Elizabeth Taylor, one of the world’s last living acting legends past away today, March 23, at the age of 79 of congestive heart failure.
Taylor spent most her life in the spotlight, beginning her career at the age of 12 when she starred in National Velvet. Through the years she appeared in over 50 films – including Cleopatra which was, in fact, the subject of her last tweet, posted on February 9 just before she was admitted to the hospital. It read: “My interview in Bazaar with Kim Kardashian came out!!!” referencing the spread in which Kim Kardashian pays tribute to Taylor.
While the screen legend won two Academy Awards, one for Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? and the other for Butterfield 8, her acting was often overshadowed by her multiple marriages (eight), and her very public break-ups. Gossip column fodder aside, there’s no question Taylor was ahead of her time developing some of the first celebrity fragrances (Passion, White Diamonds, and Black Pearls) and more importantly leading the way as one of the first celebrities to go public as an AIDS activist. After helping start the American Foundation for AIDS Research, she founded her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, and has helped raise in excess of $50 million to fight the deadly disease.
The epitome of Old Hollywood glamour, the iconic actress will be remembered for many things, including her enviable jewelry collection. Throughout the years, she has owned some of the most astounding pieces including a 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond and the 69.42-carat pear-shaped Taylor-Burton Diamond (so named because it was a gift from her once husband, Richard Burton). Taylor even wrote a book in 2002 about her passion for jewelry, aptly titled “My Love Affair with Jewelry”.
Taylor is survived by her brother, her four children, and her nine grandchildren.
images: NY Times