In 1991 Hollywood’s one of the largest responses to the AIDS epidemic, a $1 million+ fundraiser was held at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, California. Bette Midler, Carol Channing, Tyne Daly, Melissa Manchester, Lainie Kazan, Richard Dreyfuss, Jennifer Holiday, and others gathered to support the AIDS Project of Los Angeles
Bette received APLA’s “Commitment to Life” award along with MCA Inc. President Sidney Sheinberg and AIDS research specialist Dr. Joel Weisman in recognition of their work in battling discrimination and the disease.
Midler 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.”
In 1991 alone, 29,850 Americans died from HIV infection
This is what life was like in 1991