LOS ANGELES – A representative for Elizabeth Taylor dismissed tabloid reports Thursday that the actress is gravely ill, saying that she is hospitalized but doing "fine" and expects to return home shortly.
A statement released by Dick Guttman, her Los Angeles-based publicist, did not say where she was staying Thursday or what had been ailing the 76-year-old actress.
"Ms. Taylor is fine," the statement reads. "The rumors which began in England about her health are dramatic, overstated and untrue. Her hospital visit was precautionary. She will be returning home shortly. At present, she is surrounded by family, friends and fabulous jewels."
The U.K.'s Daily Mail picked up a National Enquirer story Thursday which reports that Taylor was put on life support after a bout of pneumonia led to congestive heart failure.
Her children kept a 48-hour vigil at her hospital bedside as she teetered on the brink of death, drifting in and out of consciousness and struggling to breathe, a close family friend reportedly told the Enquirer.
“The doctors thought they were going to lose her,” the friend reportedly said. “She’s still very sick, but she’s past the crisis and breathing on her own," the friend added.
A number of health issues have dogged Taylor through the years, including congestive heart failure in 2004 that, compounded with spinal fractures and the effects of scoliosis, left her nearly bedridden. She's also battled ulcers, amoebic dysentery, bursitis, acute bronchitis, two serious bouts of pneumonia, drug and alcohol addiction and a benign brain tumor that was removed in 1997.
Taylor lives in Bel Air, a tony section of Los Angeles.
The actress has won two Oscars for best actress and starred in more than 55 films, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Butterfield 8," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra."
Taylor, a mother of four, has been married and divorced eight times. She was made an honorary dame by the Queen in 2000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.