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On what would have been her 83rd birthday, here’s one of my favorite Elizabeth Taylor interviews late, very great Elizabeth Taylor was a movie legend and perfume mogul.

But I will always love her most for how she chose to spend that last 27 years of her life as a leading AIDS activist.

Miss Taylor, who died in 2011 at the age of 79, was still in fine form in this 2005 interview as she was participating in an AIDS event that also included fellow activists Elton John and Sharon Stone.

The legend had been housebound for much of the previous year due to several compression fractures in her back. But she continued to work on the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and giving money all over the world. She was always very proud that her foundation had no overhead with the money raised going directly to hospices, patient care, needle exchange and condoms as well as education.

What she said then is still, sadly, very true today: “People need to listen, people need to be aware that the disease has not evaporated it hasn’t gone away. The medicine we have now improve the life of people, with AIDS, but it doesn’t eradicate it, there is no cure.”

Miss Taylor also talks about the early days of her activism – in the mid-80s – and how it was then she decided to stop resenting her fame and to instead use it to the AIDS epidemic.

“I was sitting back and becoming outraged that no one was doing anything about this oncoming epidemic. I went to Congress, went on The Hill, knocked on senator’s doors and none of them wanted to know. But I was a pest. It was the first time I’d been an activist but I was a raucous one, I still am.”

She will never be forgotten for so many reasons but her activism is her greatest legacy.

FILE UNDER: Birthdays, Icons


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2 Remarks

  1. Thank GOD for Miss Taylor. She cared when no one else did. Her celebrity and tiresome hard work, let the world know about HIV/AIDS, and gave us gays the feeling of knowing “Someone cares.” And she did.

  2. Nice remembrances of Elizabeth Taylor this week. Thanks, Greg.

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