March 25, 2011
Los Angeles, CA — Dame Elizabeth Taylor died today at the age of 79. She was an Academy Award-winning actress who starred in 70 films and television shows, a relentless HIV/AIDS activist who raised millions of dollars to fight the disease, and was known for her beauty and friendship to stars such as Michael Jackson and Rock Hudson. Seriously ill for more than a decade, Taylor died of congestive heart failure.
As news of Elizabeth Taylor's death spread, Elton John, Joan Rivers and other celebrities, as well as leaders of lgbt & Aids organizations, shared thoughts and memories about the iconic actress.
"We have just lost a Hollywood giant," John said in a statement. "More importantly, we have lost an incredible human being."
Joan Rivers offered through her Twitter account @Joan_Rivers: "Sad to hear of Elizabeth Taylor’s death. She was the 1st major celebrity to join me in the fight against AIDS when it wasn't a popular cause."
Singer George Michael wrote: "Such a sad day, Elizabeth Taylor was the last of the Hollywood greats, and a fantastically charming woman. She was also the only person I've ever met that had violet eyes. They were genuinely violet. So beautiful."
Singer Boy George said: "R.I.P the amazing Liz Taylor, goddess, actress, aids activist and one of the world's true beauties!"
Boy George added a story representing her mischievous side. He wrote: "Liz Taylor was once told by Princess Margaret that her famous diamond ring was vulgar she told Princess Margaret to try it on.....and said......'Not so vulgar now is it?"
Perhaps best-known for her work in iconic films such as Butterfield 8, National Velvet, Giant, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf and Father of the Bride. Taylor went on to make appearances in popular soap operas in the 1980s such as All My Children and General Hospital. Taylor also appeared as the voice of Maggie Simpson in a 1992 episode of The Simpsons.
Ms. Taylor was an early and fierce advocate for action to combat HIV/AIDS. As early as 1984, she organized and hosted the very first fundraiser for AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Moved by news that her dear friend and fellow actor, Rock Hudson, was dying from the disease, Ms. Taylor co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985 and in 1986, testified before Congress about the need for increased federal funding to combat the epidemic. By 1991, Ms. Taylor had established her own charity, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which has raised millions to provide critically needed support services and prevention education across the globe.
"Despite her own deteriorating health in recent years, Ms. Taylor remained committed to the fight against HIV/AIDS, serving as an inspiration to all of us living with and struggling against this disease. She was a beacon of compassion and fairness and her light will truly be missed by our community."
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, today said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the death Elizabeth Taylor. Ms. Taylor was a true ally to the lgbt community. She was one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis while many others stayed silent in the 1980s and she helped raise millions of dollars to fight the disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and to all those whose lives have been positively impacted by the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor."
Elizabeth Taylor was on Twitter. One of her last tweets was, "Give. Remember always to give. That is the thing that will make you grow." —staff
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