March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011
The Passing of a Legend

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Thursday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. We are nearing the end of a very busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me. We still have three days of events before we get a day off.

It is with very heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Not only was she an angel for people with HIV and AIDS around the world but she was also one hell of a lady.

I had the distinct honor of meeting her at three different events for HIV and AIDS over a 20 year period. The last time I saw Elizabeth was at her birthday party in 1995 while I was living in Los Angeles.

ame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 March 23, 2011) was an English born American actress. Beginning as a child star then throughout her adulthood, she became known for her acting talent, glamour and beauty; as well as a much publicized private life, which included eight marriages and several near death experiences, and decades spent as a social activist, championing the cause of AIDS awareness, prevention and cure. Taylor, a two time Best Actress Academy Award winner, was considered one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age. The American Film Institute named Taylor seventh on its Female Legends list.

Taylor devoted much time and energy to AIDS related charities, and helped raise more than $100 million to fight the disease. She helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former costar and friend, Rock Hudson, also created her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation (ETAF). In 2006, Taylor commissioned a 37 foot (11 m) Care Van equipped with examination tables and X Ray equipment and also donated US$40,000 to the New Orleans Aids task force, a charity designed for the New Orleans population with AIDS and HIV. The donation of the van was made by the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation and Macy's.

She was also known for her film career. Taylor won two Academy Awards for Best Actress (for her performance in Butterfield 8 in 1960, and for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 1966). She joined a select list of two time Academy Award winning Best Actress winners which includes Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, and Hillary Swank. Additionally, she was awarded the Jean Herscholt Humanitarian Academy Award in 1992 for her work fighting AIDS. In 1999, Taylor was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

But most of all she was a lady who refused to be silent when those with HIV and AIDS were dying. Because of her strength and fame, she helped save millions of people with HIV and AIDS. We will be forever in her debt.

May she rest in peace.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab