In her later years, double Oscar-winning screen legend Elizabeth Taylor became perhaps the most famous AIDS activist in the world, spending decades raising money and awareness. However he did more than just hold glitzy benefits, including, as Taylor’s friend and fellow AIDS activist Kathy Ireland has told ET, running a Dallas Buyer’s Club style drugs operation, getting medication to those with AIDS vefore it was officially approved, from her Bel Air home.
Ireland says, “Talk about fearless in her home in Bel-Air. It was a safe house. A lot of the work that she did, it was illegal, but she was saving lives. It was in a time when it was not something to do. Business associates pleaded with her, ‘Leave this thing alone.’ She received death threats. Friends hung up on her when she asked for help, but something that I love about Elizabeth is her courage.”
She adds of Taylor, “She would sell jewelry, there were transfers of money – sometimes in a paper bag. She thought she might get caught but she wasn’t afraid. She’d go to jail for it. Elizabeth and fear were not in the same sentence.”
Taylor came very early to the AIDS fight, co-founding AMfar, publicly standing by Rock Hudson while he was dying of the disease and testifying to congress to try to get them to pay attentions to HIV and AIDS. She dedicated much of the last 26 years of her life to the battle.
Buyers Club became vitally important at a time when the first drugs were becoming available but the US government and medical establishment were dragging their feet on approving them, as shown in the Oscar-winning movie, Dallas Buyers Club. [Read more…]