March 24, 2011 at 9:44 AM ET
While many remember Elizabeth Taylor as a screen legend, great beauty and pop culture icon, her longtime friend and publicist, Sally Morrison, believes the star’s legacy is about so much more than that.
In a Thursday morning appearance on TODAY, Morrison spoke of Taylor’s rare connection to her fans, and how she translated that into a force for change.
“She had these real challenges, and she was very honest about them,” Morrison said of Taylor’s public struggles with love, addiction and illness. “She was very authentic. Everybody has talked a lot — beautifully — in the last 24 hours, about her image, her beauty, her contribution to film, but I think the point is that her success and her appeal were based on something very authentic, very real and honestly, very substantive.”
According to Morrison, it’s that authentic nature that left Taylor with a fan following so loyal, they supported her every endeavor from films to fragrance to AIDS advocacy.
“She just took her fame so casually, you know, and was able, I think, to use it to drive real, substantive social change,” Morrison explained. “That was what was so special about her to me, that she was able to take something and use it to make the world a better place.”