Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
April 1, 2011  
Contact:
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Senate Passes Boxer-Feinstein Resolution Honoring Elizabeth Taylor  

Legendary Actress and Activist Helped Focus the World’s Attention, Compassion on Those Suffering From HIV/AIDS

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate last night passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein (both D-CA) honoring the life and legacy of world-renowned actress and activist Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away on March 23, 2011.

Senator Boxer said, “While widely acclaimed for her career on stage and screen, Elizabeth Taylor’s most important role was as a bold and passionate leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Her dedicated efforts helped educate the public and lawmakers about the need for research, treatment and compassion for those suffering from the disease. She will forever be remembered as an American icon whose activism and dedication made life better for millions of people all across the world.”

Senator Feinstein said, “Elizabeth Taylor was a Hollywood icon, but more importantly, she was a humanitarian and a philanthropist who spoke passionately about the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the toll on her fellow citizens when very few dared to speak out. California has lost one of its greatest stars. I’ll always remember her performance in National Velvet, a film which led to my childhood love of horses. Elizabeth was one of the greats. Her passion for life and devotion to those less fortunate will continue to inspire me and others.”

Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 27, 1932 and moved with her family to California just prior to the start of World War II. She began acting at age 10 and quickly became a successful and sought-after actress in film, television and theater. Throughout her career she received five Academy Award nominations and won the Best Actress award twice for her work in Butterfield 8 and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. The first film actress ever to earn a seven-figure paycheck, numerous films featuring Taylor are considered classics, including A Place in the Sun, Raintree Country, Giant and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Later in life, Taylor worked to raise awareness of the debilitating effects of HIV/AIDS at a time when little about it was known and its victims were often shunned. She was named the founding national chairman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research and later established the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to provide direct support for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Taylor also testified before Congress and showed the compassion she had called for by publicly holding the hand of her friend and former costar, Rock Hudson, after he announced that he had AIDS.

Taylor is survived by her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton, as well as 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

The text of the resolution can be found below:

Title: Honoring the life and legacy of Elizabeth Taylor.

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor, a world-renowned actress and activist whose legendary career spanned 7 decades, passed away on March 23, 2011;

Whereas with the death of Elizabeth Taylor, the State of California and the United States lost 1 of the most talented entertainers, philanthropists, and humanitarians in the United States;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor was born on February 27, 1932, in London, England to American parents;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor and her family moved to the United States, settling in the State of California, just prior to the start of World War II;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor started acting at the age of 10 and became a star at a young age;

Whereas the hard work and dedication of Elizabeth Taylor earned her numerous acting roles in film, television, and theater;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor became 1 of the most successful and sought after actresses in the world;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor received 2 Best Actress Academy Awards for her work in “BUtterfield 8” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”, and she became the first woman to earn a 7-figure paycheck for appearing in a film;

Whereas many films that feature Elizabeth Taylor, including “A Place in the Sun”, “Raintree Country”, “Giant”, and “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”, have become classic films appreciated by generations of moviewatchers;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor used her fame to raise awareness and advocate for people affected by HIV/AIDS;

Whereas, at a time when HIV/AIDS was largely an unknown disease and those who were affected by HIV/AIDS were ostracized and shunned, Elizabeth Taylor called for and demonstrated compassion by publicly holding the hand of her friend and former costar, Rock Hudson, after he had announced that he had AIDS;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor testified before Congress saying, “It is my hope that history will show that the American people and our leaders met the challenge of AIDS rationally and with all the resources at their disposal, for our sake and that of all humanity.”;

Whereas, in 1985, Elizabeth Taylor became the Founding National Chairman for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (commonly known as “amfAR”);

Whereas, in 1991, Elizabeth Taylor founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to provide direct support to those suffering from the disease;

Whereas the extensive efforts of Elizabeth Taylor have helped educate the public and lawmakers about the need for research, treatment, and compassion for those suffering from HIV/AIDS;

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor is survived by her children Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton, as well as 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; and

Whereas Elizabeth Taylor was truly a legend who touched the lives of generations of people of the United States and millions worldwide with both her inner and outer beauty: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

  1. recognizes and honors the courageous, compassionate leadership and many professional accomplishments of Elizabeth Taylor; and
  2. offers its deepest condolences to her family.