Elizabeth Taylor Dead at 79

Actress Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1955. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images) Photo: Archive Photos/2008 Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress who has been famous since she starred in National Velvet at the age of 12, has died. She won two Academy Awards, for Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? and Butterfield 8 (watch her win here; the victory came soon after she had almost died of pneumonia), appeared in over 50 movies including Cleopatra and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was an early AIDS activist, had notoriously violet eyes, and was married eight times, most famously twice to Richard Burton (an intense, scandalous, on-set pairing that made the couple the biggest gossip story of their time. You can read a New York magazine story from 1983 about the pair here). Taylor, who hadn't left the hospital since being admitted in February, died of congestive heart failure. [NYT]