Elizabeth Taylor Honors Michael Jackson at the United Negro College Fund during his presentation of the Frederick Patterson Award – 1988
Elizabeth Taylor’s Speech:
Thank you very much. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, honored guests. My dear friend Michael, I can’t tell you how I feel to be here tonight. I have so much to say about you as my beloved friend. Our friendship has always been very private, and I think that’s one of the reasons it’s so very special because it is ours.
We first really became friends on the telephone, we are both very shy and we really do have a lot in common, and people don’t believe that. I know some of the pain that Michael goes through and it’s so real. I have been there and go through some of the same things myself. People don’t believe it but we genuinely do suffer and I think it takes a fellow sufferer, a fellow survivor to sort of understand each other.
I hope Michael, that you don’t think I’m betraying our friendship by talking about it up here, I feel kind of odd about it, to say how I feel about you is obvious. I love you. It’s obvious why I love you, I think you are one of the finest people that has hit this planet. I’m not sure where you’re from I think maybe martians or angels came down and invaded your body … the way it moves, I don’t know and you’re voice does things .. goes around corners and curves and it does anything you want it to do and it astonishes us.
You’re an amazing man and I don’t think that you’re really quite aware of that, and even that in itself is extraordinary. You have one of the sharpest wits, intelligence, your cunning and that’s a strange word to use about you because it implies deviousness and you are the least devious person I think I’ve ever met in my life.
You are honesty personified, to the point where I would say that you hurt yourself. You are painfully honest, you’re vulnerable to the point of pain. You are so giving of yourself that at times you leave very little left to protect that inner core that beautiful inner core that is the essence of you. The thing that I love so much about you and that makes the world identify with you the way they do, it makes you the phenomena that you are.
I don’t think anyone can really say what that is, or what ingredient it is, it’s too intangible and there are too many of the ingredients going on.. you’ve got just so much going on and it’s almost that kind of unawareness and it just happens and I don’t mean that it happens easily to you. I’ve seen you rehearse your nut off for hours, days, I’ve seen the sweat come off in buckets, you work, I don’t mean it comes easy but when it comes it’s like nothing else, nobody else has ever done it again, nobody else ever will again, nobody can copy it, nobody can emulate it, it’s you.
Your friendship and sense of giving is totally yours and you do it the same way, you do it almost timidly but thoroughly and completely and with the same kind of effect, the same devastation and your sense of caring, the things that you have done that so few people know about. The things that you have done anonymously, that not even the receivers know about. That is true charity. That is charity of the soul of the heart, it’s not asking to be thanked, it’s not asking to look or feel like a big guy, it’s doing something because your heart wants to and wants nothing in return and I think that is the most beautiful quality that you have. (Applause) Maybe I’ve blown it because it was until I opened my big mouth an anonymous quality, but anyway Michael thank you for being you. I love you
Presenter: It is with great pleasure that the United Negro College Fund presents to you the coveted Frederick Patterson Award
MJ: I am very honored and very happy to be here for such a cause. I want to thank some of the people I forgot to thank and if I left anybody out please forgive me. Quincy Jones who is a wonderful producer. Where are you Quincy? Oh, I love you. Thank you. (inaudible) My manager Frank DiLeo, Walter Yetnikoff, the President of CBS Records, John Branca, I love you. Elizabeth, I love you. Liza, I love you. Whitney Houston, you did a wonderful wonderful performance, thank you so much. Mr. Davis, thank you very much. I love you all and if I forgot anybody, I’m sorry. Thanks for the kid’s performance, thank you.
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