Liz Taylor dies

Distinguished film actress Elizabeth Taylor has died, aged 79.

The English-American actress, considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden age, was born in London on 27 February 1932.

The Dame, married eight times, was last month treated in hospital in Los Angeles for congestive heart failure.

Dame Elizabeth had heart surgery in 2009 to replace a leaky valve and has a long history of health problems.

The actress won two Oscars in the 1960s, for her roles in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Butterfield 8.

But she was also well known for a colourful personal life that included two tempestuous marriages to Welsh film star Richard Burton.

Starting off as an adolescent actress in the 40s - with MGM productions Lassie Come Home, Jane Eyre and The White Cliffs of Dover - Taylor skyrocketed to fame at the tender age of 12 with National Velvet, a 1944 equestrian drama that also marked the beginning of the star's physical ailments, after she hurt her back falling off a horse during the production.

Taylor then transitioned into adult roles with films like Father of the Bride and A Place in the Sun... though her most memorable appearance - though it was financially disastrous for the studio - was the 1963 production of Cleopatra. The film's production was a misjudged mess and although the $26 million sum it managed to rake in was impressive for its time, it was nowhere near a break-even.

Still, the film contributed towards making an icon out of Taylor, while also supplying her with a new husband - her romantic co-star Richard Burton, with whom she would collaborate (as well as divorce and re-marry) over the years in several off-beat productions that challenged her diva status: including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a number of less successful attempts.

Her star waned somewhat in the 80s, during which decade she also committed herself for treatment against alcoholism.

Her final cinematic appearance came in 1994, in an adaptation of the The Flinstones cartoon. She played Wilma's mother.

Taylor was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure (which led to her death) in 2004, after surviving a plethora of previous illnesses,  and ailments, including skin cancer.