“Elizabeth Taylor died earlier this morning.” That’s how the news was delivered today at the Red Hot office—in a matter-of-fact tone, and without drama. This only seems strange when considering the news was about the Elizabeth Taylor (so much comes to mind just from the name!)
It is always strange when a legend dies, because legends seem to surpass mortality in our minds, and Elizabeth Taylor most definitely embodied the term legend:
Acting since the age of 9, Ms. Taylor dazzled generations of moviegoers with her stunning beauty. Her name was synonymous with Hollywood Glamour. She was considered “one of the greatest cinema actresses” by Mike Nichols, who directed her in ‘Virginia Woolf’, cites Mel Gussow of the New York Times.
In a career of more than 70 years and more than 50 films, she won two Academy Awards as best actress, for her performances as a call girl in “Butterfield 8” (in 1960) and as the acid-tongued Martha in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (in 1966).
Ms. Taylor died from complications of congestive heart failure Wednesday, March 23, 2011, in Los Angeles. She was 79.
Ms. Taylor is remembered, especially here at Red Hot, for her contributions to AIDS Awareness, support, and research. As Lorraine from Red Hot recalls, “she was one of the first people to embrace AIDS, stating ‘this is a disease’ –when no one would touch the subject.”
After the death of her friend Rock Hudson to AIDS, Elizabeth Taylor helped found the American Foundation for AIDS Research and devoted a great deal of her time to raising money for it. She became known as a social activist. In 1997, she said, “I use my fame now when I want to help a cause or other people.” She helped raise more than $100 million to fight AIDS.
In an online New York Times article announcing her death this morning and covering much of her life, many of Ms. Taylor’s biggest fans left comments stating their final goodbyes and leaving their most treasured memories of the actress. We, at Red Hot, were especially moved by the many people who remember Ms. Taylor as an important HIV/AIDS advocate; here are some of the comments we felt the need to highlight:
Uncamike2000 | New York, NY | March 23rd, 2011 | 11:12 am
Perhaps today would be a good day to honor Ms. Taylor’s life by making a donation to a local AIDS charity in her name. There is still work to be done. I am grateful for the tireless work Elizabeth Taylor put into this charitable endeavor.
Paula | Lansdale PA | March 23rd, 201 | 10:16 am
Her life was pretty sad, but she made a huge difference for AIDS research. I can’t help but wonder if Ronald Reagan would EVER have said the word “AIDS” if not for Elizabeth Taylor’s dedication and hard work and constant media attention in this area.
ceejay3 | New York, NY | March 23rd, 2011 | 12:46 pm
All that I can add is that I will never forget the strength and love she gave all of us gay men in the 80s and 90s when most other people wouldn’t give us the time of day and wouldn’t have cared much if we just died off. Those of us who survived those terrible times still regard her as one of our heroes, as she will remain.
I think it is the Buddhists who note that people die twice: once on their own, and finally when the last person who knew them dies. Elizabeth Taylor, then, will live among us for a long time yet.
I truly hope that she gets a panel on the AIDS Quilt even though she didn’t die of it. I don’t think anyone else deserves the deep admiration, gratitude, and respect for devoting so much of her life to those who could never do the same for her. One more candle has gone out in our world. It is now up to all of us to light many more to honor her memory as well as her life and what she chose to do with it.
TT | Chicago | March 23rd, 2011 | 1:36 pm
I recently read an article in Harper’s Bazaar on Kim Kardashian. In the article, Kim interviews Elizabeth Taylor. While Kim tries to get her to focus on her husbands and jewels, Elizabeth discussed how she has used her good fortune to help others, especially individuals with AIDS. Kim could learn a LOT from the interview. Elizabeth, you were one class act.