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Film star Elizabeth Taylor dies, age 79

Reuters/Columbia Pictures
2 min

Hollywood lost a little of its glitter on Wednesday after silver screen legend Elizabeth Taylor died in Los Angeles aged 79. Taylor had been in ill health for some time, and was admitted to the hospital six weeks ago due to congestive heart failure.The two-time Oscar award winner was as well-known for her acting chops and extraordinary beauty as much as her tumultous love life, which included eight husbands.

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"Her artistic contribution to the motion picture industry is immeasurable, her talent endured the test of time and transcended generations of moviegoers. She truly was an American icon," said Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Britsh-born, but California raised, Taylor was discovered at her father's art gallery and began her career in 1942, age 10, but by 1944 she was the one to watch as the lead in the movie National Velvet, the story of a girl jockey who wins the Grand National disguised as a boy.

She married hotel heir Nicky Hilton when she was 18 and divorced him 203 days later, as the first of eight trips down the aisle.

Taylor's acting was much-admired by moviegoers worldwide as well as her peers. She won her first Oscar as a high-class prostitute inBUtterfield 8.

Her love life produced headlines throughout her life. Perhaps her most famous pairing was with Welsh-born actor Richard Burton, who she married and divorced twice. She played opposite Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and garnered an Academy award from that performance.

After their second divorce, Taylor plunged into alcoholism and retreated from the movie scene, taking much of the 1980s to dry out. She reinvented herself as a champion of Aids victims, throwing her support behind a cause that helped to dispel the stigma of the fatal disease.

She is survived by her children, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

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