(WXYZ) - Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor died in the early hours Wednesday morning from congestive heart failure.
The 79-year-old Hollywood icon was surrounded by her four children when she passed away at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Taylor was known as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood in what was considered the 'Golden Age' of film. She starred in many classic films such as National Velvet, Cleopatra and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
In the early 1960s, she became the highest paid actress of her time when she accepted a one million dollar contract for her role in Cleopatra.
Read the statement below from Elizabeth Taylor's publicist:
Legendary actress, businesswoman, and fearless activist Elizabeth Taylor died peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her children- Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. She was 79 years old. In addition to her children, she is survived by 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
The actress had been hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, a condition with which she had struggled for some years. Though she had recently suffered a number of complications, her condition had stabilized and it was hoped that she would be able to return home. Sadly, this was not to be.
Her son, Michael Wilding, said tonight:
"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."
A private family funeral later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation ( elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org ). People wanting to send personal messages can log onto http://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Taylor-Tribute .
It is respectfully asked that the public allow the family privacy at this difficult time. Details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.
TAKE A LOOK BACK AT THE LEGENDARY ACTRESS IN OUR ELIZABETH TAYLOR PHOTO GALLERY .