23 March 2011
Last updated at 13:09
Elizabeth Taylor (front row, centre), born in London in 1932 to American parents, became a child star after being spotted by movie scouts in Los Angeles, where the family had moved to escape World War II.
Taylor became a rising star after early roles in films such as National Velvet. Her private life also became eventful as she embarked on the first of her marriages, with hotelier Conrad 'Nicky' Hilton Jr in 1950.
Her marriage to Hilton did not work out. By 1952 Taylor had married actor Michael Wilding, who was 19 years older than her and with whom she had two sons, Michael and Christopher.
By 1957 Taylor and Wilding had divorced and the actress converted to Judaism in order to marry film producer Mike Todd. He was killed in his aeroplane Lucky Liz a year later.
Taylor's next relationship was with singer Eddie Fisher. It caused a scandal as he was still married to actress Debbie Reynolds when the affair began. They married in 1959, but divorced in 1964.
Taylor began a romance with actor Richard Burton when they starred in the lavish movie Cleopatra. They married in 1964 and divorced in 1974, only to remarry a year later, finally parting in 1976.
She married again in December 1976, this time to former US naval secretary John Warner, who became a Republican senator. The marriage lasted until 1982.
Following several attempts to combat her addictions in the Betty Ford Clinic, Taylor announced she was to marry former patient Larry Fortensky, a builder. They divorced five years later.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Taylor made few films but remained a big star. She was made a Dame by the Queen in 1999 along with fellow movie star Julie Andrews.
In her later years, Taylor's close friendship with the late Michael Jackson was considered just another facet of her colourful character and life.
As well as battling drug and alcohol addiction, Taylor was also weakened by sickness for many years. She had two hip replacements, a brain tumour, pneumonia, heart problems and scoliosis.
By 2007, Taylor's movie career had dried up, but she gave a one-off performance in AR Gurney's Love Letters, to benefit her Aids charity.