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Actress Elizabeth Taylor, seriously ill in a hospital intensive care unit with pneumonia, was on a ventilator to assist her breathing but "is not on her deathbed," her spokeswoman said.

The two-time Academy Award winner was in stable condition at St. John's Hospital after doctors performed a biopsy on her lungs in an effort to determine what type of pneumonia she has and how she got it, publicist Chen Sam said Monday from New York. Sam said the actress was conscious and visited with her children for a few minutes Monday."She is seriously ill," Sam said but added, "she is not on her deathbed."

Taylor, 58, was moved to the intensive care unit Friday, three days after being transferred to St. John's from another hospital where she had checked in April 9 with what was described as a sinus condition and fever. The biopsy was conducted Sunday.

"After (biopsy) surgery, her breathing is now being assisted by a ventilator," Sam said. "Her condition is presently stabilizing and physicians are pleased with her progress."

The hospital refused to release any information on Taylor's condition and referred all calls to the publicist.

At the time Taylor was transferred to St. John's, one of her physicians, Dr. Patricia Murray, an infectious disease specialist, said the actress was diagnosed with pneumonia and was suffering from a high fever.

Taylor issued a statement at the same time in which she denied rumors that she was suffering from AIDS. Taylor has been active in AIDS public education efforts and has raised millions of dollars for AIDS research.

The violet-eyed actress, married seven times, including two marriages to the late actor Richard Burton, won best actress Oscars for her performances in "Butterfield 8" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Taylor, who has admitted a long dependence on such drugs as Demerol and Valium, as well as alcohol, has experienced other serious health problems. She suffered from back problems starting in 1957 and nearly died of pneumonia while filming in London in the early 1960s.