I'm way off the usual Dilettante territory this evening.

Elizabeth Taylor was so ubiquitous a fixture in the culture that I don't think it ever occurred to me that she would someday, just as real people do, die.   I always admired her as an actress, but never having been a 'fan' type, I failed to take the interest in her personal life that many did.  That changed many years ago, when she became one of the first major celebrities to put her fame and her heart, as well as her own money and time, into the fight against AIDS, and by doing so literally helped change public perception and attitude about the disease and those suffering from it.  Guts and heart and courage---she clearly had them all in spades.

Elizabeth Taylor at an AIDS benefit, Nov 01, 1990 

Photo: Kevin Winter/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

And, via my friend James, a wonderful quote from Taylor: 
The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some annoying virtues


The Devoted Classicist said...

Miss Taylor's support for AIDS awareness, ground-breaking at the time, has done so much for humanity that the value of her efforts are impossible quantify. Her beauty, courage and love of life will be missed.

Raina Cox said...

She seemed like the kinda lady you'd love to have a drink with.

Renée Finberg said...

there is so much many of us wish we could have said to her.

she really is gone.
it is very sad.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Devoted---you just said what I was trying to say so much better.

Raina, you seem like that kind of lady too---and how brilliant of you to find vintage pics of her house.


Renee, so true.

home before dark said...

Being someone who lives in metaphors, I think in restrospect, she did not need the Hope Damond, she WAS the Hope Diamond for so many. Her willingness to stand up and be counted when so many wanted to look away, defined her beauty.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

When I first moved to DC I lived nearly across the street from the 'elizabeth taylor' aids clinic for whitman walker which she donated. I loved telling friends that Elizabeth Taylor was my neighbor!

Donna said...

I'm sad too; every time we lose of these larger-than-life REAL movie stars from days gone by I really feel it, as today's "stars" are so much dimmer in comparison.

Anonymous said...

Lovely post on an incredible woman. She was an original... we will not see her kind again anytime soon.

home before dark said...

Back to say DED, that I read that Elizabeth Taylor's funeral was started 15 minutes late (by her request) so that she could be late to her own funeral. Since you were late to your own party, maybe you'd like to plan for this ultimate laugh (of course, hoping it's many, many, many light years away).