North and South
One of pop culture's most unforgettable figures, Elizabeth Taylor has died. She was 79. According to USA Today, the legendary actress entered Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles two months ago for treatment for congestive heart failure.
Born in the Hampstead district of North West London, Taylor's parents were originally from Kansas. The family returned to the U.S. before the start of the second World War. Here in the states, Taylor became an in demand child actress, appearing in such films as There's One Born Every Minute, Lassie Come Home, Jane Eyre, The White Cliffs of Dover and National Velvet, the latter of which made her an international star.
Taylor's adult filmography proved second only to her real-life soap opera romances in terms of legendary status. She won two Academy awards during her storied career, one in 1961 for Best Actress for Butterfield 8 and again in 1967 for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She also was afforded a special Oscar in 1992 for her humanitarian efforts in the fight against AIDS.
In 1981, Taylor contacted the brass at the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, demanding to know when her favorite couple, Luke Spencer (Tony Geary) and Laura Vining Webber Baldwin (Genie Francis) would finally be married. According to then-head writer Thom Racina—who had no plans to marry the popular couple at the time— he told Taylor he would write a wedding for Luke and Laura if she appeared on the soap. Helena Cassadine was born and Luke and Laura's wedding went on to be the most-watched hour in daytime television history. Take a look at a funny, charming outtakes reel of the legend's appearance as Helena below. The world has truly lost a treasure.