Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor



Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011) was a British-American actress. From her early years as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. As one of the world's most famous film stars, Taylor was recognized for her acting ability and for her glamorous lifestyle, beauty and distinctive violet eyes.

National Velvet (1944) was Taylor's first success, and she starred in Father of the Bride (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951), Giant (1956), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Butterfield 8 (1960), played the title role in Cleopatra (1963), and married her co-star Richard Burton. They appeared together in 11 films, including Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? which Taylor won a second Academy Award. From the mid-1970s, she appeared less frequently in film, and made occasional appearances in television and theatre.

Her highly publicized personal life included eight marriages and several life-threatening illnesses. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honor, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who named her seventh on their list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends". Taylor devoted consistent and generous humanitarian time, advocacy efforts, and funding to HIV and AIDS-related projects and charities, helping to raise more than $270 million for the cause. She was one of the first celebrities and public personalities to do so at a time when few acknowledged the disease, organizing and hosting the first AIDS fundraiser in 1984, to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles.

Taylor was cofounder of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) with Dr. Michael Gottlieb and Dr. Mathilde Krim in 1985. Her longtime friend and former co-star Rock Hudson had disclosed having AIDS and died of it that year. She also founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1993, created to provide critically needed support services for people with HIV/AIDS. For example, in 2006 Taylor commissioned a 37-foot (11 m) "Care Van" equipped with examination tables and x-ray equipment, the New Orleans donation made by her Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and Macy's. That year, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, she also donated US$40,000 to the NO/AIDS Task Force, a non-profit organization serving the community of those affected by HIV/AIDS in and around New Orleans. Taylor was honored with a special Academy Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, in 1992 for her HIV/AIDS humanitarian work. Speaking of that work, former President Bill Clinton said at her death, "Elizabeth's legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired."

Taylor died of congestive heart failure in March 2011 at the age of 79, having suffered many years of ill health.