones find comfort in the hands of God. My husband,the love of my life, James, I'm sure is with you in Paradise. For there is no longer any pain or suffering. You, Elizabeth, as well as James were truly remarkable and unforgettable human beings. May you RIP. LOL Lily :)
Lily Boyer
November 27, 2012
jessie vick
November 26, 2012
Tonya Shepherd
November 21, 2012
Absolutely the MOST influential icon ever for me!!! Gorgeous, underrated mega-talent, smart, compassionate, funny, survivor, mother, and a great businesswoman. You are TRULY missed, but your work and life are there in memory to be admired. No one will ever match your passion. Thank You, Dame Elizabeth!!!
Diamond Goddess!!!
November 17, 2012
You were a part of our lives for so long Elizabeth, you became a part of our personal history. We were in awe of your beauty, captivated by the excitement and glamour of your life, entertained by your talent, and grateful and inspired by your compassion and activism. My deepest sympathy to your brother and children. I was a very devoted fan or yours for many years and will always cherish the autographed photo you so graciously sent me. I will miss you but hope you have found freedom from pain and are at peace.
Rob F
November 7, 2012
I miss you Elizabeth you were such an amazing actress even though im only 12 i will always love you and your movies
August 28, 2012
mary stanley
July 12, 2012
mary stanley
July 4, 2012
i miss you elizabeth taylor i wanna cry over you being gone
mary stanley
July 3, 2012
May 19, 2012
You were and always will be the greatest actress and caring and compassionate lady on this earth I have and always will love your movies and how you always accepted people for who they were and never judged them may you rest in peace and love
February 28, 2012
Rip sad this happens to all of us u was an awesome actor in I'm glad U lived life and didn't die in the 70s when u was on Charles Manson hit list I had read n helter skelter rip beautiful
Chele W
February 20, 2012
As we approach February 27th which would have been Dame Elizabeth's 80th Birthday we will celebrate her life and pray she sleeps in the arms of her loves. We carry her torch and will donate in her memory to the ETAF to help HIV/AIDS patients. MJ SANG IT BEST "ELIZABETH WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU."
February 16, 2012
Elizabeth Taylor was a fine actress a beautiful child and even more beautiful woman.She will always be remembered by her fans. RIP !!!!!!
Angelina Garrett
February 16, 2012
elizabeth taylor embodied american power and influence at its zenith in the 20th century . her allure and the magical solid gold image that she had influenced millions of people all over the world. the leaders of the old soviet union did not want her to visit their country because she could ifluence their people with her charismatic presence. she walked off with their ballet stars. people like elizabeth taylor are born only every 500 years if then my grandfather says
we really morn her loss!
Linda Martin
February 5, 2012
Elizabeth will never be forgotten.
John Burns
January 24, 2012
Elizabeth Taylor is a fine Lady in Actress in The Fredstones Movie;"This the
day that the Lord has made let us rejoice
and be Glad in it" in 2012 The Late of the Elizabeth Taylor.
Grady Youngblood
January 2, 2012
What a glorious inspiration she was to my life the greatest influence of my life she was an angel
Linda Martin
December 29, 2011
Nancy Ammons
December 28, 2011
I grew up with Elizabe Taylor. She was a freed spirit who lived life her way. She inspired me to live my life my way. What a gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful actress who will be greatly missed. I loved who she was.
Lila Hecht
December 26, 2011
I fell in love with her the first time i saw
her on screen. I can still see her riding Pie
off in to the sunset RIP Beautiful Lady
Tom Notartomaso
December 23, 2011
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Matthew McGuire
November 27, 2011
She was just a beautiful lady. I enjoyed her in her in her different roles she played. May God continue to give the Family and friends comfort and strenght as the months go by,"that the power beyond what is normal may be God's and not that out of ourselves.
Reed Family
November 16, 2011
November 6, 2011
God Rest In Peace Elizabeth Taylor and to your children left behind I apologize for the delay you have my deepest and sincerest condolences in the passing of your Beautiful One of a Kind MOTHER. She was and is a TRUE DIAMOND & SAPHIRE wrapped in 2 HEARTS that TWINKLE like a STAR in the SKY of HEAVEN as does my MOTHER. THEY WILL FOREVER BE WITH US!
Catherine Taylor
Catherine Taylor
October 17, 2011
Our Angel eyes the most stunning beauty of the 20th century. We pray you are resting in the arms of the Angels. Your HUMANITARIAN work is being continued by your children & grandchildren. You would be so proud Dame Elizabeth of their work to keep your legacy alive. I have nominated you to be recognized on an ICON /LEGEND STAMP not only for your beauty but your fight for human rights. Elizabeth we will always love you.
October 10, 2011
God Bless your soul may you always rest in peace. The greatest actress of all time.
Melvin Baker
October 6, 2011
My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.

May GOD continue to guide your family by means of His holy spirit to give you strength and comfort during this time of sorrow.

D. Clark
September 30, 2011
mary duncan
September 11, 2011
My deepest sympathy! The world would never be the same if we hadn't ever had Elizabeth Taylor to color it! Rest in Peace, you will never be forgotten.
September 2, 2011
I have been watching your old movies. You were the best.
Marilyn Chew
August 30, 2011
Elizabeth Taylor was a beautiful woman and a wonderful actress. Elizabeth was my favorite actress. She will be greatly missed by all. My condolences to her family. May God bless you and comfort you.
Gay Martel
August 27, 2011
A beautiful woman with a extraordinary life. R.I.P.
Donna Dortch
August 27, 2011
Your work in humanitarian efforts will long be remembered just as you will as possibly the world's most beautiful woman.
Marlene Sims
August 21, 2011
Our prayers are with your family. We will miss you but we know you are at peace and free of pain.
August 21, 2011
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
charlie santiago
August 19, 2011
Elizebeth Taylor you are a icon.We lost a beautiful actress.Rest in Pease.
Brenda desmond
August 18, 2011
The legend of your talents and humanitarian efforts will be forever etched in our memories
Christine Romanick
August 1, 2011
Your spirit and memory will live on!
Rest in peace.
Elizabrth Shaw
July 20, 2011
The world is less glamours and less compassionate since your death. I have been a fan for 65 years...a great actress and even a greater human being.

Rest well Dame Elizabeth
Linda Gene Goldstein
July 20, 2011
God Blessed you with beauty, wisdom and grace - God keep you now in his embrace.
Tracy Pike
July 20, 2011
you were the greatest actress of all.
neil pasquale
July 17, 2011
July 16, 2011
Jo Larzelere, Flint, MI
July 13, 2011
Always the lady, thank you for leaving your mark in this world, for paying it forward, for stepping up and doing the right thing. I ask for all of Gods blessings for you.
Cathy Kumar
July 2, 2011
Sorry for your loss,she will live on in the memories of many.Remember GOD CARES FOR YOU.
Bessie Glenn @ Family
June 22, 2011
pat Roberts
June 17, 2011
Dear Taylor and other families,
I am sorry for your loss. She won hearts of millions. God bless her and her family.
Vasilios Emmanuel Glimidakis
June 10, 2011
so sorry to hear..she will be a star in the heavens....
rich higgs
June 10, 2011
A beautiful human being inside and out. Goodnight Dame Elizabeth.
June 6, 2011
I was born two years after National velvet, but the first movie I saw you in was "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof", (in Cuba, where I was born), I was twelve years old. You have been a piece of my heart ever since. Rest in Peace, Elizabeth. Love Always, Gerardo(Jerry)Ramirez, Kenansville, NC LoveU
June 3, 2011
God Bless you Dame Elizabeth. I enjoyed our brief chat back in 2006.
Tami Bramblett
May 27, 2011
my deepest sympathy to the family
May 21, 2011
To the family friends and fans: I am sorry
for your loss of somone so special. It is my hope that what
John 5:28,29 says can provide you some comfort.
Andy Nelson
May 20, 2011
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
May 14, 2011
Good nite and sleep well,my friend!
bud ehrhardt
May 10, 2011
Liz,I will always remember you and your kindness! Bud
Bud Ehrhardt
May 10, 2011
Hi guys. I wish I was beautiful, famous, and rich like she was in so many ways. I even color my short hair dark an sometimes bobby pin in some long dark hair extensions. I am so ready to get married as soon as I can an I turned 18 in May and will graduate from highschool soon in Palmer. I wish I was a lady like she was and had a better reputation.
Amber J Hunt
May 10, 2011
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