Hollywood Puts on the Dog—and Ponies Up—to Do Battle with Aids
The opulent setting turned out to be nothing like Montmartre, the old Parisian artists' quarter. Guests gathered at Greenacres, the extravagant Beverly Hills estate owned by movie producer Ted (Three Men and a Baby) Field and his pregnant wife, Susie. In fact, for some, seeing Greenacres almost compensated for not seeing the party's most disappointing no-show: Elizabeth Taylor.
The evening's entertainment reflected the concern of the assemblage. While the petits fours were passed around, a flu-ridden Carole Bayer Sager joined husband Burt Bacharach to perform 'That's What Friends Are For," which has brought the American Foundation for AIDS Research $1.3 million in royalties. In a monologue on the singles scene, Robin Williams cracked: "Nowadays if you meet someone you like, you have to say, 'Gosh, Helen, I really care about you. Can I have some blood and urine samples so I can run some tests?' " The unofficial star of the evening was Dr. Mathilde Krim, the tireless founding co-chairperson of Am FAR. "I'm hoping that in the future, AIDS will be like polio—a scourge we can prevent medically," she said.
The benefit, which raised almost $700,000, was pronounced a great success by Disney chairman Michael Eisner and his wife, Jane, campaign co-chairperson of Art Against AIDS. Said Michael: "If you're having friends in for dinner, eight is a far more manageable number than eight hundred. However, if you're trying to raise money for AIDS research, it's better to have eight hundred—or even eight thousand."