Elizabeth Taylor, Legend, Dies at 79

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elizabeth Taylor, one of the last of the old-fashioned movie stars, has died.

Her publicist says Taylor was surrounded by her four children today when she died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-SinaiMedical Center in Los Angeles.

She had been hospitalized for about six weeks.

Taylor was 79.

Her son, Michael Wilding, says his mother was “an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love.” He says “her spirit will always be with us.”

Taylor won three Academy Awards, two for acting and one for her humanitarian work, but is equally well known for her personal life. The London-born actress was a star at age 12, a bride and a divorcee at 18, a superstar at 19 and a widow at 26.

In all, she was married eight times — twice to Richard Burton.

She was also afflicted by ill health. She underwent at least 20 major operations and she nearly died from a bout with pneumonia in 1990.
In 1994 and 1995, she had both hip joints replaced, and in February 1997, she underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.

In 1983, she acknowledged a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and pain killers.  She was treated for alcohol and drug abuse problems at the Betty Ford Clinic.

A private family funeral is planned later this week.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.)