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Thursday, 18 May, 2000, 23:22 GMT 00:22 UK
Dame Elizabeth's best foot forward
Dame Elizabeth Tayor with Gianfranco Ferre at Cannes
Dame Elizabeth Taylor arrives with Italian designer Gianfranco Ferre
Dame Elizabeth Taylor led guests at a star-studded fundraiser for Aids research in Cannes on Thursday evening.

Aids Special Report
The 68-year-old screen legend walked confidently into the Palm Beach Casino in Cannes - when earlier this week she arrived in a wheelchair at Buckingham Palace to receive her honour from the Queen.

She was wearing her new medal at the event, calling it "the best piece of jewellery I've got".


Liz Hurley in Cannes
Liz Hurley arriving for the fashion show

Dame Elizabeth had to be helped onto and off the podium to mae her speech at the start of the Cinema Agains Aids event, which raised funds for the American Foundation for Aids Research.

The stars - who had paid up to 65,000 for a table - included Hollywood legend Gregory Peck and actors Sean Penn and James Caan.

The evening at the Palm Beach Casino opened with a screening of Kenneth Branagh's film Love's Labour's Lost, after which Dame Elizabeth thanked guests for their generosity.

Wearing a long silver dress, she said the event would raise "an awful lot of dough" for Aids research.

Models Karen Mulder, Tyra Banks, Laetitia Casta and Heidi Klum took part in the fashion show wearing items by lingerie company Victoria's Secret.


Sir Elton John with Janet Street-Porter at Cannes
Sir Elton John with newspaper editor Janet Street-Porter

While the show was in full swing, Sir Elton John arrived with his partner David Furnish, accompanied by friends Liz Hurley and Janet Street Porter.

Other arrivals included actor Jeremy Irons, one of the official judges at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Sean Penn, James Caan and Gregory Peck.

Since it first took place in 1993, Cinema Against Aids has raised more than 3.3m for amfAR. Thursday's event is expected to raise a further 1.25m.


Gregory and Veronique Peck
Gregory Peck arrives with his wife Veronique

A veteran campaigner for Aids research, Dame Elizabeth first took up the cause following the death of her close friend Rock Hudson in 1985.

She was awarded her title in recognition for both her achievements in acting and her contribution to Aids charities.

Sir Elton has his own Aids charity, and last December threw a lavish fundraising party at the Natural History Museum in London.

All the guests had been instructed to look as much like the children's doll Barbie as possible, in honour of a special display of the toys inside the museum.

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See also:

16 May 00 | Entertainment
Queen honours movie Dames
16 May 00 | Entertainment
Elizabeth Taylor: A life in pictures
11 May 00 | Health
New hope in Aids fight
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