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Friday, 21 January, 2000, 15:40 GMT
Gala fit for a Dame

Honoured: Liz Taylor at the 1999 Bafta awards

Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor will return to the UK for the first time since she became a Dame in the New Year's Honours List.

The 67-year-old will be the star guest at a gala tribute concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on 26 May.

Stars of stage and screen from across the globe are expected to pay tribute to the double Oscar-winning actress at Elizabeth Taylor: A Celebration.

Dazzling: Flashback to 1991
A spokesman for Cowan Symes, the company planning the event, said: "The line-up hasn't been announced yet, but we are anticipating we will have stars from all over the world, and they will largely be performing songs from the movies."

Although Dame Elizabeth will be at the gala, she will not be performing on stage.

The British-born actress made her first appearance on British soil for seven years last April, when she received a Fellowship at the Bafta Film Awards.

Proceeds from the concert will be split between the Red Hot Aids Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation, set up by the actress in the aftermath of her friend Rock Hudson's death from the illness.

Nothing like a Dame

Famed as much for her tempestuous private life as for her on-screen abilities, the eight-times married actress has accumulated some 5,000 awards for her acting.

She found fame in scores of films, including Cleopatra, The Little Foxes, National Velvet and A Place in the Sun.

Last year she had an operation to remove a benign brain tumour and came close to death after collapsing with viral pneumonia in 1961.

After the New Year's Honours earlier this month, she joked: "Well, I've always been a 'broad', now it's a great honour to be a dame!"

Reflecting on her life recently, Dame Elizabeth said: "Everything was handed to me. Looks, fame, wealth, honours, love.

"But I've paid for that luck with disasters, the deaths of so many good friends, terrible illnesses, destructive addictions, broken marriages.

"All things considered, I'm damned lucky to be alive."

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See also:
31 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Hollywood's favourite Dame
31 Aug 99 |  Entertainment
Taylor returns home
21 May 99 |  Entertainment
Stars dig deep for Aids benefit

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