Death of an Icon: Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor, the Hollywood icon as famous for her real life drama, including eight marriages, as she was for her movies, has died at the age of 79. Six weeks ago, Taylor was hospitalized due to congestive heart failure, and it was there, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles she passed away early Wednesday morning.

In a statement released by her son shortly after her death, Michael Wilding Jr. 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.”

Taylor, born in England, was one of the greatest actresses of Hollywood’s “Golden Age,” starring in such classics as “A Place in the Sun,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and “Cleopatra.” Even after her film career petered out by the 1970’s, she remained a topic of conversation for decades due to her 8 marriages, philanthropy and for being a remarkably successful businesswoman.

Her first marriage to hotel heir Conrad Hilton ended just 8 months after it started in 1951. By the next year she married Michael Wilding, who she went on to divorce in 1957. Followed by Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton (who she divorced twice), John Warner and Larry Fortensky.

After the death of her close friend and former co-star Rock Hudson died in 1985 she stepped up her philanthropic and humanitarian work, and founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1993.

She was also known for her savvy business side, which included the launching of her famous ‘White Diamonds’ perfume. To date, worldwide sales of all her perfumes have reached close to $100 Million alone.

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