Elizabeth Taylor is dead at 79

Elizabeth Taylor, Sept. 9, 1951.
Elizabeth Taylor, Sept. 9, 1951.

(CBS) Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79.

The actress, who won Oscars for her performances in "BUtterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" died Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure, publicist Sally Morrison said.

Pictures: Elizabeth Taylor
Pictures: Taylor's many marriages
Special section: Remembering Elizabeth Taylor

Morrison added that her children - Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton - were at her side.

Taylor had been hospitalized since early February, where she was being treated for symptoms of congestive heart failure.

"My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," Wilding said in a statement. "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 makeus 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."

In addition to her children, she is survived by 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Taylor first gained stardom as a child and appeared in more than 50 films.

She was equally famous for extraordinary beauty and her stormy personal life, including eight marriages and a series of physical ailments.

Eddie Fisher & Liz Taylor: Brangelina of the 1950s

In later years, she was a spokeswoman for humanitarian causes, notably AIDS research. That work gained her a special Oscar in 1993.

Elizabeth Taylor's Oscars