Dur­ing a ca­reer that spanned six dec­ades, Eliza­beth Taylor won two Oscars and made more than 50 films, per­form­ing along­side such fabled lead­ing men as Spen­cer Tracy, Mont­gomery Clift, Mar­lon Brando and Richard Bur­ton, whom she mar­ried twice.

    Her pas­sions were le­gend. The le­gendary beauty with lav­ender eyes loved to eat, which led to well-pub­li­cized battles with weight over the years. She loved men, dat­ing many of the world's richest and most fam­ous, in­clud­ing Frank Sinatra, Henry Kis­sing­er and Mal­colm For­bes, and mar­ried eight times, in­clud­ing the two vis­its to the al­tar with Bur­ton.

    But Taylor at­trac­ted mis­for­tune too. Ac­cord­ing to one chron­icler, she suffered more than 70 ill­nesses, in­jur­ies and ac­ci­dents re­quir­ing hos­pit­al­iz­a­tion, in­clud­ing an ap­pendec­tomy, an emer­gency tracheotomy, a punc­tured eso­phag­us, a hys­ter­ec­tomy, dys­en­tery, an ul­cer­ated eye, smashed spin­al discs, phle­bit­is, skin can­cer and hip re­place­ments. In 1997, she had a be­nign brain tu­mor re­moved. By her own count, she nearly died four times. Taylor died Wed­nes­day morn­ing of con­gest­ive fail­ure in Los Angeles. She was 79.

    — Elaine Woo (March 23, 2011)

    Weddings, divorces and a tragedy

    Sources: Los Angeles Times
    Credits: Megan Garvey, Maloy Moore, Anthony Pesce, Ben Welsh