Saving Montgomery Clift's life after a horrible auto accident. Clift had crashed his car on the extremely narrow, winding road from Taylor's home after a dinner party (he'd been very concerned about being able to navigate the road and had asked a friend to guide him). Taylor heard the crash and ran to the scene. Even though she had a lifelong loathing of blood, she grasped the severity of the situation, coolly climbed through the shattered car window (risking severe injury herself), found Clift choking, and without hesitation inserted her fingers into his airway and removed several shattered teeth. Witnesses on the scene and the doctor who treated Clift afterward testified that this action saved his life, because he'd have choked on those teeth without Taylor's intervention.
Her charity and activist work with AIDS. As quoted in the book "The Accidental Feminist", at a time when AIDS sufferers "were made to feel dirty, Elizabeth Taylor touched us with her glamour."