Elizabeth Taylor (left) and Michael Wilding
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage
03/23/2011 AT 10:15 AM EDT
To the world, Elizabeth Taylor
was a legend. To Michael Wilding, she was also a mother – and in the wake of her death
, he could not be more proud of what she achieved in life.
"My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love," Wilding, 58, said in a statement Wednesday. "Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world."
Her epic screen work was only part of the story, Wilding said.
"Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts."
Wilding, a sometime actor himself, was the first of two sons that Taylor had with her second husband, also named Michael Wilding.