50 Years Ago: Elizabeth Taylor Wins Best Actress Oscar for "Butterfield 8" at the Academy Awards

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor passed away this morning at the age of 79.

It was exactly fifty years ago that she won an Oscar for Best Actress in "Butterfield 8".  

What would the Golden Age of Hollywood have been without Liz Taylor? 

I didn't get to experience Hollywood's Golden Age, but I first became aware of Elizabeth Taylor as a child during the 1980's because of her friendship with Michael Jackson, who was my American idol. I knew even at a young age that she had to be someone very special. They had such a strong friendship over the years that one of my first thoughts this morning when I found out she died was that she and Michael Jackson could be together again, and forever rest in peace.

When I was older, I worked at the fragrance department of a department store in New York.  So many people wanted Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamonds" that we kept selling out. It was the one fragrance every man knew. Often men seemed so confused as they tried to choose a perfume for their wife, but if they saw Elizabeth Taylor's "White Diamonds" they seemed to feel such a sense of relief. Elizabeth Taylor's elegance certainly extended way beyond the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

Thank you to Elizabeth Taylor for being one of the first people to speak up for people with HIV. She was one of the founders of the American Foundation for AIDS Research / amfAR : http://www.amfar.org/

I recently saw clips of an 80's Oprah episode of people in a small town expressing their hatred toward a neighbor in their town who had AIDS. Their hatred was so filthy that I had almost forgotten how filthy hatred was toward people with AIDS. Elizabeth Taylor spoke up for people with HIV during a time when it was risky to do so, but she did it fearlessly. She was genuine. 

We haven't gotten rid of all hatred and ignorance towards people with HIV, of course, but people like Elizabeth Taylor who spoke up certainly helped America come a long way. Now I have the Michael Jackson song "Heal the World" in my head. It fits what Elizabeth Taylor wanted to do for people with HIV.

Rest in peace, Elizabeth Taylor.





Thank you to    for posting the video on YouTube of Elizabeth Taylor winning the Best Actress Oscar for "Butterfield 8".