People

Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

Stylist is sad to report that Dame Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at the age of 79.

Dubbed 'the last of the Hollywood greats', the much-loved actress's life had held the public imagination from the moment she first appeared on screen in 1942, not only for her beauty and glamour, but also for her turbulent personal life, her many marriages and her tireless charity work.

Born to American parents in London in 1932, Dame Elizabeth starred in her first film, There’s One Born Every Minute, at just 10 years old. She then skyrocketed in to fame at the age of 12 after her role as Velvet Brown in National Velvet but, like many childhood stars, she struggled for the public to accept her in more mature roles and for MGM, the production company to which she was signed, to give her more serious parts.

However, in 1960 Taylor went on to land one of her most famous roles as Cleopatra, complete with a million dollar pay cheque - a first for any Hollywood actress. Taylor starred opposite Richard Burton, whom Taylor went on to marry twice, marking the start of an iconic Hollywood relationship.

It was no secret that as captivating she was on screen, and it was Taylor’s glamorous, provocative personal life that lead to the most interest. She married a total of eight times in her life (she was divorced seven times and widowed once), although it is thought she never got over Burton and was inconsolable following his death in 1984, saying "perhaps we loved each other too much".

Taylor was always ahead of the times, from her controversial movie roles, to her personal life, and in 2009 she managed to break the mould again by joining - and becoming an active user of - Twitter. She used the medium to both promote the various good causes she was a supporter of (including many AIDS charities) and to share inspirational words of wisdom. One of her final tweets, referring to rumours of a film about her and Richard Burton's life together, read "No one is going to play Elizabeth Taylor, but Elizabeth Taylor herself.. Not at least until I'm dead, and at the moment I'm having too much fun being alive...and I plan on staying that way. Happiness to all."

Dame Elizabeth Taylor passed away today (23 March 2011) at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in LA. She will endure as one of Hollywood’s greatest and most glamorous icons, and she will be greatly missed.

See Dame Elizabeth's life in pictures here

Picture credits: Rex Features