For Virginians, Elizabeth Taylor was not just an Oscar-winning actress. She was also a well known sight at political events in the late 1970s and 1980s as the wife of then-Sen. John Warner.

Warner was Taylor’s sixth husband. The couple was married from 1976 to 1982.

On Wednesday, Warner, who left office in January 2009, issued this statement about his former wife, who died at age 79:

“We were always friends – to the end. Likewise, my children bonded with hers, and they will be together at the services in California.

“She was my ‘partner’ in laying the foundation for 30 years of public service in the U.S. Senate, representing Virginia, a state she dearly loved, as it reminded her of her heritage in England.

“I shall remember her as a woman whose heart and soul were as beautiful as her classic face and majestic eyes.”