Colin Farrell Remembers Friend Elizabeth Taylor in the Last Years of Her Life: 'She Loved 'CSI' '

Colin Farrell said Elizabeth Taylor's work in AIDS activism was "that which gave her journey real meaning"

Colin Farrell, elizabeth taylor
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty; Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Colin Farrell praised the late Elizabeth Taylor as "an extraordinary woman" as he spoke about his friendship with the actress toward the end of her life at Thursday's The Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS.

Farrell, 46, received a special award at the event in West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles for his own commitment to the same cause.

Farrell and Taylor, who died in 2011 at age 79, grew close after Farrell's chance encounter with Taylor's manager at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2009. Farrell's son was born and Taylor herself recovered from a heart procedure at that same hospital, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During Farrell's speech, the actor called himself "fortunate enough to be [Taylor's] friend the last few years of her life" as he remembered Taylor for the strength of her character.

"Her life's work and that which gave her journey real meaning, lasting meaning, significance and profound meaning, is the work that she was at the forefront of when the AIDS epidemic came like a theft in the night, and stole so many lives," Farrell said at the event. "As Sheryl [Lee Ralph] said, 'It's still stealing lives. Too many.' "

"Elizabeth's dream was to end HIV AIDS, forever," Farrell added. "We haven't got there. There's still more work to do, which is why we're here tonight."

He also amusingly shared that "she loved CSI, and anything that had a crime scene or [longtime NCIS star] Mark Harmon in it."

Elizabeth Taylor
API/GAMMA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph and actress Charlize Theron also received special awards at the ceremony, during which Farrell praised Taylor for setting up her AIDS foundation in a way that would help people "who are living in a certain economic bracket that lends itself, shall we say, to not being cared for by the kind of people that make the decisions on who gets cared for and who doesn't."

Beyond Taylor's impact on AIDS activism, Farrell spoke to her loyalty as a friend even in the last years of her life. The star of the upcoming film The Banshees of Inisherin shared a memory of Taylor "once getting cross with me" when he did not contact her for several weeks.

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"I came back from wherever the hell I was, to Los Angeles, and something was going on. I can't remember," Farrell told the audience. "Life was pissing me off, as it can, and it was getting on top of me a little bit, and I didn't call Elizabeth."

After "about five or six weeks" passed, Farrell said he called Taylor once he "was feeling a bit better about myself."

"She said, 'When did you get back?' And I said, 'About five or six weeks ago.' And she went, 'Why didn't you call?' And I said, 'Because, stuff is going on. Stuff... My head was wrecked. I didn't. I was in a bad mood. I didn't,' " Farrell continued. "And she said, 'Well, that's not the kind of friendship I'm interested in, if you're only ever going to bring me your sunny days.' "

"I swear to God, I was like, 'Oh s---. Good f------ goings,' Now, I have to reevaluate friendship," Farrell added.

"That's the kind of friend she was on a personal level, and that's what she did in the face of HIV and AIDS starting four decades ago now," Farrell said as he wrapped his speech.

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