By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 23, 2011 at 1:57AM
Movie stars didn't come much more glamorous or talented than Elizabeth Taylor and today, Hollywood has lost one of yesteryear's brightest stars. Taylor has passed away today at the age of 79.
While a whole entry could made about her personal life and various scandals in the public eye, it's easy to forget that she was one of the finest actresses of her generation. Nominated for Best Actress five times, and winning twice for "Butterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf," Taylor's raw talent and stunning beauty made her a force to be reckoned with on screen.
Taylor got her first taste of fame at the age of 12, starring in the now classic family film "National Velvet" and from there her star would continue to rise. "A Place In The Sun" was the first role as an adult which drew critical acclaim in 1952, and she would go on to work with an array of talented directors in a number of classic films including: George Stevens ("Giant," "A Place In The Sun"), Richard Brooks ("Cat On A Hot Tin Roof"), Joseph L. Mankiewicz ("Suddenly, Last Summer"), Vincente Minnelli ("Father Of The Bride"), Michael Curtiz ("Life With Father"), Mervyn LeRoy ("Quo Vadis") and more.
And then there was "Cleopatra." The most infamous entry in her filmography -- and known as the movie that nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox -- the massive tale of the Egyptian leader could be a whole story unto itself. But the endless production that lasted two years, had three directors, endless rewrites and delays and was marked in the public eye by the torrid affair between Taylor and Richard Burton is still a remarkable watch, in large part due to Taylor's incredible presence.
As the classic film era ended, Taylor continued to act through the '80s and '90s, but became much more known for her activist work, particularly in the fight against AIDS, becoming one of the first celebrities to fight for funding and research. The actress also launched a personal line of perfumes and jewelry and in 1999 was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Taylor is survived by her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She was one of the brightest lights of silver screen, and one of the few remaining links to Hollywood's golden era. She will be missed. [via ABC News]