Elizabeth Taylor: 1932 – 2011

Very sad news to start your Wednesday morning: Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most iconic and established actresses of Hollywood’s golden age, has passed away. She was 79.

Taylor, who died this morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, had been hospitalized since mid-February for symptoms related to congestive heart failure. Despite showing some signs of improvement, Taylor eventually succumbed to her illness.

Taylor’s son, Michael Wilding, said of his mother’s passing in a statement:

“Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

For our part, we’ll remember Taylor best not just for an acting career that saw celebrated roles in “Cleopatra,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and more, but also her sheer influence on celebrity culture. From fashion to fragrances, there was no way of missing Elizabeth’s presence. May she rest in peace.

Stay tuned to MTV Movies Blog and the greater MTV community throughout the day as we continue to remember the dearly departed actress.

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