Silver screen icon and tireless AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor died on Wednesday at the age of 79.
Taylor’s publicist reported that the actress died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, with her children by her side. Taylor had been hospitalized for six weeks prior to passing.
Taylor appeared in more than 50 films and won Academy Awards for her performances in Butterfield 8 (1960) and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966).
Taylor was as famous for her advocacy work and stormy personal life as she was for her acting. The violet-eyed starlet was married and divorced eight times and endured multiple (and very public) bouts of physical ailments and resulting treatments. Near the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, she became an outspoken advocate for HIV/AIDS research and support, which earned her a special Oscar in 1993 and a GLAAD Vanguard Award in 1996.
Taylor is survived by her children, Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.