11 26 2014
  12:53 am  
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The Wake of Vanport oral history
McMenamins

Screen goddess Elizabeth Taylor was laid to rest Thursday in a private funeral attended only by around 50 close family and friends. The star was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale Los Angeles, the same resting place of her longtime friend Michael Jackson.

Known for her gutsy sense of humor, the star had one last joke to play. According to Taylor's last wishes, the service began 15 minutes late. The funeral took place in accordance with her Jewish faith, as soon as possible. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. The Skanner News Video: Liz Taylor

Taylor was one of the first celebrities to speak out on behalf of HIV/AIDs sufferers, after seeing co-star and friend Rock Hudson die of the disease.

Elton John, also an AIDS activist, paid tribute to her during a concert Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, playing the song "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," after saying, "God bless you, Elizabeth. God knows how we're going to replace you. This is for you and your beautiful memory and for all of the people you helped and saved."

John told the audience Taylor "stood up when no one was prepared to stand up and be counted against AIDS," and said it was "a sad day because today I lost a friend and you lost a hero."

Actress Debbie Reynolds, whose husband Eddie Fisher left her for Taylor, told Access Hollywood, "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."

Taylor had suffered from congestive heart disease for many years before she died. She also had many surgeries including a 1997 surgery to remove a benign brain tumor and hip replacement surgeries. She dealt with a longstanding addiction to alcohol and prescription pain meds in 1983 when she went into treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Taylor is survived by her daughters Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey, sons Christopher and Michael Wilding, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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