Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor passed away this morning due to congestive heart failure. She was 79.
The Golden Globe winner and Cecil B. DeMille recipient starred in such classic films as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Giant, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Cleopatra.
In her later years she was mostly involved as co-founder and ambassador for the charity organization AMFAR and widely credited for being one of the first high profile celebrity activists to take up the cause to find both a cure for Aids and help those dealing with the disease.
In 1992 she told members of the HFPA: “AIDS is not an American disease. There’s no corner of the earth that hasn’t been touched by AIDS, and 30% of AIDS patients are women and heterosexuals.”
Throughout the years Taylor would raise millions of dollars for AMFAR. “I became involved with AIDS when it was a very unpopular thing to do, no one was doing anything.”
She then recalled her close friendship to actor Rock Hudson. “I didn’t know that Rock Hudson had AIDS, but I knew him, and I had doctor friends that told me about the effects of the disease, the depth of the disease and how it was going to become an epidemic.”
“There was a definite social stigma attached to it and I was outraged, so I put together the first fundraiser for APLA (Aids Project Los Angeles), and I was so blown away by the non-reaction of people that I spoke to and tried to get involved. Eventually, after Rock Hudson announced (he had AIDS), people did come, but it took seven months to get that dinner (organized). I have never felt so rejected and I took it personally, so I thought “I’ve got to try and make a difference,”that’s why I became involved with AIDS.”
“I travel all over the world and some countries are still in denial, where there’s so much promiscuity and such obvious needle exchange, needles being shared (by drug addicts). I think America and England are doing a good job.”
In 2001 when Elizabeth Taylor was the “grand finale” of that season’s Golden Globes announcing the “best motion picture winner,” she inadvertently started to announce the winner before even listing the nominees.
Always possessing a quick wit, when Dick Clark frantically called to her from offstage during the live telecast alerting her to the gaffe, she calmly smiled and said: “Oh, I guess I’m more used to receiving awards rather than giving them.”
Following the sad news of Elizabeth Taylor‘s passing, longtime friend George Hamilton told the HFPA, “The whole world has been in love with Elizabeth Taylor and I was fortunate enough to be one of them.”
Debbie Reynolds added, “It was a long productive career and she was the most glamorous and sexual star of our generation. No one else could equal Elizabeth’s beauty and sexuality. Women liked her and men adored her and her love for her children is enduring. She was a symbol of stardom. Her legacy will last.”
Joan Collins agreed. “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.”
Shirley MacLaine treasured her decades long friendship. “I don’t know what was more impressive her magnitude as a star or her magnitude as a friend. Her talent for friendship was unmatched. I will miss her for the rest of my life and beyond.”Read More »
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced a donation of a quarter of a million dollars to the International Rescue Committee to help aid relief in Japan following the devastating 8.9 earthquake and tsunami.
On behalf of all HFPA members, president Philip Berk said: “What happened to Japan is unimaginable. We hope that our contribution will help those affected during this difficult time.”
If you like to learn more about the International Rescue Committee, just visit the http://www.rescue.org link.Read More »
On Sunday March 13, 2011 the 32nd annual Young Artist Awards were held in Studio City, California. This year’s winners in the Feature Film categories include Joey King (“Ramona and Beezus”) for Best Leading Young Actress 10 and under, and for Young Ensemble Cast:Laine MacNeil, Robert Capron and Karan Brar (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”).
Launched in 1978 by Hollywood Foreign Press Association member Maureen Dragone, the Young Artist Foundation recognizes young talent often overlooked in other awards shows and offers scholarships for young artists in need.
The HFPA proudly donates to this and other non-profit organizations that support the arts.
For a complete list of 2011 winners go to http://www.youngartistwards.orgRead More »
Good point. Therefore, here is the official list of all non-for-profit organizations which currently help those in need.
Before making any donation, however, please check out their websites.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
Donations: 800-424-ADRA (2372)
Donations address: ADRA International, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring MD 20904
All Hands Volunteers
Donations address: PO Box 546, Carlisle MA 01741
American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Donations address: 132 E. 43rd St PO Box 530, New York NY 10017
American Red Cross
Donations address: PO Box 37243, Washington DC 20013
Donations address: 88 Hamilton Ave, Stamford CT 06902
Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT)
Donations address: AMURT, 2502 Lindley Ter, Rockville MD 20850
Baptist World Alliance/Baptist World Aid
Donations address: 405 N. Washington St, Falls Church VA 22046
Brother’s Brother Foundation
Donations address: 1200 Galveston Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15233
Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
Donations address: Tzu Chi USA HQ, 1100 S Valley Center Ave, San Dimas CA 91773
Catholic Relief Services
Donations address: PO Box 17090, Baltimore MD 21203-7090
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee
Donations address: CRWRC, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI 49560-0600
Church World Service
Donations address: PO Box 968, Elkhart IN 46515
Direct Relief International
Donations address: 27 S. La Patera Ln, Santa Barbara CA 93117
Giving Children Hope
Donations address: 8332 Commonwealth Ave, Buena Park CA 90621
Habitat for Humanity International
Donations address: 270 Peachtree St NW Suite 1300, Atlanta GA 30303-1263
International Medical Corps
Donations address: 1919 Santa Monica Blvd Suite 400, Santa Monica CA 90404
International Rescue Committee
Donations: 1-877-REFUGEE (733-8433)
Donations address: 122 E. 42nd St, New York NY 10168
Donations address: Dept. NR, PO Box 2669, Portland OR 97208
Donations address: 977 Centerville Tpke, Virginia Beach VA 23463
Donations address: 5455 Wilshire Blvd Suite 1280, Los Angeles CA 90036
Save the Children
Donations address: 54 Wilton Rd, Westport CT 06880
World Vision, U.S.
Donations address: Federal Way, WA 98063
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and noted author of such literary classics as Love In The Time Of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, never wanted to be a writer, according to his brother.
Instead 83-year-old Marquez longed to be a filmmaker but never achieved his ambition, his brother Jaime told Hollywood Foreign Press members on a visit to Cartagena.
The nearest he came was as a film critic on the Bogota newspaper El Espectador and serving as executive director of the Film Institute in Havana.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who now divides his time between Cartagena and Mexico City, later saw several of his books and stories made into movies by other people.
“Ironically, it is his son Rodrigo, my nephew, who is the filmmaker in the family,” said Jaime, who runs the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (New Iberoamerican Journalism Foundation) in Cartagena, which he and his brother founded in 1994.
Rodrigo, 59, who lives in Los Angeles, has written and directed several movies, including the drama Mother and Son, which starred Naomi Watts and was nominated for an Image Award this year.Read More »
On March 3rd, 2011, 7:30 pm, at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer Museum, UCLA Film & Television Archive will present the restored version of Robert Altman‘s 1982 classic “Come to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”, his big screen adaptation of Ed Graczyk’s play. The film, beautifully polished and re-mastered thanks to the generous funding of Martin Scorsese‘s The Film Foundation and The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is part of the 2011 UCLA Festival of Preservation.Read More »
President Santos told Daily Telegraph reporter John Hiscock and photographer Theo Kingma : “I hope you enjoy your stay in Cartagena. It’s a wonderful festival with more than 100 films. When it started in 1960 nobody dreamed it would become the preeminent festival in the region, as it has done. Some of our films have recently won awards at prestigious events like Sundance, Cannes and San Sebastian.”
The President, surrounded by security guards, was talking exclusively to the two members after speaking at the opening of a new school in the poverty-stricken San Francisco area of Cartagena. Education for Colombia’s children means a great deal to the President, who studied at the University of Kansas and later at the London School of Economics and was working on education and youth-related projects before he was elected.
The evening before the interview he had attended the outdoor screening of the festival’s opening movie, Los Colores de Montana which, he said, resonated with him because it dealt with the plight of children living in blighted areas of the country.
With Fox International and Sony Pictures Television having already based their Latin American operations in Colombia the President is developing a plan to attract directors, producers and investors, especially from the United States and India, to make movies in the country by turning it into a popular location for filming.
“We are a few hours away from the United States by plane, we have a strategic location in the Americas and our geography is ideal because we have diverse climates and landscape,” he said.Read More »
The 51st Cartagena Film Festival opened last night with the open-air screening of a Colombian movie, a late night party and a V.I.P ceremony attended by Cartagena mayor Judith Pinedo Flórez and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos.
Hollywood Foreign Press member Mike Goodridge is on the jury of the festival, the oldest in Latin America, which will be screening 102 films from Colombia, South America and around the world.
The opening night film, watched by hundreds in the plaza outside the city’s Centro de Convenciones, was Los Colores de Montana, a moving portrait of the conflict in Colombia seen through the eyes of three children.Read More »
Musician Sir Bob Geldof supports the Gala since its first edition in 2002. His motivation behind it: “Art can show where people have to change.” This year actor Sean Penn won the “Cinema for Peace Award” in Berlin for his involvement in Haiti.
Besides Penn, the gala awarded socially and environmentally committed films. The event took place at the Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt where more than 600 guests walked over a freezing red carpet.
But nobody cared. “It’s cool to be here,” said Penn. The donations from this year’s Gala will mostly flow into the reconstruction of Haiti. “We need people to live a normal life, and that costs money,” said Penn.
Can an event such as “Cinema for Peace” really provoke change?Read More »
This time Madonna wooed the audience. Unfortunately, only 200 Berlinale buyers were invited to this highly anticipated and exclusive event, which caused a frenzy on Saturday night in Berlin.
Although Madonna only showed a 20-minute footage of her second directorial effort “W.E.” and was not part of the festival competition, she was the talk of the town.
The film, which took over 3 years to make, tells the parallel stories of the love affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led to the royal’s abdication, and a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard.
“I read everything available on this topic,” Madonna told her audience. What fascinated her? “A man who gave up the throne and power for the love of a woman.”
The film stars Abbie Cornish, Natalie Dormer, Andrea Riseborough and James D’Arcy and is also co-written by Madonna who stayed in a suite at the trendy Soho House during her Berlin visit.
For her screening, she wore a classic pencil skirt and fitted plaid jacket, resembling an English Land-Lady rather than a pop star.
What do you think about Madonna’s directorial efforts?Read More »