From Naomi Watts portraying the late Princess Diana to Glenn Close convincing audiences she was a man, here’s a look at some of the best movie transformations.
Highlights of Today in History: Julius Caesar assassinated in Rome; Johnson urges passage of Voting Rights Act; Worldcom CEO Bernard Ebbers convicted of fraud; Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton; “My Fair Lady” debuts on Broadway.
Highlights of this day in history: Germany’s Reichstag burns, giving the Nazis under Adolf Hitler a pretext to seize absolute power; A cease-fire ends the Persian Gulf War; Actress Elizabeth Taylor born; Children’s TV host Fred Rogers dies.
On Thursday, December 22, 2011 AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced that its parade float entry, ‘Elizabeth Taylor: Our Champion,’ which AHF entered for consideration for the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade was approved by Tournament officials and will be sailing down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California for all the world to see in the iconic parade Monday, January 2, 2012 starting at 8:00am Pacific Time (11am ET).
AHF’s parade float entry—the first in the 123-year history of the Tournament parade to focus on HIV/AIDS and the first-ever sponsored by the 25-year-old global AIDS organization—honors two-time Academy Award-winning actress Elizabeth Taylor for her tireless, nearly three decade-long advocacy and compassion on behalf of people with HIV/AIDS. Taylor, who died March 23rd at age 79, championed HIV and AIDS programs starting in the 1980s, she co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) in 1985 and the eponymous Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1993.
“Our Tournament of Roses Parade float is a tribute to someone who was more than a film star—Elizabeth Taylor was a real hero and one who truly deserves all the accolades she has received,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which provides medical care and services to more than 124,000 people in 26 countries around the globe. “Long before it was fashionable, she was there by our side—a singular and fearless champion for AIDS activism. She spoke truth to power on a variety of issues, and her organization, which had no overhead, helped fund AHF and other AIDS organizations in Los Angeles at a time when funding was hard to come by. For her to speak out and show her compassion really changed the game.”
Over the years AIDS Healthcare Foundation received several grants from the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). These funds were specifically designated for AHF’s ‘Ithembalabantu’ Clinic (Zulu for ‘people’s hope’) in Durban, South Africa, which provides free lifesaving antiretroviral treatment to people with AIDS. The first of these grants came long before President George W. Bush created the US’ global AIDS program known as PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and at a time when treatment was not widely available in poor countries around the world. Just has she had in the earliest days of the epidemic, Ms. Taylor once again demonstrated real leadership in the fight against AIDS—this time, in helping to prove that treatment could and should be brought to those in need around the world.
“AHF’s ‘Our Champion’ float also serves as a reminder that, though Ms. Taylor bravely stood up for people living with HIV/AIDS at an important moment in history, the AIDS epidemic is still not over and there remains much work to be done,” added Weinstein.
Sale of ‘AHF Memory Flowers’ will help build AHF’s ‘Our Champion’ Float
In another potential first for the Tournament of Roses Parade, the public at large across the country and around the world will have a chance to contribute to the construction of AHF’s float honoring Elizabeth Taylor while also honoring memories of their own loved ones who have died. This week, AHF is kicking off a novel ‘Text to Donate’ fundraising campaign offering the sale of ‘AHF Memory Flowers.’ For a modest $5 dollar donation contributed via a cell phone text donation, a donor will have the name of a loved one who has died hand-written on a water vial holding one of the over 150,000 roses that will make up the Elizabeth Taylor float. The significance of the roses is that they will serve as “memory flowers”, honoring any “rose” in your life that you miss. To participate in the AHF Memory Flower living tribute honoring Elizabeth Taylor’s AIDS advocacy and your own loved one, simply text the word FLOWER and the NAME OF THE PERSON you are honoring to the text number 20222.
AHF’s ‘Elizabeth Taylor: Our Champion’ Parade Float
AHF’s ‘Elizabeth Taylor: Our Champion’ Parade Float has been designed by award winning float designer Raul Rodriquez and is being built by the respected and award-winning Fiesta Parade floats. The float will be made of 150,000 flowers and will take the form of an oversized red ribbon, the international symbol of AIDS, with a circling world globe. There will be photographs of Taylor from various stages in her life and career: from ‘National Velvet,’ her breakthrough film as a child; from the film, ‘Cleopatra;’ and an iconic photo from her later years when she was devoting much of her life to advocacy on AIDS. The photos will be largely be rendered in black and white, using seeds and grains to capture the effects of a black and white photo. At least one of the photos will have spot color, also rendered in seeds, grains and flowers: for her world famous eyes, and to color a small red AIDS ribbon pinned to her blouse.
“We are honored that the Executive Board of the Tournament of Roses approved our float this year and who better to honor than the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor for her leadership on AIDS,” added AHF’s Weinstein. “This year, the theme of the Tournament of Roses Parade is ‘Just Imagine.’ In honor and remembrance of Elizabeth, let’s imagine and work toward a world without AIDS.”
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 124,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe. For more information visit www.aidshealth.org
Photo/graphic credit to: Business Wire
David Harrison Levi is upset at Steven Escobar because he wrote an article of an event he attended and saw the security at Cafe Entourage kicking David Harrison Levi and his Followers. You can read the article titled ”
Self-promoter David Harrison Levi and Followers Apparently Escorted Out by Security in Hollywood”
Also as we promess and by request from our Diversity News Radio listeners, you can see the copy of the letter mail to Mr. Levi by Steven Escobar law office. David Harrison Levi needs to leave Mr. Esteban “Steven” Escobar alone.
CNN.com reported on Friday, July 8, 2011 the Betty Ford, the widow of late President Gerald Ford and a co-founder of an eponymous addiction center in California, has died at the age of 93, according to the director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.
In 1982, Betty Ford and Leonard Firestone founded the Betty Ford Center to serve patients and save families. Per TMZ.com some of the celebrities that have sought treatment at the facility — includes Lindsay Lohan, Chevy Chase,Kelsey Grammer, Elizabeth Taylor, Anna Nicole Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Drew Barrymore, Johnny Cash, Liza Minnelli, Billy Joel, and David Hasselhoff.
The Betty Ford Center is located at 39000 Bob Hope Dr Rancho Mirage, CA 92270. Mrs. Betty Ford is survived by her four children, seven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
On Betty Ford Memorial Website at www.BettyFordMemorial.com posted the following statement:
April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011
The family of President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford issued the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that we inform you that our beloved mother Betty Ford has passed away at 93 years of age. She died peacefully today at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.
Mother’s love, candor, devotion, and laughter enriched our lives and the lives of the millions she touched throughout this great nation. To be in her presence was to know the warmth of a truly great lady.
Mother’s passing leaves a deep void, but it also fills us with immeasurable appreciation for the life we and Dad shared with her.”Susan Ford Bales
Steven Meigs Ford
John Gardner Ford
Michael Gerald Ford
Funeral details for Mrs. Betty Ford, wife of the 38th President of the United States Gerald R. Ford, will be provided to both the media and the public and will be posted on www.BettyFordMemorial.comas information becomes available.
For those considering sending flowers or making a contribution in honor of Mrs. Ford, her family has requested that contributions and donations in lieu of flowers be made to the organizations found on the Contributions page.
To send a message of condolence to the Ford family, click here: Condolence Book
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor are offering extended hours in their lobby areas for those who wish to express their sympathy to the Ford family, including signing a condolence book.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Museum lobby will be open 24 hours a day until further notice beginning at 11:00 p.m. on Friday, July 8th in order to enable the public to sign a condolence book. The Museum’s other areas, including all exhibit galleries and the gift store, will be closed for approximately 7 days beginning Saturday, July 9th.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Library lobby will be closed until Monday, July 11th at 9:00 a.m. and then open 9:00 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
About Betty Ford: Elizabeth Ann Bloomer Warren Ford (April 8, 1918 – July 8, 2011), better known as Betty Ford, was the wife of former United States President Gerald Ford and served as the First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. As First Lady, Ford was active in social policy and shattered precedents as a politically active presidential wife.
Throughout her husband’s term in office, she maintained high approval ratings despite opposition from some conservative Republicans who objected to her more moderate and liberal positions on social issues. Ford was noted for raising breast cancer awareness following her 1974 mastectomy and was a passionate supporter of, and activist for, the Equal Rights Amendment. Pro-choice on abortion and a leader in the Women’s Movement, she gained fame as one of the most candid first ladies in history, commenting on every hot-button issue of the time, including feminism, equal pay, ERA, sex, drugs, abortion, and gun control. She also raised awareness of addiction when she announced her long-running battle with alcoholism in the 1970s.
Following her White House years, she continued to lobby for the ERA and remained active in the feminist movement. She is the founder, and served as the first chairwoman of the board of directors, of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction and is a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal (co-presentation with her husband, Gerald R. Ford, October 21, 1998) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (alone, presented 1991, by George H.W. Bush).
About The Betty Ford Center: Betty Ford Center is an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center. Often referred to generically, as a drug rehabilitation clinic, the Betty Ford Center provides treatment for alcohol and drug abuse/dependency in a safe, state of the art, licensed addiction hospital. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse/dependency.
Photos credit to: http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov