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Taylor keeps spirits up despite health troubles

Actress suffers from congestive heart failure
/ Source: The Associated Press

Elizabeth Taylor is in good spirits despite suffering from congestive heart failure, her publicist said.

Taylor, 72, told W magazine in its December issue that she has the cardiac condition, in which the heart fails to pump enough blood through the body, resulting in fatigue, shortness of breath, fluid buildup and other symptoms.

The actress, an Academy Award winner for 1966’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and 1960’s “Butterfield 8,” also said she has scoliosis that has twisted her spine, resulting in constant pain.

“My body’s a real mess,” said Taylor, whose screen credits also include “Cleopatra,” “Suddenly, Last Summer,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “National Velvet.” “If you look at it in the mirror, it’s just completely convex and concave.”

Despite Taylor’s health problems, her spokeswoman, Sally Morrison, said Monday the actress was coping well and remained cheerful. She recently attended a friend’s birthday party, according to Morrison.

Taylor has lived through two life-threatening bouts with pneumonia, one requiring a tracheotomy, back fractures, two hip replacements and a brain tumor, among other health ailments.

She told the magazine she is not afraid to die.

“Really I’m not, because I’ve been there,” Taylor said.