When Rock Hudson died in 1985 from the mysterious illness that was plaguing gay men at the time, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Elizabeth Taylor mourned the wasting away of her once strapping costar in Giant. She was devastated be his death, and by the fact that he had tried to hide the nature of his illness, just as he had always had to hide his homosexuality in an era and a profession that wouldn’t allow him to be who he was. Furious about the way the Reagan administration and her own industry were ignoring the pandemic, Elizabeth was determined to confront the disease that so many were dying from. She became the public spokesperson for AIDS research, raising millions of dollars to help develop a cure and treatment, and to change the public attitude about the disease and toward homosexuality itself. By 1992, she had done more to raise awareness of AIDS than any other American. When people were afraid of being in the same room with AIDS patients, Elizabeth often visited them at a hospital in Los Angeles. During one such visit, she delighted the patients by climbing into bed with a man being treated for AIDS. She said to the astonished fellow, “It’s the perfect relationship! I don’t want to get married again, and you’re probably not interested in me.” They cheered and applauded her for that.