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Former Sen. John Warner on Elizabeth Taylor: 'We were friends to the end'

From NBC’s Lauren Stephenson
Elizabeth Taylor may be remembered as a legendary on-screen starlet, but she also played the role of a senator's wife.  Taylor's sixth husband, former Sen. John Warner, remembered the Hollywood legend on Andrea Mitchell Reports on MSNBC, reminiscing not only about his marriage and life-long friendship with the actress, but also her role in his campaign for office: "I would say she was my ‘partner’ in what appeared to be an impossible political challenge for the United States Senate."

Warner, who said his former wife's "heart and soul were just as beautiful as her classic face and majestic eyes," was elected to the Senate in 1978 after Richard D. Obenshain, Virginia’s Republican nominee for the seat, was killed in a plane crash.

"The party turned to us and hand-in-hand we marched off with no campaign staff, no funds were raised and we had but nine weeks to put together a campaign which we did and won it, narrowly," Warner told Andrea Mitchell.

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He said he was forever indebted to Taylor for her work on his campaigns. "That laid the foundation for a career of five terms, 30 years in the United States Senate, so you can understand the profound gratitude I have in my heart and memories for this extraordinary woman."

Despite their divorce in 1982 after five years of marriage, Warner said Taylor would call him to make sure he was supporting HIV/AIDS legislation, an issue the actress championed: "Even after we were separated we'd talk, 'Now that vote's coming up,' and I'd say, 'I'm with you.'"

The former senator expressed his appreciation for Taylor's friendship: "It was an extraordinary chapter in my life as it's been in the lives of many, many millions of Americans and people all over the world who enjoyed her films, herself and her contributions to the betterment of mankind."