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Elizabeth Taylor: The world pays tribute

Elizabeth Taylor

Compiled by Jack Foley

A HOST of stars have paid tribute to the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor following her death in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

Leading them, her eldest son Michael Wilding said in a statement: “My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humour and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.

“Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/Aids, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished.

“We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

Sir Michael Caine, who appeared with her in the film X, Y & Zee, said: “So sad to hear about my beautiful friend Elizabeth Taylor. We made a movie together many years ago and became friends. I got to know a beautiful woman, a wonderful actress and a great human being. Like so many others I will miss her very much.”

And Angela Lansbury, who appeared with her in 1980’s The Mirror Crack’d, said: “I am deeply saddened that Elizabeth has passed away and send my love and sympathy to her family. Elizabeth and I began our careers about the same time at MGM. Throughout her tumultuous life, she will be remembered for some unique and memorable work.

“And she will be ever remembered and appreciated for her forthright support of Amfar (American Foundation for Aids Research).”

Mike Nichols, who directed her in the 1966 film Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, said: “The shock of Elizabeth was not only her beauty, it was her generosity. Her giant laugh, her vitality, whether tackling a complex scene on film or where we would all have dinner until dawn. She is singular and indelible on film and in our hearts.”

While Dame Diana Rigg, who starred alongside her in A Little Night Music said: “Elizabeth Taylor was the most beautiful woman I have ever clapped eyes on. A really sweet woman – utterly unmalign.”

Kirstie Alley, who appeared with Taylor in the 1985 TV mini-series North and South, said: “Elizabeth… thank you for the lessons you taught me about life… suffering and joy… you are the brightest star in the universe… Eternal love.”

And world-famous broadcaster Larry King said: “Elizabeth Taylor was a great friend, a great star and one gutsy woman. She was so special. You won’t see the likes of her again.”

Joan Collins, who appeared with Taylor in the 2001 TV film These Old Broads, said: “I am so terribly sad about the death of Elizabeth Taylor. Although everyone here in Hollywood knew that her end was near we are all shocked. She was the last of the true Hollywood icons, a great beauty, a great actress and continually fascinating to the world throughout her tumultuous life and career.

“There will never be another star who will come close to her luminosity and generosity, particularly in her fight against Aids. She will be missed.”

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, commented: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of Elizabeth Taylor. Her artistic contribution to the motion picture industry is immeasurable. In a career spanning more than 70 years and 50 films, her talent endured the test of time and transcended generations of moviegoers.

“She truly was an American icon, whose legacy went far beyond her acting skills, most notably in her efforts to lead the battle against HIV/AIDS. Our thoughts are with her family and her many friends and fans during this difficult time.”

And Jane Fonda said: “I knew Elizabeth Taylor and I can tell you she was kind, brave, generous and loyal. I am sad.”

Joan Rivers, meanwhile, said: “Sad to hear of Elizabeth Taylor’s death. She was the 1st major celebrity to join me in the fight against AIDS when it wasn’t a popular cause.”

Whoopi Goldberg said: “Today, my friend Elizabeth Taylor passed away. Oddly, we all knew this day was coming but still her passing took my breath away. She was a funny, loud, joke tellin, diamond loving, fantastic woman. She played a big role in shaping my life as Whoopi Goldberg. It really is the end of an era.”

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