“So as I was saying to Elizabeth Taylor,” Vito Russo said matter-of-factly before breaking into a peal of laughter. “Yes I know that sounds pretentious, but she’s a friend of mine — really!”
Vito had a lot of friends. None of them like Elizabeth Taylor. All of them cared about him, cared about the AIDS epidemic, but none of them were able to transform their passion for the fight quite the way she did.
Being a woman who has been indelicate health the better part of her life — actually dying several times — the news wasn’t unexpected.
“LOS ANGELES (AP) — Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor has died in Los Angeles. She was 79.
Publicist Sally Morrison says the actress died Wednesday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center from congestive heart failure. Morrison says her children were at her side.
She’d been hospitalized for about six weeks.
Taylor first gained stardom as a child and appeared in more than 50 films. She won Oscars for her performances in “Butterfield 8″ and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
She was equally famous for extraordinary beauty and her stormy personal life, including eight marriages and a series of physical ailments.
In later years, she was a spokeswoman for humanitarian causes, notably AIDS research. That work gained her a special Oscar in 1993.”
There will be of course tons more to say. But for the moment these images speak for themselves.
Here she is in her last acting role
Here’s how many will remember her.
Here’s how I remember her.
Stevie Smith will have the last word.
“In my dreams I am always saying goodbye and riding away,
Whither and why I know not nor do I care.
And the parting is sweet and the parting over is sweeter,
And sweetest of all is the night and the rushing air.
In my dreams they are always waving their hands and saying goodbye,
And they give me the stirrup cup and I smile as I drink,
I am glad the journey is set, I am glad I am going,
I am glad, I am glad, that my friends don’t know what I think.”