When it comes to highlighting the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor’s remarkable life, the question is, where to begin? By the time she was 12-years-old, the legendary actress became a household name with her role in National Velvet. In addition to performances in Cleopatra, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, countless films and Oscar wins (as well as several marriages), Elizabeth will leave a lasting legacy as it relates to her humanitarian and philanthropy work.
In 1985 Elizabeth joined a small group of doctors and scientists to form the American Foundation for AIDS Research, better known as amfAR. As the founding national chairperson, Elizabeth became amfAR’s primary spokesperson and brought HIV/AIDS issues into the mainstream. According to the amfAR Web site, she once said, “I kept seeing all these news reports on this new disease and kept asking myself why no one was doing anything. And then I realized that I was just like them. I wasn’t doing anything to help.”
Elizabeth’s close friend, Rock Hudson, died of AIDS and it sounds like by being present for his suffering and death, along with cruelty so many people dealt with, she became determined to speak out against discrimination before it became socially acceptable to do so.
As fans and stars alike begin to mourn her death and will no doubt have an outpouring of love and admiration for the fallen star, according to RadarOnline Elizabeth’s son, Michael Wilding, released this statement on behalf of the family: “My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love.”
He continued, “Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”
There’s no doubt her legacy will live on as we all mourn the passing and celebrate the life of this legendary icon.