R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)

Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California this morning. The actress died from a congestive heart failure, after being hospitalized for six weeks. She was 79.

Though her film work has often been overshadowed by her rocky personal life, Liz was quite the silver screen goddess. She made her on-screen debut at the age of nine in the film There’s One Born Every Minute, but rose to fame after she took on the titular role of Velvet Brown in 1944’s National Velvet – a film that in 2003 was selected for entry to the prestigious National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” She was 12.

After a string of successful films as a teenager, Liz transitioned to adult roles in hits including Father of the Bride (1950) and George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun (1951), co-starring Montgomery Clift. Her role in A Place in the Sun established Liz as an actress to be reckoned with. The role propelled her into more dramatic fair such as the 1956’s Giant, opposite James Dean and Rock Hudson, and Raintree County, the 1957 film that earned her the first of five Best Actress Oscar nominations. By 1960, she was arguably the most famous actress in the world. She went on to win Oscars and work on more films throughout the 60’s, but by the 70’s her film career started to dapper. Taylor’s last theatrical film was the hit 1994 live-action remake of The Flinstones, where she played Wilma’s meddling mother, Pearl Slaghoople.

Elizabeth Taylor in more recent years at an event in 2009

Known mostly for her numerous husbands, her love of jewels as well as her philanthropic work, she became a spokeswoman for humanitarian causes, notably AIDS research. That work gained her a special Oscar in 1993.

In a statement, her son Michael Wilding said, “We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.”

Liz Taylor, you will be missed!

In honor of Elizabeth Taylor, what was your favorite work of hers?