U.S. actress Elizabeth Taylor laid to rest

Published: 26/03/2011 05:00



Family members and close friends held a private funeral service for Hollywood doyenne Elizabeth Taylor at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale near Los Angeles Thursday afternoon, one day after the movie legend passed away at age 79.

The funeral service was held at Forest Lawn where Taylor’s close friend Michael Jackson was interred after he died June 25, 2009, when the pop icon was busy rehearsing for his London comeback concert.

The glamorous queen of American cinema stardom died of congestive heart failure at 1:28 a.m. Wednesday “peacefully,” after she had been hospitalized for the past six weeks at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

She is survived by 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Four of Taylor’s children, Michael and Christopher Wilding, daughters Liza Todd and Maria Burton, were with her at the hospital when she died.

“We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world,” Michael Wilding said in a statement.

“Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for mom having lived in it.

“Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America Chris Dodd lauded Taylor’s contribution to both the arts and to society as a whole.

“Her talent endured the test of time and transcended generations of moviegoers,” Dodd said. “She truly was an American icon, whose legacy went far beyond her acting skills, most notably in her efforts to lead the battle against HIV/AIDS.”

Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, also praised Taylor for her humanitarian work in the fight against the AIDS.

“Elizabeth Taylor holds a special place in the hearts of people with AIDS and their supporters for the tireless efforts to combat this dreaded disease,” Weinstein said. “Long before it was fashionable, she was there by our side. We will miss her.”

The two-time Oscar best actress winner was interred at Great Mausoleum near Holly Terrace, the final resting place for Jackson. Taylor was “sheltered beneath a soaring marble Michelangelo angel,” her publicist said.

Throughout her adult life, the child star-turned-film queen was in and out of hospitals for numerous times for treatment of a range of illnesses, experienced several near-death moments.

By the time she was 66, Taylor had undergone more than 20 major surgeries, including an operation in 1997 to remove a benign growth in the lining of her brain.

She kissed the death from a viral pneumonia in 1990. A relapse two years later led to another hospital stay.

Taylor fell at her home on her 66th birthday, which resulted in another trip to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors discovered a slight compression fracture in her lower back.

In 2004 Taylor was announced to have been suffering from congestive heart failure, and in 2009 she underwent cardiac surgery to replace a leaky valve.

A crush of media descended on the cemetery, but no cameras or reporters were allowed inside the private event.

The hour-long service began slightly after the scheduled 2 p.m. start time at Taylor’s own request, her publicist said.

About 40 guests, consisting mainly of family members, participated in the event.

The Hollywood doyenne’s closed casket was draped with gardenias, violets and lily of the valley.

Source: Xinhuanet

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