Singer Barry Manilow and fashion designer Kenneth Cole have praised Elizabeth Taylor's AIDS advocacy.

The legendary actress died Wednesday at the age of 79 in the Los Angeles hospital where she had been admitted two months earlier for treatment of congestive heart failure.

After the 1985 death of actor Rock Hudson from AIDS complications at the age of 59, Taylor became a leading advocate for AIDS research, raising millions for the non-profit amfAR, which she helped create.

Appearing on HLN's The Joy Behar Show, Manilow and Cole said Taylor had used her celebrity to help further human rights.

“She was just so frustrated that nobody was really doing anything for this AIDS thing,” Manilow told Behar. “It was like all of our friends were dying. I had lost half of my phonebook. So she decided to do the first AIDS benefit.”

Cole, amfAR's current board chair, said Taylor was one of the few stars willing to stand up.

“These were different times in the 80's when Elizabeth Taylor was very out front – so was Barry, in his own way – and there was this pervasive uncertainty and fear and hostility to the degree people were at risk, or presumed to be at risk, and it bred a lot of negative emotions.”

“Elizabeth Taylor was very courageous and she was a woman on a mission,” Cole added. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)