In 2006, she appeared on Larry King's CNN interview show to deny reports that she was gravely ill or suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
VIDEO: Larry King Calls To Talk About Death of Elizabeth Taylor
Taylor has had three hip-replacement operations, a benign brain tumor, skin cancer and pneumonia. She spent two stints in rehab in the 1980s for alcohol and prescription drug addiction.
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.
She had not appeared on screen since the 2001 TV movie "Old Broads." Her last Hollywood movie performance was the 1994 live action comedy "The Flintstones."
Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor were cast in a memorable motion picture classic, National Velvet, in 1944, when she was only 12-years old. He was then 24.
They have been life-long friends ever since that first film.
Today, Mr. Rooney had this to say about the death of his friend: "Our loss in the motion picture business with Elizabeth Taylor's passing is momentous. She was a lady who gave of herself to everyone. I know I consider it a great personal loss."
There was also reaction from celebrities around the world. Elton John issued this statement: "We have just lost a Hollywood giant; more importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."
Joan Collins remembered Taylor as a great beauty, "she was the last of the true Hollywood icons, a great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating the world throughout her tumultuous life and career."
Nancy Reagan worked with Taylor at MGM when she was just a teenager: "Elizabeth Taylor as a dear friend," Reagan said in a statement on Wednesday. "I watched her grow into one of Hollywood's finest actresses."
"She was passionate -- and compassionate -- about everything in her life, including her family, her friends and especially the victims of AIDS. She was truly a legend and we will miss her."
Taylor made many charity appearances, especially those connected to her AIDS foundation.
"Elizabeth Taylor holds a special place in the hearts of people with AIDS and their supporters for her tireless efforts to combat this dreaded disease," Michael Weinstein, President of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said. "Long before it was fashionable, she was there by our side. We will miss her."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
People wanting to send personal messages can log onto http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethTaylorTribute.
Elizabeth Taylor Late to Own Funeral, Just as She Planned
Taylor died of congestive heart failure on Wednesday at the age of 79.
VIDEO: The Career and Life of Elizabeth Taylor
Actress Elizabeth Taylor (Getty Images)