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Academy Award Winner Elizabeth Taylor Has Died

Elizabeth Taylor
(© Joseph Marzullo/Retna)
Stage and screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has died, according to published reports. She was 79.

Taylor's work on stage included two appearances on Broadway: her Tony Award-nominated turn in The Little Foxes, as well as a 1983 revival of Private Lives. She was also among the producers for the 1983 Broadway revival of The Corn is Green.

For her work on the screen, the performer won two Academy Awards. The first came in 1961 for Butterfield 8 and she received her second Oscar in 1967 for the film version of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. She received an additional three Oscar nominations, two for screen versions of Tennessee Williams' plays Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly Last Summer, as well as Raintree County. In 1993 she received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Taylor also played the role of Desiree in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music, and starred opposite then-husband Richard Burton in Boom, which was based on Williams' The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore. and the film version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. She also appeared in the 1989 TV film of Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth.

Among her myriad other films are Giant, A Place in the Sun, National Velvet, Cleopatra, and Doctor Faustus. She appeared on TV in the miniseries North and South, the film These Old Broads, and as Helena Cassadine on ABC's daytime drama General Hospital.

Among her many other honors a 2002 Kennedy Center Honor for her film work and in 2000, Queen Elizabeth II made her a dame commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Taylor's seven marriages often received as much publicity as her films. After her first marriage to Conrad Hilton, Jr. ended in divorce, she married Michael Wilding, Eddie Fisher, Richard Burton, John Warner, and Larry Fortensky, all of which also ended in divorce. In addition, she was married to producer and theater impresario Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash in 1958.

Her survivors include two children from her marriage to Wilding, a daughter from her marriage to Todd, a daughter she and Burton adopted, Maria Carson; a brother, Howard Taylor; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as such stepchildren as actresses Kate Burton and Carrie Fisher.

A private family funeral will be held later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.