Slideshow: Elizabeth Taylor, Hollywood movie legend, dead at 79 (photos, video)
Los Angeles, Calif. – On Wednesday, Hollywood legend and two-time Oscar winner, Elizabeth Taylor, died at a Los Angeles area hospital. She was 79.
Taylor passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after being hospitalized for six weeks with congestive heart failure. She had recently suffered a spate of health issues and when making public appearances, she was confined to a wheelchair and looked frail.
Taylor suffered a number of serious illnesses over her lifetime and said during a 2001 interview that she learned something from each health setback.
“Each time that I have almost died, while I have been recuperating and not quite knowing whether I was going to make it or not, you have time, plenty of time,” she said.
Taylor added, “…There must be some reason that God wants me to live. There must be something left for me to do. And I have to find out what that something is and go out there and do it!”
She reportedly had a near-death experience during a surgical procedure in the 1950s, saying her late third husband, Mike Todd, was waiting for her in a tunnel filled with warmth and light.
After that experience, the actress said she no longer feared death.
In the 1980s, Taylor did a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic for alcohol addiction, and later suffered substance abuse, with prosecutors finding that doctors had over-prescribed the star pain killers in the 1990s for her back pain.
In 1992, Taylor underwent lung surgery after coming down with pneumonia and several years later had two hip-replacement surgeries and a surgery for a benign brain tumor. On her 66th birthday, she took a spill in her home and suffered a compression fracture in her back.
In 2004, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and in 2009, she underwent surgery to repair a leaky valve.
She began her acting career as a child in 1943’s ‘Lassie Come Home,’ starring in almost 50 films in her illustrious career.
In 1961, she won an Oscar for ‘Butterfield 8,’ and six years later garnered another Academy Award for her role in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’
Taylor is survived by four children and ten grandchildren.
To see photos of Elizabeth Taylor over the years, click on the slideshow to the left of this article, or click here.
To see an interview with Elizabeth Taylor regarding her near-death experience, click on the video player to the left of this article, or click here.
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