By Rachel F. Elson
Updated March 20, 2003 11:00 AM

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor is done with the entertainment business. Sunday’s planned Oscar ceremony will mark her “swan song on the stage,” the actress, 71, said during an appearance on TV’s “Access Hollywood.”

“I’ve retired from acting; it doesn’t really interest me that much anymore,” said the former screen siren and longtime AIDS activist. “It seems kind of superficial because now my life is AIDS, not acting.”

Taylor, who has won two Oscars — one for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” in 1963 and another for “Butterfield 8” in 1961 — is slated to appear in a segment featuring winners from the Oscars’ 75-year history. She has been a pioneering AIDS activist and fund-raiser, taking up the cause back in the late 1980s, after close friend Rock Hudson died of the disease.

Meanwhile, the ceremony itself has undergone repeated shakeups since the start of the war in Iraq, and is headed for an evening of uncertainty. The state of California has called out a National Guard unit to provide extra protection at the event, reports Reuters, and the red-carpet entrances have been eliminated.

Several stars have bailed out altogether — or are sounding uncertain about attendance. Actor Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have declined to attend the event; “Chicago” star Renee Zellweger has given what sounds like a rather tentative confirmation, though her reps say she is “taking everything day-by-day.” Peter Jackson, director of Best Picture nominee “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” will skip the trip, notes the Chicago Sun-Times, because the New Zealander is afraid of being stranded in Los Angeles by canceled flights.

And several avowedly anti-war nominees and presenters — including Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and Ben Affleck — have told organizers that they’ll turn up, notes the New York Times, but like other of the war’s opponents, are expected to register their disapproval of U.S. action by wearing anti-war pins or swatches of duct tape.