class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-79582″ title=”elizabeth taylor” src=”” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”150″ />Very sad news is breaking – Dame Elizabeth Taylor has died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

As is so often the case now Twitter broke the news to many, with confirmation following from ABC, CNN and the BBC that the Hollywood icon had passed away following complications during treatment for congestive heart failure.

She began her acting career at ten and was soon picked up by MGM, where two years after her screen debut she became a sensation with her role in National Velvet, a film which ensured her star status for years to come. It is a testament to her talent and her strength that her off-screen affairs never once threatened to overshadow her work in film, and her place in the Hollywood hall of fame is assured.

Each of us will have our favourite of her screen roles, Cleopatra in particular is a fierce performance which retains its power to this day and will remain iconic, as will her turn as Maggie Pollitt opposite Paul Newman in Richard Brooks’ screen adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. For what it’s worth I always enjoyed her Amy in the 1949 version of Little Women.

If you’ve not seen any of these now is a good time to catch up – I doubt anyone will ever come close to matching her for true screen presence.