Elizabeth Taylor Dies: Hollywood Loses a Star, General Hospital Loses a Friend

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Elizabeth Taylor (as Helena, GH)Screen icon Elizabeth Taylor dies of congestive heartfailure at age 79

Elizabeth Taylor, known for her lavendar eyes, died early Wendesday, March 23, 2011 at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, surrounded by her four children, Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton.

A true Hollywood starlet, two-time Academy Award winner Taylor captured the hearts and the imaginations of her adoring public as they followed her expoits both on

screen and off, including a scandalous marriage to Eddie Fisher after the untimely death of her third husband, Michael Todd in a plane crash, and the break up of Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Following mega hit films and a starring role on Broadway in Little Foxes, major productions like Cleopatra in which she met and starred with the man she married twice, Richard Burton, failed miserably at the box office almost causing Fox Studios to go bankrupt, Taylor's light began to fade by the 1970s.

In the 1980s "Her weight gains and troubles made her fodder for comics, but she had a shrewd sense of self-deprecation as well," notes the Hollywood Reporter. "Her career selections were often cheeky: She appeared in a cameo role on the ABC soap opera General Hospital and drew a record 16 million viewers that day."

It is because of her affiliation with General Hospital that she will be forever missed in soapdom, and General Hospital remembers her fondly:

Geary, Taylor, Francis"We were honored to work with Elizabeth Taylor on General Hospital," our contacts at GH shared with Soapdom. "Her portrayal of Helena was a defining moment for the show and an extraordinary experience for everyone involved. She was a great talent, a gracious lady, and a rare presence. We are deeply saddened by her passing and send our deepest condolences to her family and friends."

Like a true soap diva, Taylor married a total of eight times, and as mentioned before, twice to Richard Burton. Although I don't know if tihs is true or not, I read somewhere that the reason she married the men in her life was because she did not choose to have sexual relations outside of marriage.

During her stint on General Hospital, she befriended co-star Tony Geary (Luke) and as he revealed on a recent segment of the Oprah Winfrey Show, they even had a  romantic involvement that lasted several years.

Geary expresses his saddness at her passing and remembers all the amazing philanthropic work she initiated.

"Elizabeth was more than a great star, she was an amazing human being. Her world famous physical beauty paled in comparison to the beauty that radiated from her heart and soul," Geary shares with Soapdom. "She had great humor, didn't take herself too seriously, and had the most wonderful bawdy laugh. She was a fierce and loyal friend and tireless advocate. She dedicated herself to education, treatment and the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS long before it was fashionable to do so. Back in the dark days of ignorance and prejudice against people stricken with the disease, Elizabeth was at the forefront of the battle. Ever ready to give love, comfort, and dignity to those whose lives had been devastated and cut short, her generosity was nothing short of spectacular. It made her furious to hear anyone claim that people who had HIV/AIDS were somehow morally inferior or that the disease was some kind of punishment. I was fortunate enough to call her my friend and every moment I spent in her company was unforgettable. I loved her very much. The world is a little darker, a little colder, a little less beautiful without her."

Soapdom sends condolences to the family and friends of Elizabeth Taylor. May she rest in peace. To find out more...