SOUTH FLORIDA (CBS4) – Charlie Cinnamon, a South Beach Public Relations agent, treasures the three years he spent alongside Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor.

Cinnamon worked with Taylor when she opened her Broadway-bound play in South Florida The Little Foxes 30 years ago.

“She was an honest to God terrific lady!” recalls Cinnamon, “Great fun to be with, totally honest. No pretensions, but she knew she was a star.”

The Little Foxes debuted in Fort Lauderdale on the stage of the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale.   This was Taylor’s first big production play.

“Working with her was an absolute joy,” said Cinnamon.  “She was lusty, she was fun, and we had the best times.  She was a pro, a complete pro.”

Taylor was a tireless force pushing for AIDS research and fought to help those living with HIV and AIDS to live better lives.  Mary Lynn Lovejoy, who once worked at one of South Florida’s oldest HIV and AIDS service agencies, the Broward House, remembers when Taylor visited in 1993.

“She sat here, she listened with such incredible compassion and interest and commitment to making a difference in their lives,” remembers Lovejoy. “The lives that she touched simply by being here.  It was awesome!”

As a legend and a humanitarian, Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy lives on in South Florida.

“She really is, as corny as it sounds, I think, the end of an era,” said Cinnamon. “She represented the best that was Hollywood.”

Taylor also spent lots of time in the posh Miami Beach resort, The Fontainebleau. In fact, her bellman still works there.

“She used to chit-chat with him, and when she found out he was one of the only fighters who went ten rounds with foreman, she smirked and asked for his autograph,” said Jeffrey Klein, The Fontainebleau’s VP of Operations.

Klein says Taylor used to walk into the lobby using the famous, “Staircase to Nowhere.”

“She actually came to the resort many times. She actually came back in 1988 for an AIDS gala,” he said.

Taylor helped raise more than $270 million for AIDS charities.




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