13 Feb 2011

Taylor in hospital

7:38 am on 13 February 2011

Actress Elizabeth Taylor is in hospital in California with congested heart failure.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center said it was not clear how long she will be in hospital.

Dame Elizabeth, 78, has a long history of medical problems and underwent heart surgery in 2009.

She has been using a wheelchair for more than five years to cope with chronic pain after breaking her back four times.

The actress had been scheduled to attend an award at a benefit gala for HIV/Aids charity amfAR on Wednesday in New York, but missed the event.

She is best known for her role as Cleopatra and for her portrayal of a neurotic alcoholic in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1967), for which she won an Oscar, her second. The first was for Butterfield 8 in 1960.

Taylor first achieved stardom at the age of 12 in National Velvet and became famous for her violet eyes, dark alluring beauty and love of diamonds.