Dame Elizabeth Taylor – the last of the old Hollywood legends

She’s the Dame, they say, who had everything. “I haven’t had tomorrow” she would retort. Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor dies aged 79.

Taylor was arguably one of our most loved and finest Hollywood movie stars. A double Oscar winner, her most notable films included National Velvet, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

The first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.

Taylor lived an intriguing life to the full, and continued stunning the world when she married husband after husband – seven in total, including tying the knock with Welsh actor Richard Burton – twice. Taylor famously said of marriage: “My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.”

Between 1958 and 1961, the English-American actress notched up four Oscar nominations in a row, and finally won with Butterfield 8 (1960). Her second Oscar win came in 1967 with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She starred in the picture with Burton, one of twelve films with her husband.

Taylor was a huge campaigner for HIV and AIDS, setting up her own charity in the early nineties after her friend Rock Hudson died.
Taylor once said: “I hope with all of my heart that in some way I have made a difference in the lives of people with AIDS. I want that to be my legacy. Better that than for the mole on my cheek.”

Her four children were at her bedside at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles when she died this morning. The Dame had an extensive history of ill health.

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