March 23, 2011 Leave a comment
This morning, Hollywood lost a true legend — a screen goddess who embodied the golden age of film and glamour. This morning, the world also lost one of the loudest and passionate AIDS advocates to date.
Elizabeth Taylor, 79, passed away at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California from heart congestive failure, a condition she struggled with for many years. Her family, including her sons Michael and Christoper, and daughters Liza and Maria, were all by her side.
The screen gem had a 70-year long acting career, appearing in her first movie as a child in 1942’s There’s One Born Every Minute. From there, Taylor went on to star in 50 such memorable and classic films as Butterfield 8, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Cleopatra, and earned 2 Academy Awards for Best Actress.
During her career, Taylor’s dramatic personal life made headlines as well. She was married 8 times, most notably to Richard Burton, whom she married and divorced twice. “Maybe we have loved each other too much,” Taylor said of their rollercoaster love affair. “I never believed such a thing was possible.”
She also had a considerable amount of health problems and struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. However, there was one cause so near and dear to her heart that it trumped any of her personal afflictions. When she lost her friend Rock Hudson to AIDS in 1985, Taylor made AIDS awareness her top priority. She started the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmfAR), and The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Through these organizations, Taylor became one of the first people to inform and raise funds for a disease people knew little about.
For her heartfelt humanitarian efforts and her lasting impression on Hollywood, Elizabeth Taylor will be one of those iconic actresses that the world will never forget. As her son Michael said, “My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. 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.”