Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

March 23, 2011

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Legendary Academy Award-winning actress, Hollywood icon, and activist Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79. She had been hospitalized for the last six weeks due to congestive heart failure--a condition she was first diagnosed with in 2004--compounded with scoliosis and other complications, and passed away today at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Taylor began her acting career at just 10, and by 12 had already become a star for her role in National Velvet. As her star continued to rise, she would end up becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood history, earning the most any actress had been paid at that time in Cleopatra (we'll pretend yesterday's update on an Angelina Jolie-starring Cleopatra movie had nothing to do with killing her) and taking home Oscars for BUtterfield 8 and her emotional performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Her public persona, though, would become just famous as her acting skills, and Taylor became an icon of glamour as well as a cautionary tale of marriage, having been wed eight times to seven men. It's asked that, in the wake of this tragedy, all multiple marriage jokes be directed only at Larry King.

Sadly, her last film credit belongs to 1994's live-action take on The Flintstones, in which she played Fred's mother-in-law, Pearl Slaghoople. Personally, I'll probably always remember her for those White Diamonds commercials that seem to be playing in the background of every memory of my childhood:

Now we'll never find out if the diamonds on the other earring were also lucky.

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