“Before Elizabeth Taylor’s activism, HIV/AIDS was shrouded in shame and ignorance. It was her courage and unwillingness to allow those touched by the disease to be ignored and disgraced that heralded the world wide phenomenon of AIDS awareness and service. I am proud to continue working with The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in the fight for dignity for the exposed and vulnerable and the work towards a cure to end this global
Adam Shankman is a multi-faceted filmmaker who has enjoyed success as a director, producer, and choreographer. Shankman and his sister, Jennifer Gibgot, are partners in Offspring Entertainment, which currently has an overall producing deal with Warner Bros. Television and Warner Horizon. Under the Offspring feature film banner, they’ve produced hits, “Rock of Ages,” the entire “Step Up” series of films, “17 Again,” “The Last Song” and “Going the Distance.” Adam and Jennifer have various future projects on the film and television slate, including a biopic and a mini-series in development at HBO.
Shankman began his directing career in 2001 with his debut feature, “The Wedding Planner.” The next year, he directed the romantic drama “A Walk to Remember.” Shankman’s other directing credits include; “Bringing Down the House,” “The Pacifier,” “Cheaper by the Dozen 2, “Rock of Ages,” Walt Disney Pictures’ “Bedtime Stories,” and some primetime television series and commercials, including episodes of “Modern Family” and “Glee.” In 2008 he directed, produced and choreographed the Golden Globe nominated feature, “Hairspray.” In addition to his career in entertainment, Shankman is equally dedicated to charity work. He serves on the board of the Trevor Project and co-founded The Dizzy Feet Foundation, with dance philanthropist, Nigel Lythgoe.
“I am honored to follow in Elizabeth’s footsteps, to try to mirror her unconditional love. Elizabeth gave those around her a deep, unwavering sense of belonging.”
Aileen Getty has been actively engaged in responding to the suffering caused by the global AIDS epidemic for decades, and she has long witnessed the remarkable kindness and hope The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation brings into the lives of those suffering from its impact.
Compassion and empathy for individuals living in challenging circumstances inspired Aileen in 2005 to start Gettlove, a nonprofit organization in Hollywood created to acknowledge, house and sustain housing for homeless individuals in Los Angeles. Aileen’s philanthropic efforts in Los Angeles also include supporting other organizations responding to homelessness, participation in preserving and creating public parks, and her responsibilities as a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2012 Aileen established the Aileen Getty Foundation which supports a wide range of local and global organizations and initiatives that enhance the environment, our communities and the lives of individuals through innovation, preservation, connection and kindness.
“I saw Elizabeth Taylor four times in person. The first time was in London as she was leaving the Dorchester Hotel with Richard Burton. I was riveted! Some time later I saw her performing in The Little Foxes in New York. Later on at a dinner at the Four Seasons restaurant I witnessed a waiter accidentally setting Elizabeth’s hair on fire with a flambe dish. She handled the situation with humor and grace. The last time I saw her was at an amfAR event and she’d become the “activist” Elizabeth, taking on a difficult cause that so many people were running away from. She became my hero as she was for so many others both gay and straight.”
Beth Rudin DeWoody, daughter of the late real estate developer Lewis Rudin and the late Gladyce Begelman, is a native New Yorker. Beth studied anthropology and film at UC Santa Barbara and completed her studies at the New School for Social Research in NYC where she received her BA in Liberal Arts. After working as a production assistant on several films and then producing the documentary “Who Gets To Call It Art” on Henry Geldzahler, Beth began working more with her family company, Rudin Management. She is the president of the Rudin Family Foundation and executive vice president of the Rudin Management Company.
Her passion for art led to her curating many art shows, and her vast art collection has been showcased at the Parrish Museum in Southampton, Long Island, as well as the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach. Beth is on the board of the Whitney Museum of Art, New Yorkers For Children, Creative Time, The New School University, Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is also on the Advisory Board of The Glass House in New Canaan and the Board of Overseers at The Hammer Museum of Los Angeles. Beth also serves on the Parsons Board of Governors of the New School University and is on the Council of Conservators of the New York Public Library, and the Library Association of MOMA.
Beth resides with her husband, Firooz Zahedi, between New York City, Los Angeles, and West Palm Beach. She has a son Carlton, a grandson Jackson and one daughter Kyle as well as a step-son, Darian Zahedi.
Brian Gott is a Los Angeles-based producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Brian spent 12 years at the entertainment industry’s global media outlet Variety, serving as the organization’s Publisher since 2009. In his time there, he conceived of and launched that brand’s philanthropic efforts, which in a 4-year span generated more than $6M in charitable contributions, benefitting more than 50 non-profit organizations.
Gott received the United Nations Foundation’s highest honor, the Global Leadership Award, for his role in mobilizing the entertainment industry to use its collective resources to support UN and UN Foundation-related campaigns.
Brian leads the Burkle Global Impact Initiative at UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations. That program’s purpose is to work with the entertainment industry to engage more deeply with global social, humanitarian, and advocacy issues. The program provides access to information, resources, funding partners and experts so that storytellers are better equipped to tell more fact-based stories, and educate their audiences on real-world issues. The program has hosted global humanitarian figures including people such as Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala and US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, Oscar winners John Legend and Charlize Theron, philanthropists Melinda Gates and Ted Turner and entertainers Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez.
Gott is one of the founding members of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, a select group of individuals from various industries, convened by the UN Foundation to advise the United Nations and UN Foundation on how to accelerate their philanthropic efforts, and further the mission of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Gott has produced several celebrity-driven PSAs for organizations, including those for the U.S. Government’s “Let Girls Learn” campaign, as well as the United Nation’s climate initiative efforts. In recognition of his contributions to “Let Girls Learn”, he was invited to the White House to participate in the announcement by the President and First Lady of the Administration’s $250M funding of that effort. That initiative, spearheaded by Mrs. Obama, and implemented by USAID and the Peace Corps, provides access to education for girls globally.
“I am honored to be one of the ambassadors for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. To me, Elizabeth always defined what it meant to practice the art of giving of oneself. She embodied bravery by lending a helping hand to those struggling with AIDS at a time when few people did. Throughout her life, she was always there first to defend those in need. We both lost so many good friends to the AIDS epidemic. I’m proud to stand tall together with my friends who make up The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and continue the battle to defeat this disease.”
Photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber first rose to international prominence in the early eighties on the success of images that combined classical styling with more visceral underpinnings of desire, mood, and sexuality. His ability to construct a seamless sense of romance and drama created the central public images for fashion houses like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Versace, and Abercrombie and Fitch, as well as earning him an enduring presence as a contributor to magazines at the very highest levels in the industry. Throughout his career, Weber continues to work in various forms–he has directed seven short and feature length films, published more than 37 books, and has held more than 60 exhibitions worldwide–extending his lifelong exploration of the nature of human relationships.
“Elizabeth Taylor was my dear friend; she was a real friend, because she was real. She had a beautiful generous heart and stood up for those who could not stand up for themselves. She inspired me to envision donating the monies we made from “That’s What Friends Are For” to amfAR as it raised our consciousness about AIDS in our quest for a cure. Her friendship lives today in my heart.”
Carole Bayer Sager’s songbook spans almost forty years and contains some of the period’s most popular and successful songs. Ms. Sager has been honored with an Oscar, two Golden Globes, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a Songwriters’ Hall of Fame induction, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from New York University Alumni Association, among other awards.
One of the most prolific and poignant writers in pop history, Ms. Sager’s songs have been recorded by such artists as Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Whitney Houston, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban among others.
Ms. Sager supports amfAR (the American Foundation for Aids Research), Elizabeth Glaser’s Pediatric AIDS Foundation and, with Joyce Bogart, Ms. Sager cofounded the Neil Bogart Children’s Cancer Research Labs at L.A.’s Children’s Hospital.
Ms. Sager’s husband, Bob Daly, is an advisor to Viacom, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute (AFI), and former Chairman of the Dodgers and Warner Bros. In 2005 the couple underwrote the first three years of the Los Angeles operation of the non-profit organization DonorsChoose.org, which allows teachers to post the projects they need funding for and donors to choose the classroom plan that they want to fund.
Ms. Sager currently serves as a trustee of The Los Angeles Museum of Art. (LACMA). She and her family live in Los Angeles.
“I am honored to serve as an Ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Dame Elizabeth Taylor was a significant and monumental voice throughout her life in regards to the fight against AIDS. Her leadership was key in creating early research and treatment for many of my friends in a time in which my own community was decimated by AIDS. Her work reaches beyond class, gender, sexual orientation, and race; ultimately it is about humanity and the celebration of her commitment to all people equally.”
Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio and received her MFA from CalArts in 1988. Opie’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 2008, a mid-career survey of her work, entitled, “Catherine Opie: American Photographer,” was on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Photographers’ Gallery in London, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Opie was a recipient of the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography Award in 2013 and a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. She is currently working on an installation for the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, to debut in 2016. Her book of photographs of Elizabeth Taylor’s house, 700 Nimes Road, will be published by Prestel fall of 2015. Opie lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Photography at UCLA.
“Growing up I always loved Elizabeth Taylor’s essence. When she took on the challenge of helping in the fight against AIDS, she had showed me that her heart was in the right place. I am more than honored to join this amazing family of Ambassadors who recognize the importance of continuing to carry the torch against HIV/AIDS. Getting tested and knowing your status is something that needs to be a part of the conversation no matter your walk of life. Being able to share this message allows me to follow in the footsteps of those who have come before me. Look out world here I come.”
Los Angeles native Chandi Moore is a nationally recognized HIV and Trans activist. She currently works for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Center for Trans Youth and Development. Chandi has extensive knowledge and experience working with Trans and gender non-conforming youth. In her current role, she leads a nationally recognized and evidenced based trans youth specific project called BLUSH (Brave Leaders Unified to strengthen our Health). Chandi is a commanding public speaker and facilitator with years of HIV testing/counseling experience. She is also known for managing and supporting special events and creatively collaborating within the local and national HIV community as well as being an advocate and spokeswoman for the Trans-community and LGB communities. She also served as a previous Co-Chair for the TSPN (Transgender Service Providers Network). She was recently named as one of Advocate Magazine’s 25 Trans pioneers who took us past the tipping point in 2015. Also in 2015, she joined forces with the Center for Disease Control’s Act against AIDS initiative campaign “Doing It” which encourages the community to get tested for HIV and knowing their status. She was also a 2015 Positive Images Statement Of Courage Award Recipient. Chandi can also be seen alongside American television personality and retired Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete Caitlyn Jenner on the GLAAD Media Award winning “I Am Cait.” Chandi Moore is someone who loves to empower others to reach the light that is at the end of the tunnel.
“Elizabeth Taylor was so many things to so many people but one thing to all, a friend. In the gifted time we spent together she taught me more about the true and proactive nature of friendship than anyone I’m likely to ever meet. It was with this spirit of friendship – true, deep, meaningful and active – that she embarked on what was to be her life’s great work. Through The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation the boldness of her love and breath of her compassion lives on and to be any part of the work the foundation does is to be a part of the voice of Elizabeth’s heart. There really was no one more raucous, no one more disdainful of apathy, truly no one funnier and bolder and brighter than she, but most importantly, no one kinder in the world. Miss her so, even as she lives on so loudly through the message she left behind.”
A native of Ireland, Colin Farrell continues to turn heads in Hollywood. In 2009 Farrell won a Golden Globe for his role in “In Bruges” and was reteamed with director Martin McDonough for the CBS film “Seven Psychopaths.” The film centered on a screenwriter who gets drawn into the dognapping escapades of his friends.
He starred in the second season of the HBO drama “True Detective” opposite Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn. Nic Pizzolatto who created the series also wrote the second season. In Spring 2016, Farrell starred in the Alchemy film “The Lobster” opposite Rachel Weisz about a dystopian future where single people are arrested and transferred to a creepy hotel. There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal and released into the woods. The film won the Jury Prize at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in Spring 2016.
Farrell recently shot the Harry Potter prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” for Warner Brothers released in November 2016.
“To be given this great position as ambassador is a gift. Once I realized all there was to learn I became eager to teach others. One of the most incredible things I’ve found is how far Ms. Taylor’s legacy has reached. Her unwavering voice and tireless hours of commitment and dedication have lit a fire still burning around the world. Movies made Elizabeth Taylor an unforgettable legend but her work for HIV/AIDS has made her a undeniable hero.”
Daniel Franzese is an actor and singer, currently starring in the upcoming Fall series for ABC Family, “Recovery Road,” written by his frequent collaborators Bert V Royal (EASY A) and Karen DiConcetto (Ruby & The Rockits). Franzese recently starred in HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Looking.” Franzese’s character ‘Eddie’ was the only HIV+ character that has been on scripted television in the last two years. His performance has been praised for leading the way to erase stigmas of HIV/AIDS through a performance of a counselor in a homeless shelter for gay and trans teens.
The 10th anniversary of Tina Fey’s cult classic comedy “Mean Girls” in which Franzese played the character ‘Damian’ has captured much attention, once again bringing Daniel into the spotlight. Nothing would compare to Daniel’s heartfelt viral coming out letter inked by Franzese in statement form to his famous “Mean Girls” character. In the letter, he thanked his fans for their reactions to his character and his motivation to be honest with the world.
“Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy as the most vehemently dedicated celebrity fighting for people living with HIV/AIDS will live on long after her passing. I hope to continue that legacy, with as much vehemence, as an Ambassador for her amazing foundation.”
Danny Pintauro is best known for his eight-year run as Jonathan Bower on television’s “Who’s The Boss?” Mr. Pintauro began his professional career at the age of two as a model and commercial actor, at age three he began a 5-year role on CBS-TV’s daytime drama “As the World Turns,” which was followed by his acclaimed film debut in Stephen King’s “Cujo.” Recent revelations about his HIV status and drug history on the OWN Networks ‘Where Are They Now’ show have led Danny to a new path as an HIV/AIDS activist.
When I think of Elizabeth Taylor, and all of her hard work and dedication, it inspires me more than ever to also lead with passion, purpose, class, and style. Ms. Taylor’s work and legacy has shown how imperative it is that we, those living with HIV or AIDS, have allies that are in our corners fighting for us as well. Which is why I also aim to educate those who aren’t directly impacted by HIV, because I am a firm believer in there being strength in numbers.
Deondre is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, obtaining his bachelors of Business Administration with a major in Human Resource management. On April 21, 2014 at the age of nineteen, he was diagnosed with HIV on his college campus. After his diagnosis, he decided that he would dedicate most of my time to help his community and peers to get the necessary education on HIV and prevention.
Deondre became an official Greater Than AIDS ambassador after joining their SpeakOut Campaign in 2015. Since then, he has used this platform to do outreach not only in his community or across the state of Texas but as well as across the nation. Due to his hard work The Kaiser Family Foundation and Greater Than AIDS recently selected him out of the seventy ambassadors across the nation to become a part of the SpeakOut advisory committee.
In July of 2015 & 2016 Deondre was selected to become a part of the National Minority AIDS Council’s Youth initiative as a Youth Leader. Youth leaders play a key role in the United States Conference on AIDS, and Deondre helped lead their 60 second challenge campaign. Which promotes the 60 second rapid HIV test.
In 2016, Deondre became one of the official spokesperson for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, by way of their “Positively Fearless” Campaign. Which is a campaign that celebrates and promotes Black & Latino Gay & bi-sexual men, living their lives out and proud of who they are, even when faced with being HIV positive.
Due to his hard work in the community, he had the privilege of spending the 2016 summer in Washington D.C. as an intern for the Human Rights Campaign. He has led seminars on HIV/AIDS education and prevention on various university campuses and continues to provide support to HIV-positive people, helping them to get the care they need.
“My grandmother used her fame to her advantage to gain public attention for a disease that people were not only fearful of, but often in total denial about. In the 80’s, HIV was practically a death sentence. Since Elizabeth Taylor first began advocating for action to be taken to stop the AIDS epidemic, the number of new HIV infections in the United States has drastically been reduced and more and more HIV+ people are living normal, healthy lives. I work for the Department of Child Protection in New York City and, I have to say, whenever I hear of a baby born from an HIV+ mother, test negative because of advancements in medication and prevention, I am literally brought to tears. I often say a silent thanks to my grandmother because if not for her, and other advocates with her shared passion, this may not have been the case today.”
Elizabeth Carson, daughter of Maria Burton and Steve Carson, was born and raised in New York City. Elizabeth, who was named after her grandmother, Elizabeth Taylor, graduated magna cum laude New York University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Psychology. Shortly after that, Elizabeth began working for the Administration for Children’s Services and celebrated her ten-year anniversary with the agency in February of 2016. Apart from working full time for the Department of Child Protection, Elizabeth became an Ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 2014, where she continues to commit her time to carrying out her grandmother’s legacy and motivation to seeing an end to AIDS. Elizabeth has represented ETAF at various events hosted by ACRIA, amfAR, and GAIA. She also attended AIDS Watch 2015 in Washington D.C. and made congressional visits to her representatives along with other members of the family.
“Elizabeth Taylor represents fearless beauty, within and without, which is something I believe we are all meant to embody.”
Eric Leonardos was the first ever winner of Logo TV’s Finding Prince Charming, where he courageously revealed HIV positive status. Since then, he has begun using his platform to raise awareness around key issues that affect the LGBTQ communities and people living with HIV. Eric is currently thriving in Los Angeles as a Beautician and remains a huge advocate for being of service and giving back to the community.
Finn McMurray is currently a high school senior living in Portland, Oregon. In 2016, Finn joined the ETAF delegation at AIDSWatch in Washington, D.C. to urge U.S. Legislators to pass the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act (REHYA), and mandate comprehensive sexual health education in schools nationwide. The following summer, Finn interned at ETAF, planning and attending advocacy events such as the National HIV Testing Day Event at the Abbey as well as The International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa. Drawing from his Great-grandmother’s dedication and passion to seeing an end to the AIDS pandemic, Finn is committed to follow in her footsteps and continue to work as an advocate.
“Elizabeth loved life. She shunned negativity. She tried to see the good in everyone and encouraged those around her to do the same.”
Firooz Zahedi was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1949 and attended secondary school in England before moving to the United States in 1969 to study at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. After a short career as a diplomat in Washington D.C., he went on to attend the Corcoran School of Art and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications. He became a photographer for Andy Warhol’s INTERVIEW magazine and moved to Los Angeles with his friend Elizabeth Taylor, as her personal photographer on a film set. In 1990, he signed a contract with Vanity Fair magazine. His editorial work has appeared internationally on the covers of such magazines as Vogue, GQ, Town & Country, Glamour, InStyle, TIME, Architectural Digest and Entertainment Weekly. His portraits, fine art photography and collages have been shown in prominent galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Basel, London, and Dubai. His photographs of Elizabeth Taylor in Iran from 1976 were the subjects of an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011. Glitterati Incorporated will publish his Elizabeth Taylor book of photographs and stories on Ms. Taylor’s birthday in February 2016.
“Being privileged to Executive Produce the 1985 ‘APLA COMMITMENT TO LIFE’ benefit honoring Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Betty Ford, gave me the honor of being in the presence of a woman who championed the cause of AIDS and HIV at a time when the world barely knew of its existence and, to those who did, instilled fear, confusion and misconceptions. Her understanding and foresight of the fact that the HIV/AIDS virus was a world-wide and debilitating disease encouraged the medical community for more research and awakened the world of the need to find a cure for this horrific global phenomenon.”
For over two decades, Gary L. Pudney, as Senior Executive Vice-President of Specials, Talent and Special Projects at ABC Television, produced 250 hours of award winning specials including “Academy Awards”, “Emmy Awards”, “American Music Awards” etc. while, at the same time, helming numerous movies for television, mini-series, talent programs and charity events. Forming The Gary L. Pudney Company in 1988, he has continued to produce a multitude of television and non-broadcast shows including “The World’s Greatest Magic” and “The World Music Awards”. He currently serves as “Special Advisor” for the Annenberg Retreat, The Monte Carlo Television Festival, The World Monuments Fund and as an “Aide of Service” to HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“Elizabeth gave 100% of herself to everyone and every cause she loved and believed in. When HIV and AIDS came about she was the first to speak out, when no one else had the guts to talk about it. She gave people hope and this was the greatest gift of all. She was truly unique and special.”
Ingrained in the hair and beauty industries for more than three decades world renowned, French born hairstylist and entrepreneur, José Eber, has continued to be a leading authority and influencer in his field. With a trademark beauty philosophy which has led to thousands of extraordinary transformations for men and women all over the globe and some of history’s most famous hairstyles, José Eber’s unwavering vision and longstanding commitment to “making every client feel beautiful and comfortable within” is just one of the qualities that has led to his long term success.
José Eber remains at the top of the hair industry while redefining the salon experience. His Beverly Hills Flagship Salon located at 360 North Camden Drive continues José’s vision of the urban day retreat, where guests have an array of exceptional beauty services including a skin care institute, premium make-up services, a nail salon, a hair extension suite, a private salon suite, a café, and more. “I wanted to create the ultimate beauty experience for men and women.” José Eber has established a collection of hair care products and tools, and expanded to multiple luxury salon experiences in landmark resorts and other key locations around the world.
“I have always been devoted to my stepmother, Elizabeth Taylor and am thrilled and honoured to be an ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Elizabeth put AIDS research on the map, and the lives of our friends and colleagues living with AIDS have improved immeasurably.”
Kate Burton is best known for her Emmy-nominated roles on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy as Ellis Grey and Scandal as Sally Langston both created by Shonda Rhimes. She has also appeared in Halle Berry’s Extant, Veep, Grimm, The Good Wife, Law and Order and most recently as Hillary Clinton and her anger translator on Key and Peele. On Broadway, she has been nominated for three Tony awards and has appeared in 15 Broadway shows. Kate acted in Cymbeline in NYC’s Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park. She is labor union advocate for both Actor’s Equity and SAG/AFTRA and a trustee at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. A graduate of Brown University and The Yale School of Drama, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Michael Ritchie (Artistic Director of The Center Theater Group) and their daughter, Charlotte.
Kate Shindle is an actor, writer, and activist, currently starring in the national tour of the Tony-winning musical “Fun Home,” based on Alison Bechdel’s bestselling graphic memoir. In 2015, she became the youngest member ever to be elected president of Actors’ Equity Association, the union representing more than 51,000 stage actors and stage managers across the country. Her Broadway credits include “Cabaret,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Wonderland,” and the original Broadway cast of “Legally Blonde.” She has performed at dozens of theaters and concert venues both domestically and abroad, and, occasionally, while floating on international waters.
Kate was working on her theater degree when she was chosen Miss America 1998. She dedicated approximately 90% of that whirlwind year (about 20,000 miles of travel per month) to the HIV/AIDS movement, educating students, lobbying legislators, and fundraising for AIDS service organizations throughout America. Kate has often said that her Miss America title allowed her to access conservative communities that had been difficult for other AIDS activists to reach, even as she championed needle exchange programs and a comprehensive, realistic approach to sex education. Her 2014 book, “Being Miss America: Behind the Rhinestone Curtain,” focused extensively on her work during that year.
Kate is very happy to join ETAF’s efforts to reform laws that criminalize people based on their HIV+ status and views the issue as a common sense initiative. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and lives in New York City.
“Elizabeth was, is, and will always be a constellation of light, and a stalwart enemy to the fear, suffering and death caused by the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS. Before Elizabeth’s courage, advocacy, intervention and ongoing heroic battle, people were dying of AIDS. Now, because of Elizabeth, millions of people are living heathy lives with HIV. Elizabeth is the Joan of Arc of AIDS. We love and miss her every single day.”
Kathy Ireland is the Founder, CEO & Chair of kathy ireland Worldwide. Her career began as a supermodel – with features in Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and 13 consecutive issues of Sports Illustrated. She ended that career to launch kathy ireland Worldwide in 1993, which has now surpassed 2.6 billion in sales according to Forbes. Kathy’s relationship with Elizabeth Taylor is one of the most cherished experiences of her entire life. “Like many people, our family supported HIV/AIDS fundraising, and Elizabeth revolutionized our worldview. She made suffering so personal, and she taught everyone new ways to express love.” Kathy began serving ETAF as a result of their closeness. Elizabeth’s mentorship helped Kathy make the transition from model and fledgling actress, to a leading CEO.
Kathy is married to Gregory Olsen, an emergency room physician and CEO of a commercial fishing enterprise. Their children are Erik, Lily and Chloe.
“I’ve chosen to look at my journey with HIV as a blessing in disguise, and I am able to do this in huge part because of Elizabeth Taylor’s undying efforts in activism very early on in the epidemic. I look up to her as a role model, and her courage and compassion inspires me every single day! I feel so honored to be able to keep her spirit alive through my work in this fight.”
“I am deeply inspired by the following quote, from my grandmother’s acceptance speech for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1993), reminding us all to be as compassionate and loving as we can be, and to bravely stand up for others when needed: “I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being to prove that we are a human race. To prove that our love outweighs our need to hate. That our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame. That our sensitivity to those in need is stronger than our greed. That our ability to reason overcomes our fear. And that at the end of each of our lives, we can look back and be proud that we have treated others with the kindness, dignity and respect that every human being deserves.”
Laela Wilding lives in Portland, Oregon with her family, where she works as a graphic designer. In addition to her involvement with ETAF, she serves on the board of directors at Our House of Portland, which provides health care, housing, and other vital services to low-income HIV+ people. Laela also organizes and speaks at events on behalf of ETAF, bringing people together in grassroots fundraising, encouraging love and acceptance for all of those affected by HIV.
“If we are lucky in life, the number of real friends you have can be counted on one hand. Elizabeth was one of them and she became a supremely important part of my life with her wild and magical spirit, independence, generosity and love. She was always there and could make me laugh or cry.
Like so many of us, I know many people who have suffered with HIV/AIDS and Elizabeth and I had many discussions about her work and her commitment which totally inspired me. If I could ever contribute and help in a positive way I feel, that in some strange way, our friendship continues.”
Liz Smith, lives in the Scottish Borders, and is a freelance arts press and marketing consultant. During her career she has worked with a number of people, companies and organisations in Scotland including 7:84, Dogstar, Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Lung Ha Theatre Company, Fire Exit, Heart of Hawick, Janice Parker, Mark Ravenhill, John Byrne, National Theatre of Scotland and Luminate. Other positions include Scottish Ballet (Press Manager), Citizens Theatre, Glasgow (Marketing Manager) and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 1998 and 1999 (Press Manager). For a number of years she ran the Assembly Theatre press office during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
“I was always in total awe of the good my grandmother was able to accomplish in her lifetime. She could so easily have done nothing, like so many others. Instead she fought, she cared, and she worked for people suffering with HIV/AIDS. I hope to do whatever I can to preserve and continue that legacy.”
Lowell Wilding lives in Los Angeles. He is currently working on the creation of an Elizabeth Taylor Archive for the Elizabeth Taylor Trust.
“Until 1985 when my US Visa was revoked after a false positive HIV test at the American Embassy in London and I was unable to visit my children in Los Angeles, I knew little about Aids apart from the fact that it was a death sentence. Thankfully, I was one of the lucky ones; my diagnosis was a mistake, a False Positive! During the 10-day period while waiting for the result I decided that whatever it was I would give up my profession as a decorator and devote my time to this new disease.
When my Visa was returned, I immediately left for New York to meet with Dr. Mathilde Krim, who I discovered had created amfAR with Elizabeth Taylor. Dr. Krim’s husband and mine, both in the film industry knew each other well. Mathilde gave me her time and told me everything I needed to know about the Aids epidemic at that time. She spoke glowingly of Elizabeth Taylor, of her courage and absolute dedication to this unpopular cause; she was so much more, I discovered than the Elizabeth Taylor, “movie star” that I read about.
I had the privilege to meet her a few times when she came to London to support The Aids Crisis Trust, the first UK Aids Charity, created by her friend, and mine Marguerite Littman. I joined Marguerite a few weeks after she started the charity, and we worked together until the tragic death of Princess Diana, who had been one of our main supporters. In 1986, Elizabeth generously agreed to be our Patron. Her name of course was invaluable to our fundraising efforts.
When Elizabeth arrived, London came to a standstill, streets were closed, cheering crowds lined the pavements, patients at The Midlmay Mission, the first Aids Hospice in the UK, were determined to stay alive long enough to meet her. Unknowingly, she extended many lives. She used her magical presence to spread the word, to tell the world of the Aids Virus; every newspaper covered her visits and reported her every word, her demand for help. No longer a movie star, an Aids Activist. She was determined that HIV/AIDS and those touched by it should not be disgraced and ignored.
I am proud and honored to have been asked to be an Ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, in the sincere hope that Elizabeth’s dream of taking care of all those in need and finally finding a cure, will come to fruition.
To that end I will do everything that I can.”
Lyn Rothman is the founder of The Parkinson’s Appeal for DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) and Contributing Editor for Art Review. She is also a Board Member of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“No one showed more courage or integrity in confronting the bigotry and silence around HIV/AIDS than Elizabeth. She moved people to action and shamed those who wanted to ignore what was happening. She was an inspiration then and through her vision and the work of ETAF she remains so today.”
Martha Nelson has had a 30-year career as an editor, brand innovator and media executive, working across print, digital and television. She most recently held the post of Editor-in Chief of Time Inc., the first woman in the company’s 90-year history to hold the title. In that role she was responsible for overseeing the editorial content and talent for the 21 brands at Time Inc. , including Time, People, Her career at Time Inc. began in Australia, working on the launch of Who Weekly . She returned to the US and became the founding editor of InStyle, nurturing the title through a period of explosive growth and establishing it as a leading brand. At In Style, Nelson left an indelible mark, as she created the magazines signature look and feel and oversaw its international expansion, the production of several successful one-hour network TV specials, and the launch of InStyle.com. The magazine received, among many other honors, a special award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1999 “for putting the spotlight on fashion and Hollywood.” She went on to be the editor of People and is credited with reinvigorating the title, guiding the relaunch and growth of People.com to become the number one entertainment magazine website. She also launched new magazines like People Style Watch and People Country, as well as People Hollywood Daily. She went on to serve first as Editor for the Style and Entertainment Group and then as Editorial Director for Time Inc. Prior to Time Inc, Nelson held posts both in New York and San Francisco. She began her publishing career as managing editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society and went on to become a staff editor at Ms. Magazine and editor-in-chief of Savvy magazine and Women’s Sports & Fitness.
Nelson has been honored numerous times for her achievements and philanthropic efforts. She has served on the boards of several professional and charitable organizations. Currently she serves on the Advisory Board of the Glass House and as a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and of the Actors Fund. Nelson, who received her B.A. from Barnard College, lives in New York City with her partner and their teenager son.
“For more than a third-of-a-century, the legacy of AIDS has continued to mount in lives lost, families shattered, communities divided and grief multiplied.
Early on, Elizabeth Taylor came into the pandemic bringing an unwavering passion. We met in 1992 at an event in New York City. I was terrified and she was beautiful. I asked her what I, a newly infected mother, could do to help. “Tell your story,” she said; “tell your story.” She was right. Her years on stage and screen had taught her what so many of us had yet to learn: the power of a single story.”
Mary Fisher – author, artist, advocate, social entrepreneur – is a global leader in the arena of social change through positive thought and action. Mary is best known for her stunning keynote address speaking truth to power at the 1992 Republican National Convention – a speech since ranked in Oxford University Press as one of “the best 100 American speeches of the 20th Century.” Diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and with breast cancer in 2012, she shares her experience, strength and hope with boundless energy. As an artist famous for work in sculpture, handmade papers, jewelry and fiber arts, she trains women worldwide to earn a dignified living using her original techniques and materials. The recipient of five honorary doctorates and countless tributes, and author of six full-length books, Mary is an outspoken advocate for vulnerable people around the world.
“Elizabeth Taylor was my grandmother. By the time I got to know her, she had moved on from her life as an actress, and had begun to devote her time to activism and philanthropy in her fight against HIV / AIDS. I was profoundly inspired by her commitment and dedication to her cause. She spoke of the importance of universal kindness, of equal rights for all human beings, and as I watched her use her miraculous voice to influence the world, I learned that we all have a responsibility to do what we can to help those who are in need.”
Naomi deLuce Wilding was born and raised in West Wales. Eager to be closer to family, she moved to Los Angeles in 2000, where she began a career as a fashion stylist. In addition to freelancing, Naomi currently works as fashion director at Issue Magazine.
In 2014 she and her husband, Anthony Cran, opened Wilding Cran Gallery together in the Los Angeles Arts District. The gallery serves as a platform to support local and universal social causes through arts education programming and philanthropic work.
Naomi is extremely proud to continue her grandmother’s work in whatever way she can as an ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
“The tireless and passionate work of Elizabeth Taylor and her driving force, helped begin to remove the stigma attached to people with AIDS. Singly because of her a community formed, defiant, wanting and willing to wholeheartedly embrace the unfortunate, tragic victims of the plague.
Days, weeks, months I listened to her on the telephone as she rang the Heads of Nations all over the world to raise Funds and awareness. She would’t take no for an answer, ever. I travelled with her to the Far East and watched and listened to this extraordinary woman, as she addressed world leaders, some of whom, denied that their own countries had people suffering from AIDS at all. She would not listen, she knew. She besieged, cajoled, even threatened.
Fearless to the end, she was.
Undeniably gorgeous, gracious, generous, funny, witty, inspirational and compassionate. Dame Elizabeth Taylor, one of a kind. She was my best friend, I miss her greatly. “
Norma Heyman, the first woman in Britain to produce an independent film, The Honorary Consul, has had success with films such as Dangerous Liaisons which received seven Academy Award nominations. Buster starring Phil Collins, Gangster No.1 starring Paul Bettany and Malcolm McDowell. Norma produced Mrs. Henderson Presents which was nominated for two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes and a SAG Award for Judi Dench in 2006. In 2013 she produced the television movie The Thirteenth Tale starring Vanessa Redgrave.
She is currently producing the stage musical, Mrs. Henderson Presents, which has its British premiere in August 2015.
Grandson of international actors Omar Sharif and Faten Hamama, Omar Jr. was a well-known Arabic actor, model and spokesperson working in Egypt from a young age.
In 2011, at the start of the Arab Spring, he was invited by The Academy of Motion Pictures to present the Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actress’, during which he performed a memorable comedic sketch with screen legend Kirk Douglas.
Shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood was elected to parliament in Egypt, Omar published an open letter in The Advocate, in which he came out as gay and half-Jewish and questioned the new Egyptian government’s commitment to basic human rights and diversity. He is the first public personality to ever come out as openly gay in the Arab World. He immediately faced a barrage of condemnation, criticism and threats of violence, and even death.
Omar has since served as National Spokesperson for GLAAD; an organization which serves to promote LGBT equality by ensuring positive media portrayals of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community. In addition, he currently serves as Ambassador for the Human Rights Foundation and travels extensively promoting freedom. Troubled by the silence and stigma surrounding issues related to HIV/AIDS accross the Middle East and North Africa, Omar is delighted to be able to use his platform to build on Elizabeth Taylor’s unparalleled legacy of activism in the field.
In 2015, Omar was hired by six-time Oscar nominated director Jim Sheridan to act opposite Eric Bana and Rooney Mara in The Secret Scripture. In 2016, they collaborated again on 11th Hour, with Salma Hayek, in an artistic response to the global politics of division. The film was selected by the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.
Omar is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Hebrew and Yiddish.
Paris Jackson is an actress, model & activist. Earlier this year, Jackson began to materialize her creative passions into career ambitions, quickly grabbing the attention of editors from some of the world’s most prestigious publications. Thus far in 2017, Jackson has graced the cover of Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Australia, Teen Vogue, CR Fashion Book, and i-D magazines, collaborating with top photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, Willy Vanderperre, David LaChapelle, Mario Sorrenti, Jean-Paul Goude, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Hedi Slimane, among others. Shortly after Jackson broke onto the scene, she signed with top model agency IMG and landed her very first campaign with iconic American fashion house Calvin Klein.
Through Jackson’s work with esteemed fashion editor Carine Roitfeld (Founder/Editor-in-Chief of CR Fashion Book, formerly of Vogue Paris), she was introduced to Award-winning director/producer Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler), who, at the time, was working on the final episodes for the first season of his musical-drama series “STAR” (FOX). Daniels became so enamored by Jackson’s unique beauty, voice and charm, that he wrote a guest appearance into the series for Jackson, who will reprise her role for a short arc in Season 2. Jackson’s next acting project will see her work with Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Joel Edgerton & David Oyelowo in the feature film GRINGO (Amazon Studios & STX), premiering March 9th, 2018.
Jackson’s mission is to continue to pursue her passions and build a platform where she can shine light on the causes important to her as an activist, exemplified many times this year, notably going off script while presenting at the 2017 Grammy Awards and MTV VMAs, to highlight the Dakota Access Pipeline and events of racial injustice in Charlottesville, respectably. Jackson recently came on board as an Ambassador for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) and is passionate about continuing her godmother’s legacy of ridding the stigma and finding a cure for the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“Living in San Francisco for over 35 years, I walked down the streets, rode the buses and saw a whole generation lose their lives to AIDS. I lived the loss and felt helpless, at times. As I started getting involved in the community, I learned how to serve others and give hope. When Dame Elizabeth came into my life, via Chen Sam, I learned how business could be leveraged to help those who need help. As Elizabeth would say, be their VOICE, be their FACE, anyone and everyone CAN DO SOMETHING to aid them in their fight to live.
One of my favorite Elizabethism is “Patrick? What did these flowers cost? How many meals could we have provided for those living with AIDS, sweetie? Don’t buy me flowers, love.”
Patrick Smith began his career at Macy’s in 1978 and oversaw Special Events in the 113 Northwest Macy’s locations, including Macy’s Passport Presents Glamorama. Patrick first became involved in the national fashion event that has raised 30 Million Dollars for HIV and AIDS causes when he volunteered to be an usher 30 years ago. He soon became an integral part of the annual HIV/AIDS fashion show fundraiser, and for 25 years worked closely with founding chair, legendary actress and AIDS activist Dame Elizabeth Taylor. The marquee event helped raise awareness for the cause, and funds to support Ms. Taylor’s effort to call upon everyone to share the responsibility to care for each other.
Today Patrick remains actively involved in the community, supporting fundraising, marketing and awareness for many non-profits including, Meals on Wheels, San Francisco General Hospital and Project Open Hand, The Aids Emergency Fund, Shanti Project and others. Patrick divides his time between Palm Springs and San Francisco with his partner, Bart, of 36 years.
Quinn Tivey is a New York based artist with an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Grandson of Elizabeth Taylor, Quinn has worked as an ambassador for The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for several years. As an ETAF Ambassador, Quinn was inspired to capture the perspectives of people living with HIV across the U.S. and initiated a photo-essay project in which he photographed and spoke to people assisted by ETAF grants, sharing their personal stories with the world. Quinn was asked to step into the role of co-trustee for his grandmother’s Trust in 2016.
“Without concern for color, culture, or class, my grandmother would acknowledge the soul of every person she met and treat them with great respect. And yet she was never afraid to call out BS if she picked up on it. To reach the level of power and success she did and maintain a genuine concern for others’ wellbeing is truly admirable, and her legacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS embodies that humanitarian passion. Every day, I am inspired by the encouragement she gave me and so many other people.”
Rhys Tivey is a trumpeter, vocalist, and songwriter. After growing up in rural upstate NY, he moved to New York City to receive a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance at NYU Steinhardt and perform at various venues in NYC. Rhys has taught both music and yoga at public middle schools in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx through after-school education nonprofits including MIMA Music and East Side House Settlement.
“My grandmother was a total badass! I can’t help but be inspired by her unbreakable courage, and boundless generosity. I want to continue her legacy, and be a part of the fight towards securing a better future for those living with HIV/ AIDS, and to one day see an AIDS free generation!”
Tarquin Wilding is an aspiring filmmaker who loves dogs and motorcycles.
“Elizabeth Taylor was my godmother so she was a constant presence in my life. I was lucky enough to have a close and intimate relationship with her — she was an important role model — I admired her enormous courage and strength. What was extraordinary was that she took on such a big cause at such a sensitive point — this was a time when no celebrities were doing such things let alone supporting AIDS and HIV — her commitment grew out of her deep friendship with Rock Hudson: she had enormous heart and compassion. My fairy godmother was a real and present human being, never a movie star. She was aways generous and, without hesitation, managed to instill self confidence in others.”
Victoria Brynner is a phenomenon: she speaks four languages; grew up in Switzerland and Paris, where her mother was a fixture at the couture shows and an ambassador for Valentino; her Russian-born father was the late Academy Award winner Yul Brynner; her godmothers were Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor; she’s founder and president of Stardust Brands a Los Angeles-based brand consulting company that also brokers deals between luxury brands and the celebrities who appear in their advertising campaigns. She’s the ultimate Hollywood insider and a savvy business woman too. She’s worked with the best, on the best, to make unforgettable images. Brynner has worked with virtually every big-name fashion photographer. Through her company she’s helped luxury brands sign A-list actors to represent them.
“She was, to me, one of the great broads. She laughed loud and hard, cussed like a sailor and she was my friend without judgement. I was so lucky to know her.”
In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg became one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy (“Whoopi Goldberg,” 1985), the Academy Award (“Ghost,” 1991), the Golden Globe (“The Color Purple,” 1985 and “Ghost,” 1991), the Emmy (as host of AMC’s “Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel,” 2002 and a Daytime Emmy for “The View” in 2009) and a Tony (Producer of “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” 2002). She produced and made her directorial debut with the documentary, “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley,” which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and premiered on HBO in November 2013. Whoopi has appeared in many films, on TV and graced the Broadway stage. She made her debut as an author in 1992 and has since published four books and a children’s book series. She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations.
Zac Posen launched his eponymous collection in 2001, with a vision for modern American glamour that married couture technique with striking innovation. Raised in New York, Zac began his design training early. He attended London’s Central Saint Martins University in the womenswear degree program. In 2004, he was awarded one of fashion’s most prestigious honors, Swarovski’s The Perry Ellis Award for Women’s wear by the CFDA. In 2015, Zac Posen was also awarded Designer of the Year by Women’s Wear Daily and Variety Magazine.
Today, Zac is known globally for his technique in artisanal craftsmanship, anatomical construction and textile manipulation. His daywear, suiting and red carpet eveningwear are infused with his bold sophistication, sexy femininity and distinctive glamour.
In Fall 2014, Zac Posen was announced as Creative Director for the Brooks Brothers signature women’s collection and accessories. The collections are available worldwide.
Worn by leading women, including Uma Thurman, First Lady Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Naomi Watts, Claire Danes and Rihanna, he has become a staple on the red carpet. His collections have grown to include Zac Posen, ZAC Zac Posen, and Truly Zac Posen with offerings in handbags, accessories, bridal, eyewear, footwear, and fine jewelry.
Zac Posen serves as a judge with Heidi Klum and Nina Garcia on Lifetime’s mainstay Project Runway, currently in its sixteenth season.
Zac Posen partnered with Delta Air Lines to re-design the iconic uniforms. His designs were unveiled in October 2016 and will be officially launched in May 2018.
Philanthropy is an integral part of the Zac Posen brand. Along with consistent support of St. Jude’s, the LGBTQIA community, and City Harvest, amongst others, Zac Posen also acts as a board member of the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.
The documentary, House of Z, chronicling Zac’s career, premiered at the TriBeCa film Festival in April 2017, and is currently available for rent on Vogue.com. Zac’s latest project, a cookbook entitled Cooking with Zac, is currently available worldwide and can be purchased on Amazon or at Barnes & Noble.