Wiesenthal Center Mourns the Passing of Elizabeth Taylor, Longtime Friend and Supporter

March 23, 2011

The Simon Wiesenthal Center mourns the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, a longtime friend of the Wiesenthal Center. She, along with Frank Sinatra, was among the early supporters of the Center from its inception and served on the Center's Board of Trustees in the 1980s.

“Elizabeth Taylor, who was a great admirer of Simon Wiesenthal, narrated our first documentary film, Genocide, the story of the Holocaust, which won the Academy Award™ in 1981,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Elizabeth is known throughout the world as an Academy Award™ winning actress, but what is less known is her devotion to philanthropic causes and in 1980, she was the first recipient of the Center's highest honor, its Humanitarian Award. She will be sorely missed," Hier concluded.

Pictured L-R at the world premiere of the Center's Academy Award™-winning documentary, "Genocide" are Simon Wiesenthal; Center Trustee, Abe Pollin; then-Chairman of the Center's Board of Trustees, Sam Belzberg; Elizabeth Taylor (who along with Orson Welles narrated the film), Frank Sinatra and SWC Dean and Founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier.

Watch video of Elizabeth Taylor's speech at 1980 SWC banquet at the Century Plaza including text of her speech...

Rabbi Hier is available for comment. Photos of Taylor from the Center’s archives are also available. To schedule an interview or for more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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