London-born actress Elizabeth Taylor, who hated the nickname "Liz", passed away yesterday at age 79. She grew up on screen when she came to fame at age 12 in National Velvet and went on to star in over 60 films and win two Academy Awards. She was also an AIDS activist, inspired by the death of her close friend Rock Hudson. Beyond her charity work and glamorous screen persona, she had a stormy life, which included eight marriages and a lifetime of health problems - skin cancer, seizures, stroke, brain tumors, diabetes, hip replacements, back operations, but somehow managed to bounce back with force and resilience from all these physical and relationship set backs. Co-star Paul Newman said "her life has not been an easy or a private one, but a series of tribulations, serious illnesses, senseless tragedy and lost love. One thing for sure: She is not afraid to take chances in front of people. I find a lot of actors who reach the top, they become very protective of themselves, and self-indulgent, but not Elizabeth. I was always staggered by her ferocity."

“I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I’m me. God knows, I’m me.” - Elizabeth Taylor

1932 - 2011

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