Taylor also stood by her longtime friend Rock Hudson when he was dying of AIDS:
“When Hudson returned to Los Angeles, she went to visit him at his home and was surprised to find a “strange group of Hollywood Christians, including Pat and Shirley Boone and ‘The Love Boat’ [star] Gavin MacLeod, praying at his bedside.”
However, no one appeared to be getting close to the ailing actor.
“‘Oh, for goodness sake!’ Elizabeth yelled,” writes Brower, “and she jumped into bed with him and held him close, rocking his frail body gently … Elizabeth watched helplessly as he got worse and worse until he was reduced to skin and bones, and there was no medicine that could help him get any better.”
Hudson died at home on October 2, 1985, at the age of 59.
The night before he passed, Taylor “sat on his bed and held him”
“Taylor, despite the advice of publicists, became a passionate activist on behalf of AIDS patients — co-founding the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985 and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. She also helped to raise millions of dollars for the cause and testified before Congress.
In the early days of the AIDS crisis, she sent $50,000 to San Francisco-based Project Inform to help get experimental drugs, which were illegal at the time.
The Oscar winner also let friends and friends of friends who were sick stay at her Bel Air mansion.
“She visited hospices and asked caretakers what they needed,” Brewer writes. “Most of the time they would say the patients just needed someone to touch them. She decided to do unpublicized hospice visits so that she could hug patients and talk with them, and make them feel human again. She wanted them to know that they were loved.”
In 1987, the “Cleopatra” star gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, explaining how she became an activist.
“I became so incensed and personally frustrated at the rejection I was receiving by just trying to get people’s attention,” said Taylor. “I was made so aware of the silence, this huge, loud silence regarding AIDS … Certainly, no one wanted to give money or support and it so angered me that I finally thought to myself, ‘Bitch, do something yourself. Instead of sitting there getting angry. Do something.’”
More info on Taylor’s activism:
“23 Reasons Why Elizabeth Taylor Was the Ultimate AIDS Activist- There will never be another like her.” https://www.logotv.com/news/zi93zn/elizabeth-taylor-aids-activist