9:14am

Wed March 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Elizabeth Taylor Has Died; She Was 79

ABC News and CNN are reporting that actress Elizabeth Taylor has died. She was 79.

NPR has not yet independently confirmed that news. (Update at 9:18 a.m. ET: NPR has now gotten that confirmation.)

Taylor made her movie debut at the age of 10 in There's One Born Every Minute. Her role in 1944's National Velvet made her a star. Later, she was the movie world's most famous Cleopatra.

And, of course, she was half of one of the last century's most notable and volatile romances with actor Richard Burton.

We'll have more as the story develops.

Update at 9:50 a.m. ET: In a report for our Newscast, NPR's Allison Keyes notes that as a child star, Taylor's "violet eyes and stunning beauty" endeared her to fans. As an adult, her "portraits of women facing adversity displayed her emotional range and sensuality."

The winner of two Oscars, Allison adds, Taylor was also famous for "her seven husbands and frequent health issues," and for her work raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Update at 9:40 a.m. ET: There's an NPR.org look at Taylor's career, and a photo gallery of her through the years, posted here.

Update at 9:35 a.m. ET: As IMDB.com says, "Taylor is considered one of the last, if not the last major star, to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system." Its look at her legacy begins here.

Update at 9:25 a.m. ET: The Associated Press reports that "publicist Sally Morrison says the actress died Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from congestive heart failure. Morrison says her children were at her side. She'd been hospitalized for about six weeks." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.