Legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor was a champion advocate for AIDS research, and became one of the founding chairmen of the American Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR, when it started in 1985 (shown at the 1992 amfAR gala). "Dame Elizabeth was without doubt one of the most inspirational figures in the fight against AIDS," the amfAR board wrote in a statement. "She was among the first to speak out on behalf of people living with HIV when others reacted with fear and often outright hostility." The organization also honored the screen star at its gala in New York in December. "Dame Elizabeth’s compassion, radiance, and generosity of spirit will be greatly missed by us all," amfAR wrote. "She leaves a monumental legacy that has improved and extended millions of lives and will enrich countless more for generations to come."