WATCH: Bette Midler Performs At The 1991 Benefit for the AIDS Project of Los Angeles
In 1991 Hollywood’s largest response to the AIDS epidemic, a $1 million fund raiser at the Universal Amphitheater honored, among others, Bette Midler and gathered the support of the most powerful players in the television and film communities was presented for AIDS Project Los Angeles
The entertainment was glittering — with such stars as Robin Williams, Tyne Daly, Carol Channing, Sarah Brightman and Melissa Manchester — it was Lainie Kazan, the Commitments and Jennifer Holliday who brought down the house. As well as Bette Midler, who spoke passionately about the devastation caused by AIDS, and sang the finale, “Friends,” with the entire cast.
But even Bette seemed downbeat about Hollywood’s response to AIDS. “I didn’t start running for the hills like a lot of people did,” she said, referring to the mid-80’s when Hollywood responded tepidly and nervously to the epidemic that has ensnared the film community. She said, in a cracking voice, “Nearly everyone I started out with has died.