Elizabeth Taylor, an actress who entertained generations of movie-goers, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure after spending weeks in a Los Angeles hospital. She was 79.
The famed actress first appeared in film at the age of 9, according to the New York Times, and grew up in front of the audience.
"She embodied everything it is to be a movie star," said Turner Classic Movies weekend host and film expert Ben Mankiewicz. "There's such a tendency to diminish her talent while looking at her stardom. I don't think they have to be separated, they're one and the same. But you can't escape the awesome power of her stardom."
USA Today reported on her legacy: three Oscars, fragrance and jewelry lines, more than 50 films, encouraged more acceptance for gay people, call for more attention to the AIDS epidemic.
She suffered from multiple medical ailments and came close to death several times in her lifetime, according to USA Today.
Despite the media attention Taylor received throughout her life, she did not go searching for it. "She wasn't a calculating diva," said William Mann, author of How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood. "She got the media exposure because of the way she lived her life. She wasn't out there seeking it. It came to her."
USA Today reported that she was tweeting merrily on Twitter until her last moments, raising millions for charities.
"Hers was the fully lived life," said Frank Farley, a psychologist at Temple University. "To me, her life spelled passion. She lived by her heart and died by her heart."
She is survived by four children: sons Christopher and Michael Wilding and daughters Liza Todd-Tivey and Maria Burton-Carson. She also had 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
"My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," said Michael in a statement reported by ABC News. "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."