As the world remembers Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, who died Wednesday at age 79, her activism and charity work are among her most striking accomplishments off-camera.
Taylor was known as a supporter of the LGBT community. Throughout the 1980s, Taylor campaigned to raise money for AIDS research as the epidemic swept the nation. She served as the Founding International Chairman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
In 1991, Taylor established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to raise funding to provide services for HIV positive people.
The Associated Press reports,
She was the most loyal of friends and a defender of gays in Hollywood when AIDS was still a stigma in the industry and beyond.
In 1993, Taylor was awarded the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Oscars for her AIDS work.
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese issued a statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the death Elizabeth Taylor. Ms. Taylor was a true ally to the LGBT community. She was one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis while many others stayed silent in the 1980s and she helped raise millions of dollars to fight the disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and to all those whose lives have been positively impacted by the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor."
Supporters can honor the star's legacy with a donation to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
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