Tito Jackson Praises Taylor For ‘loyalty And Friendship’ To Michael

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March 24, 2011 | 5:15am EST

Tito Jackson has heaped praise on Dame Elizabeth Taylor for her “steadfast loyalty and unwavering friendship” to his late brother Michael during the most “difficult times” in the King of Pop’s life.
News of Taylor’s passing on Wednesday sent the showbiz world into mourning and Tito has joined a growing list of stars paying tribute to the screen icon.

He’s applauded Taylor for her ongoing awareness drive for HIV and AIDS, but is especially grateful to her for being such a supportive friend to his brother, who died in 2009.

Tito tells UsMagazine.com, “Elizabeth Taylor was an impactful person in this industry and on society as a whole. I specifically admire her charitable efforts including bringing early awareness to HIV/AIDS.

“Most memorable is her steadfast loyalty and unwavering friendship to my late brother Michael Jackson. Liz provided a sense of relief and comfort to my brother at various difficult times in his life, and I appreciate that. May she rest in peace.”

Pop superstar Madonna has also added her condolences: “I am so sorry to hear that this great legend has passed. I admired and respected her not only as an actress but for her amazing and inspiring work as an AIDS activist. She was one of a kind.”

Taylor’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? director Mike Nichols admits he was in awe of the actress when he worked with her on the 1966 film, declaring, “The shock of Elizabeth was not only her beauty. It was her generosity. Her giant laugh. Her vitality, whether tackling a complex scene on film or where we would all have dinner until dawn. She is singular and indelible on film and in our hearts.”

Acting legend Sir Michael Caine says, “So sad to hear about my beautiful friend Elizabeth Taylor. She was a great human being”, while British actress Angela Lansbury adds, “Elizabeth and I began our careers about the same time at MGM. Throughout her tumultuous life, she will be remembered for some unique and memorable work.”