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Actress Elizabeth Taylor Dies of Heart Failure

Legendary Actress, 79, Had Been Diagnosed With Congestive Heart Failure in 2004

Taylor's Acting Career

Taylor made her acting debut at age 10, in the1942 movie There’s One Born Every Minute. Two years later, she played the role that made her famous: as 13-year-old Velvet Brown in National Velvet.

Over the next six decades, she was cast in nearly 60 films. Several of them are among Hollywood’s greatest achievements: A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966). She received her first Oscar nomination in 1957, for her role in Raintree Country. She was nominated again the following year for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and the year after that as well for Suddenly Last Summer.

In 1960, she won her first Oscar for her portrayal of a high-priced prostitute in Butterfield 8. Her second came six years later. In Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Taylor played opposite her real-life husband, Richard Burton, in their portrayal of one of the most dysfunctional couples ever to grace to silver screen.

Taylor's off-screen life was often in the tabloids. She was married eight times - twice to actor Richard Burton.

Taylor's Humanitarian Work

After her life-long friend and Giant co-star Rock Hudson’s death from AIDS in 1983, Taylor committed herself to fighting the disease. She helped found the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmfAR) in 1985.

Six years later, she founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. The following year, she received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, a special Oscar recognizing her activism and fund-raising.

WebMD managing editor Miranda Hitti contributed to this report.


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