June 17th, 2011
12:47 PM ET
Nearly three months after the passing of screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minneilli continues to be inspired by her lifelong friend.
"Elizabeth had so much energy, and she was always doing something for somebody," the singer tells the Daily Mail. In fact, Minnelli says, Taylor founded amfAR in 1985 after discovering that their mutual friend, actor Rock Hudson, was suffering from AIDS.
"Rock Hudson came with me to a dinner in her honor," recalls the "Cabaret" star. "She drew me aside at one point and said: 'Oh my God! What's wrong with Rock? He looks awful.'
I explained that there was this new disease. Nobody knew what it was exactly, but I had friends in New York who were suffering from it and there was no cure. The next day, she called me. 'What did you say this disease was?' And so her AIDS charity, amfAR, was born. That was Elizabeth for you. She was a doer, with such a vibrant personality, and such a love for life."
Minnelli last saw Taylor just months before her death in March, and, she says, "It never crossed my mind that this would be her final illness."
Despite the tremendous loss, "I smile now as I think of her," says Minnelli. "Look what she did for people. She was always helping somebody. You won't ever get depressed if you're helping somebody else. Elizabeth taught me that. And that's the side of her I hope people will come to know better."
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