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Bette Midler

Bette Midler

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Isn't She Great DVD Bette Midler writes her own ticket in "Isn't She Great" (2000), the hilarious... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

That Old Feeling DVD Carl Reiner's "That Old Feeling" (1997) is a convoluted romantic comedy that... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Hocus Pocus DVD You're in for a devil of a time when three outlandishly wild witches- Bette... more info $14.99was $14.99 Buy Now

Ruthless People DVD This hilarious dark comedy features would-be kidnappers in way over their... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Outrageous Fortune DVD Shelley Long and Bette Midler star in this fast-paced action comedy as two... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Down And Out In Beverly Hills... A rich family adopts a homeless man in this 1986 comedy about dysfunctional... more info $9.99was $9.99 Buy Now

Also Known As: Bette Davis Midler Died:
Born: December 1, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA Profession: singer, actor, producer, go-go dancer, glove saleswoman, cannery worker in a pineapple factory, typist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Bette Midler built a successful stage, screen and recording career on the basis of her self-styled "Divine Miss M" character - a sassy, hip-wagging classic "broad" archetype. She was quick with the comebacks, took no guff and had a tendency to burst into tunes from the Great American Songbook. Her initial stage fame and string of nostalgia-tinged hit albums in the 1970s eventually led to big screen success, with dramas like the pseudo Janis Joplin biopic "The Rose" (1980) and three-hankie chick flick "Beaches" (1990). She also lent appropriately outrageous variations of Miss M to comedies including "Ruthless People" (1986), "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986) and "The First Wives Club" (1996). In an era where stage, screen and recording crossover success was rare, only Liza Minnelli rivaled Midler when it came to endless concert tour schedules and triumph in all genres. More than 30 years into her career, the entertainer was still scoring hits with such albums as 1998's Bathhouse Betty and the televised special of her acclaimed Caesar's Palace act "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" (HBO, 2010). As a film star, live performer and winner of Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, Midler was an...

Bette Midler built a successful stage, screen and recording career on the basis of her self-styled "Divine Miss M" character - a sassy, hip-wagging classic "broad" archetype. She was quick with the comebacks, took no guff and had a tendency to burst into tunes from the Great American Songbook. Her initial stage fame and string of nostalgia-tinged hit albums in the 1970s eventually led to big screen success, with dramas like the pseudo Janis Joplin biopic "The Rose" (1980) and three-hankie chick flick "Beaches" (1990). She also lent appropriately outrageous variations of Miss M to comedies including "Ruthless People" (1986), "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986) and "The First Wives Club" (1996). In an era where stage, screen and recording crossover success was rare, only Liza Minnelli rivaled Midler when it came to endless concert tour schedules and triumph in all genres. More than 30 years into her career, the entertainer was still scoring hits with such albums as 1998's Bathhouse Betty and the televised special of her acclaimed Caesar's Palace act "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" (HBO, 2010). As a film star, live performer and winner of Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, Midler was an entertainment icon of the highest order.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Casting By (2013)
2.
4.
 The Women (2008)
5.
6.
 Stepford Wives, The (2004) Bobbie Markowitz
7.
 Isn't She Great (2000) Jacqueline Susann
8.
 Drowning Mona (2000) Mona Dearly
9.
 Get Bruce (1999) Herself
10.
 Jackie's Back! (1999)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
As a teenager, was member of folksinging trio that toured Hawaiian army bases
:
Worked in a pineapple cannery in Hawaii after leaving college
1965:
Moved to Hollywood for final shooting on "Hawaii"
1966:
Made film debut in a bit part as a missionary's wife in "Hawaii"
1966:
Moved to New York City; worked as a go-go dancer in a Union City, NJ club
1966:
Made New York stage debut in "Miss Nefertiti Regrets"
1966:
Answered open call for a national company of "Fiddler on the Roof"; hired for the chorus of the Broadway production; took over the role of Tzeitel in February 1967 and remained in role for three years
:
Performed at the Improvisation, a New York club that showcased new talent
1970:
Appeared in off-Broadway musical "Salvation"
1970:
Began appearing at NYC's Continental Bathhouse with accompanist Barry Manilow
1971:
Signed contract with Atlantic Records
1971:
Performed in the Who's rock opera "Tommy" with the Seattle Opera Company
1973:
Released first major album <i>The Divine Miss M</i>, produced by Barry Manilow
1975:
Provided the voice of Woody the Spoon on the PBS educational series "Vegetable Soup"
1979:
Appeared on Broadway in "Bette! Divine Madness"
1979:
Played the title role of a 1960s drug-addicted rock star, modeled after Janis Joplin, in Mark Rydell's "The Rose"; received first Best Actress Academy Award nomination
1980:
Made concert film of her Broadway show "Divine Madness"
:
Fired her entire musical entourage, including her backup group the Harlettes after the close of "Divine Madness"; was successfully sued for $2 million
1982:
Played Rip Torn's lounge-singer wife in "Jinxed!"; reportedly clashed with co-star Ken Wahl and director Don Siegal
1983:
Reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown
1984:
TV producing debut, the HBO concert "Bette Midler: Art or Bust"
1986:
Returned to films after a four-year absence to star in the popular comedy "Down and Out in Beverly Hills"
1986:
Continued her comeback with comic leads in "Ruthless People" (1986), "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), and "Big Business" (1988)
1988:
Formed production company All Girl Productions with Bonnie Bruckheimer-Martell and Margaret Jennings South
1988:
Produced first feature "Beaches"; also co-starred as singer CC Bloom and performed theme song "Wind Beneath My Wings"
1989:
First No. 1 hit on the pop charts, "The Wind Beneath My Wings" (from "Beaches" soundtrack)
1991:
Re-teamed with director Mark Rydell to play a USO entertainer in "For the Boys"; also produced; received second Best Actress Academy Award nomination
1992:
Saluted a retiring Johnny Carson on the final episode of "The Tonight Show" (NBC), during which she sang "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)"; won an Emmy for the appearance
1993:
Performed her first concert tour in ten years "Experience the Divine"; set a record-breaking 30-night stand at NYC's Radio City Music Hall
1993:
Portrayed Mama Rose in the CBS TV remake of the stage musical "Gypsy"
1995:
Made hilarious uncredited appearance in "Get Shorty"
1996:
Teamed with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton for the hit comedy "The First Wives Club"
1997:
With co-star Dennis Farina, played two middle-aged former spouses who rekindle their romance in "That Old Feeling"
1997:
Headlined the Emmy winning HBO special "Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas"
1998:
Earned an Emmy nomination for her guest appearance on the final episode of "Murphy Brown" (CBS)
2000:
Co-starred in the comedy-mystery "Drowning Mona" opposite Danny De Vito
2000:
Starred in her own short-lived CBS sitcom "Bette"
2003:
Toured her new show "Kiss My Brass" to sell-out crowds in the U.S.
2003:
Teamed with Barry Manilow after a long-standing feud to record <i>Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook</i>
2004:
Starred in the Frank Oz remake of Bryan Forbes' 1975 cult classic "The Stepford Wives"
2005:
Received Grammy nomination for <i>Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook</i>, again produced by Manilow
2007:
Signed a two-year deal to headline at Las Vegas' Caesar Palace, replacing Celine Dion
2008:
Performed "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas
2008:
Starred in "Then She Found Me," directed by Helen Hunt
2010:
Voiced title character, a villainous Sphynx cat in "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore," the sequel to 2001 family film "Cats & Dogs"
2010:
Made directorial debut with HBO special based on her Vegas act "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On"
2012:
Co-starred with Billy Crystal in family comedy "Parental Guidance"
2013:
Returned to Broadway after more than 30 years, portraying Hollywood super agent Sue Mengers in "I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Herbert Berghof Studio: New York , New York -
Radford High School: Honolulu , Hawaii - 1963
University of Hawaii: Honolulu , Hawaii - 1965

Notes

Midler was named after Bette Davis.

In addition to her musical albums, Midler has also recorded a comedy album, "Mud Will be Flung Tonight".

"I wouldn't say I invented tack, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity." --Midler, quoted in "Halliwell's Filmgoers Companion", 9th edition.

"Underneath all this drag I'm really a librarian, you know." --Midler, quoted in "Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion", 9th edition.

From the April 4, 1997 Daily News review of "That Old Feeling": "Bette Midler gives that same old we've grown accustomed to--that of the eye-rolling, hip-wagging, over-the-top diva with the acid tongue."

Midler described her onstage persona thus: "Basically, what I was doing was a character that has always had a place in show business, and that's the Broad. People always love a broad--someone with a sense of humor, someone with a fairly wicked tongue, someone who can belt out a song, someone who takes no guff. When I came up, there wasn't anyone like that. The last one, I'd have to say, was Sophie Tucker." --Bette Midler in Entertainment Weekly, December 20, 1991.

"She (the 'Divine Miss M') never went anywhere. She's just a character. That's the only character that I ever made up by myself ... I was in New York, I saw these people, I looked at these movies, I said, 'This is what I want to be.' And that's what I became ... But then I didn't want to get stuck in it, like ... John Belushi ... I didn't want the character to run my life. I wanted to be able to go somewhere quiet, be by myself and have a life ... I never exactly put it in those words, but I really wanted to be who I always was. I mean, I didn't think that anybody would buy what I had to say whan I was just myself, because really I'm kind of a bore. But that character, there was nothing boring about her. She was lively, she had red hair, she wore dresses cut down to there, everybody loves that. Who wouldn't want to be that? But that wasn't what I was ... Not for a second. But I put it out and people were charmed by it." --Midler to Movieline, c. December 1991.

About her role in the Gay Liberation Movement: "Parts of it I'm proud of. And parts of it I'm deeply mortified by. The idea that what came of it turned out to be so grim ... one of the saddest parts of my life. The idea that so many people got sick and died. It's one of the most awful things I have to live with.

"I don't think it was divine retribution. It was insane behavior. It was completely out-to-lunch behavior. There was so much drug use and promis..., promis..., how do you say that word?" ("Promiscuity.") "That word. There was so much of that. I mean, you weren't there. I was there. Nobody said, 'Hey, wait a second. Hold on here. Hold it! Hold it! Hold it!' It was terrible. I haven't got anybody left. I haven't got a single soul left from those days. All gone. I'll tell you something. If I could take it back, I would. If I could change it ... if I could go back and reverse everything, I would. It wasn't worth it." --Midler to BuzzWeekly, April 4-10, 1997.

" ... I say girl because I love to annoy people. I love the word Girl. Gal is pretty great, too. I hate that whole 'Don't call us girls anymore' thing. You know what? Call me anything. Call me sweetheart. no, actually, I hate that--it's patronizing. But I don't just want to be called a woman. It sounds like someone with a mustache.

"I'm very ambivalent [about feminism]. On the one hand, I completely understand the impulse behind it, and on the other, I think there's been a lot of damage done. I really resent political correctness and the idea that women who stay at home and raise their kids are worthless. I think that society as a whole hsas suffered and taken a terrible beating because of it. People can say that's traditional and spit at me all they want. You reach a certain age and your judgment is clearer." --Midler to Rolling Stone, November 13, 1997.

Received the AIDS Project's Commitment fo Life Award (1991)

I went on Johnny Carson. He asked me what I was doing, and I said, I work in a bathhouse. I sing in a bathhouse. And I think people were stunned, and I think gay people were -- they sat up and said, Oh, my God."---Midler talking about working in a gay bathhouse early in her career to Larry King CNN November 26, 2003

"We're in a business that manufactures dreams ... and we're all in on it. This is a free country. You can't sit and say, 'So-and-so is a bad person for, you know, getting a chin implant.' You can't do that."---Midler on the pressure for woman to look perfect to CNN.com June 15, 2004

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Aaron Russo. Manager. Managed her early career.
husband:
Martin Von Haselberg. Performance artist, former commodities trader. Married in December 1984; born c. 1949; met at Los Angeles club Roxy in 1981; was member of the avant-garde performance duo the Kipper Kids; studied at the director's program at the AFI; German by birth, raised in Argentina after family fled the Nazis, educated in England.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Fred Midler. Housepainter. Died in the late 1980s; painted for the Navy while family was in Hawaii; taught his mentally-challenged son to read and write "by hammering and screaming at him until he got it right".
mother:
Ruth Midler. Died in the late 1980s.
sister:
Susan Midler. Mental-health administrator. Older.
sister:
Judith Midler. Older; killed by a car while going to meet sister after a performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" in 1968; debut album dedicated to her.
brother:
Daniel Midler. Younger; born mentally impaired.
daughter:
Sophie Frederica Alohilani Von Haselberg. Born c. 1987.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Bette Midler"
"A View From a Broad"
"The Saga of Baby Divine"
"The Divine Bette Midler"
"Bette Midler: Outrageously Divine"
"Bette Midler"
"Bette: An Intimate Biography of Bette Midler"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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