Actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79, her publicist confirmed in a statement today.

The star passed away from congestive heart failure in hospital last night having suffered from the condition since November 2004.

She was admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles 'for monitoring' last month.

Her publicist confirmed: 'Legendary actress, and fearless activist Elizabeth Taylor died peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.'

The English-American star, considered one of the great actresses of Hollywood's golden age, was surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton.

Taylor's son, Michael Wilding, said in a statement: 'We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.

'My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humour, and love.

He added: '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 Mum 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 ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.