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R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor

Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor passed away yesterday of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 79. Taylor, a two-time Academy Award-winning actress who became notorious for her impressive diamond jewelry collection and her notorious love life, which included 8 marriages to 7 men (she married actor Richard Burton twice) had reported health problems in recent years and appeared frail in public appearances.

Beyond acting, Taylor is credited with bringing the world’s attention to AIDS with her fund-raising and activism. In 1985, when Taylor’s lifelong friend Rock Hudson died of AIDS, she brought national attention to the growing disease. She raised and donated millions of dollars to the cause, founding the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

She was also an entrepreneur, spearheading a successful line of perfume and multiple jewelry lines. In 1999, Taylor was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

In addition to her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton, Taylor is survived by 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and said that those wanting to send personal messages can log on to Taylor’s official Facebook page or the Facebook Tribute Page.

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