By Kate Ward
Updated March 23, 2011 at 06:06 PM EDT
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Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com; Everett Collection

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf director Mike Nichols has released a statement about his friend and former star Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in the early morning. Said Nichols, “The shock of Elizabeth was not only her beauty. It was her generosity. Her giant laugh. Her vitality, whether tackling a complex scene on film or where we would all have dinner until dawn. She is singular and indelible on film and in our hearts.” Nichols direction of Taylor in the 1966 film helped the actress win her second Academy Award.

For more on Liz Taylor and her storied life both on-screen and off, pick up the issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands April 1.

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