2011 in review: 10 memorable entertainment stories

Slideshow posted in Photos | Monday, December 19, 2011

2 of 10: Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor died on March 23, 2011 at the age of 79 .

She died peacefully at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton.

The actress was hospitalized the previous February with congestive heart failure, a condition she had struggled with for years, according to her family.

Taylor was known to the world over the years for her beauty and talent, her AIDS activism and philanthropic work, as well as her many marriages.

Taylor's son Michael Wilding released the following statement:

"My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. 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. 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."

The actress, who has in recent years used a wheelchair when appearing in public, is known for roles in films such as 'Cleopatra' and 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'

Taylor was laid to rest a day after her death at a private memorial service at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Los Angeles. It was attended by family and friends such as actor Colin Farrell, who recited Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem, 'The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo' before the guests.

Taylor was also known as a close friend of singer Michael Jackson, who died in 2009, and often appeared in modern pop culture.

On the HBO series 'Sex and the City,' Charlotte, played by Kristin Davis, named her dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, after the actress, who she called 'the prettiest girl in the world.' In 1992, Taylor provided the voice of usually-silent baby Maggie Simpson on the hit animated series 'The Simpsons.'

(Check out what celebrities such as Joan Rivers had to say in memory of Elizabeth Taylor and also check out which other celebrities died in 2011.)

(Pictured: Elizabeth Taylor appears in a promotional image for 'Cleopatra' in 1963.) (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)

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