Elizabeth Taylor: Her Life in Photos on Sixth Anniversary of Death

Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress known for her beauty, her jet-set lifestyle, her charitable endeavors and her many marriages, dies on this date six years ago.

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Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011), British actress, wearing a red dress with a white fur stole in a studio portrait, against a white background, circa 1955. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
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Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011), British actress, wearing a red dress with a white fur stole in a studio portrait, against a white background, circa 1955. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
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Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress known for her beauty, her jet-set lifestyle, her charitable endeavors and her many marriages, has died. Publicist Sally Morrison says the actress died in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure at age 79. Click to see photos of her through the years.
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The actress was destined for stardom from a young age. She appeared in her first film at age 9. By age 12, she was pulling in a then-unthinkable sum of $30,000 for her role in "National Velvet."
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A 17-year-old Taylor poses with fiance William D. Pawley Jr., aged 28, beside the swimming pool at his father's home in Miami Beach, Florida in 1949.
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At 18, the actress wed for the first time to hotel magnate Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, Jr. Hilton, of course, was the son of Hilton Hotel founder Conrad Hilton, and was the great-uncle of Paris and Nicky Hilton.
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A family portrait of Taylor with her second husband, Michael Wilding, and one of the two sons they had together, also named Michael. It was the younger Wilding who released a statement following Taylor's death saying, "We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it."
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Taylor walks with her son, Michael, and her daughter, Liza Todd, in 1965. The younger Wilding also said of his mother, "Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."
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The star's marriage to Hilton, her first husband, lasted one year, as did her union with her third husband, film producer Mike Todd. Todd, who wed Taylor in 1957, died in a plane crash in 1958. The producer is known for developing the wide-screen film projection system known as Todd-AO.
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Taylor moved effortlessly from child star to adult sex symbol.
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Although it's a film she would later claim to dislike, Taylor's lead turn in 1961's "Butterfield 8" helped solidify her reputation as a screen icon, and earned her the first of two Best Actress Oscars she would win in her career.
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A sultry Taylor continued to push her new found sex symbol status in films like the adaptation of the Tennessee Williams' play, "Suddenly, Last Summer."
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Selected by the American Film Institute as #7 on their list of the 50 Greatest American Screen Legends, Taylor is perhaps best known for her role in "Cleopatra" in 1962.
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Taylor received a then-unheard salary of $1 million for the title role in "Cleopatra."
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Taylor sitting in the back seat of a car as it leaves the “Cleopatra” set at Rome’s Cinecitta Studio in 1962.
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The style icon's fourth marriage was to singer Eddie Fisher. Their relationship was scandalous because Fisher was married to Debbie Reynolds when he met Taylor on the set of "Butterfield 8" (he and Reynolds would divorce soon after) and Fisher was close friends with Taylor's third husband Mike Todd.
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One of Taylor's more acclaimed roles was that of Martha, alongside Richard Burton in the role of George, in the 1966 film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" It would earn Taylor her second Best Actress Oscar.
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Taylor beams over her "Virginia Woolf" Oscar.
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Considered the last bastion of "old Hollywood glamor" later in her life, Taylor built that reputation with elegant work in films like 1957's "Raintree County."
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The two-time Oscar winner was as well known for her film roles as her personal life. She married eight times, twice to the love of her life Richard Burton. Here the couple walk hand in hand in this fashionable Tyrrhenian seaside resort in Italy in 1971.
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The icon dove into a new role, playing the part of the politician's wife, in 1976 when she wed John Warner. Warner, with Taylor's help, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978.
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The socialite and social activist could always wow a crowd. Here, she greets fans onstage before an Elton John concert in New York City in 1982.
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"We have just lost a Hollywood giant," said longtime pal Elton John upon hearing of Taylor's death. "More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."
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The "King of Pop" and Taylor met in the early 80s. The pair bonded over what Taylor described as "horrible childhoods."
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The two stars were close friends up until Michael Jackson's death in 2009. There were even rumors that the two had secretly married, but they were unfounded.
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In 1993, the Academy once again honored Taylor with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 65th Annual Academy Awards.
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Construction worker Larry Fortensky was the last man to stroll down the aisle with Taylor. The two met while attending the Betty Ford Clinic in 1987.
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Taylor was a frequent guest on good friend Larry King's show. In this still from a 2003 appearance, she shows King the diamond ring she received from Burton, who died in 1984. Taylor is accompanied by her dog, Sugar.
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Taylor was a tireless advocate for AIDS research, crusading for a cure after close friend Rock Hudson announced he had the disease in 1985.
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The Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington D.C. dedicated their AIDS/HIV treatment center to the charitable star. They officially opened the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center in 1993.
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The Hollywood icon was confined to a wheelchair for the last five years of her life, fighting a number of debilitating ailments.
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Taylor's death at age 79 came just days after being declared in stable condition at a Los Angeles Hospital. She is survived by her four children, 10 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.
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Elizabeth Taylor with Richard Burton and children Michael Wilding, Chistopher Wilding, Elisabeth Todd and Maria Burton in 1967.
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Actress Elizabeth Taylor and her second husband Mike Wilding arrive at a crowded event in formal attire, circa 1954.
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British-born actress Elizabeth Taylor at a Wembley studio with Stephen Sondheim, to record the songs for the film 'A Little Night Music', 10th August 1976. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics for the film.
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Actress Elizabeth Taylor celebrates her investiture after being made a Dame by the Queen on May 16, 2000. Elizabeth was joined at the Dorchester Hotel by her sons Michael and Christopher Wilding and their wives and her daughters Maria and Lizzie.
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Actress Elizabeth Taylor shows off her rope skills with a lasso on the set of the movie 'Giant' which was released on Nov. 24, 1956.
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