Actress Elizabeth Taylor is said to be remaining "cheerful" despite suffering from congestive heart failure.
Taylor has won two Oscars and married eight times
The 72-year-old has the cardiac condition with symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath.
The actress also has scoliosis that twisted her spine, resulting in constant pain, and previously survived two bouts of pneumonia.
Nevertheless her spokeswoman, Sally Morrison, said Dame Elizabeth was coping well and remained cheerful.
Ms Morrison said Dame Elizabeth had been well enough to attend a friend's recent birthday party.
The London-born actress began acting in films from the age of eight, having her first big success with National Velvet in 1944.
She received Oscars for her roles in 1960's Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in 1967.
Dame Elizabeth was famous throughout the 60s
Dame Elizabeth has been married eight times, twice to the late Welsh actor Richard Burton.
Following her bouts of pneumonia and two hip replacements, she survived surgery for a benign brain tumour in 1997.
Retiring from acting in 2003, Dame Elizabeth continues to campaign for Aids research.