A spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said Ms. Taylor died at 1:28 a.m. Pacific time. Her publicist, Sally Morrison, said the cause was complications of congestive heart failure. Ms. Taylor had had a series of medical setbacks over the years and was hospitalized six weeks ago with heart problems.
In a world of flickering images, Elizabeth Taylor was a constant star. First appearing on screen at age 10, she grew up there, never passing through an awkward age. It was one quick leap from “National Velvet” to “A Place in the Sun” and from there to “Cleopatra,” as she was indelibly transformed from a vulnerable child actress into a voluptuous film queen.
In a career of some 70 years and more than 50 films, she won two Academy Awards as best actress, for her performances as a call girl in “Butterfield 8” (1960) and as the acid-tongued Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966). Mike Nichols, who directed her in “Virginia Woolf,” said he considered her “one of the greatest cinema actresses.”
When Ms. Taylor was honored in 1986 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Vincent Canby wrote in The New York Times, “More than anyone else I can think of, Elizabeth Taylor represents the complete movie phenomenon — what movies are as an art and an industry, and what they have meant to those of us who have grown up watching them in the dark.” (Source: New York Times)
What's your favorite Elizabeth Taylor movies? My list---
"National Velvet" (1945)
"Father of the Bride" (1950)
"I would like to say a few words about weddings," a weary man says from the middle of a muddle of rice and scattered bottles. What follows is a warm, witty look at what it means to be Father of the Bride.
Spencer Tracy is the father and Elizabeth Taylor the bride in this lively Vincente Minnelli-directed classic. Taylor is glowingly showcased - and reflected in three mirrors when first seen in a wedding gown. Tracy's performance captures every loving father's exasperations and joys as the day approaches. It also captured the fourth of his nine Best Actor Academy Award nominations. The film also earned nominations for Best Picture and Screenplay. Here comes the bride, there goes dad's wallet - and everyone's heart. What sparkling fun! (Product Description)
"A Place in the Sun" (1951)
"Raintree County" (1957)
Humongous MGM attempt to outdo Gone with the Wind, with (Montgomery) Clift as a small town Hoosier who makes the mistake of marrying Southern belle (Elizabeth) Taylor before the outbreak of the Civil War. Solid acting and memorable Johnny Green score help compensate for rambling, overlong script; Clift was disfigured in near fatal car accident during production, and his performance understandably suffers for it. (Leonard Maltin)
"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1958)
"Suddenly, Last Summer" (1959)
Elizabeth Taylor and Katherine Hepburn each received 1960 Oscar nominations for Best Actress in this gripping adaptation of the Tennessee Williams play. Beautiful Catherine Holly (Taylor) is committed to a mental institution after witnessing the horrible death of her cousin at the hands of cannibals. Catherine's aunt, Violet Venable (Hepburn), tries to influence Dr. Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift), a young neurosurgeon, to surgically end Catherine's haunting hallucinations. By utilizing injections of sodium pentothal, Dr. Cukrowicz discovers that Catherine's delusions are in fact true. He then must confront Violet about her own involvement in her son's violent death. (Product Description)
"Butterfield 8" (1960)
Gloria Wondrous awakens in a luxurious bedroom that's not hers. She swallows a jolt of distilled courage, tosses aside $250 left by an admirer, leaves a scornful reply in lipstick on the mirror, dials her service for messages and slips into a mink coat she finds in the closet. The day and the movie are off to a roaring start.
Moviegoers and Hollywood left a message of "Hurrah!" for Elizabeth Taylor and Butterfield 8. Audiences made the film, co-starring Laurence Harvey and Eddie Fisher as a married lover and platonic friend who matter to Gloria, a box-office hit. And Taylor won her first Best Actress Academy Award as the call girl whose life comes with a complete set of emotional baggage. For a glossy, good time, don't call. Watch. (Product Description)
"The Taming of the Shrew" (1967)