It was certainly gratifying to read the list of "powerful names" finally coming forth to help in the ongoing AIDS crisis ("Hollywood Powers Help AIDS Victims," by David Fox (Aug. 11).
But let's not forget the other stars who were there in the beginning, before AIDS benefits became chic. The fact that some of them may not be considered "powerful" only makes the courage of their convictions more admirable:
Vivian Blaine, who filmed the first TV public service spot for AIDS; Sammy Davis Jr., who filmed a second TV spot; Rita Moreno, who headlined the Hollywood Bowl for the APLA at a time when they were hard-pressed to find additional names for the bill; Mamie Van Doren, who rode a car for the APLA in the 1984 Gay Pride parade; Gregory Harrison and his partners at Catalina Productions, whose "Women Behind Bars" presented the first major AIDS benefit in L.A., with a wonderful roster of ladies that included Jean Simmons, Patti Page, Sheree North, Terry Moore, Adele Jergens, Marie Windsor, Tippi Hedren, Betty Garrett and Virginia O'Brien.
Eichler is a publicist for Van Doren and Page.