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Midler, Bette 1945–

Midler, Bette 1945–

(The Divine Miss M)

PERSONAL

Born December 1, 1945, in Paterson, NJ (some sources cite Honolulu, HI or Aiea, HI); raised in Aiea, HI; daughter of Fred (a house painter) and Ruth (a seamstress; maiden name, Schindel) Midler; married Martin von Haselberg (a commodities trader and performance artist under the name Harry Kipper), December 16, 1984; children: Sophie Frederica Alohilani. Education: Attended University of Hawaii and Hunter College of the City University of New York; studied at Herbert Berghof Studio.

Addresses: Agent—International Creative Management, 8942 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211; (music) Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Publicist—Cheryl Maisel, PMK/HBH Public Relations, 700 San Vicente Blvd., Suite G910, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some sources cite 8500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Beverly Hills, CA 90211).

Career: Actress, singer, producer, writer, and composer. All-Girl Pictures (also known as All-Girl Productions), Burbank, CA, cofounder, 1988, and partner. Appeared as a singer and comedienne in cabarets and nightclubs throughout the United States, including New York City appearances at Continental Baths, 1970–72, Downstairs at the Upstairs, c. 1971, Carnegie Hall, 1972, Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, 1972, and Radio City Music Hall, 1983; appeared with Johnny Carson in Las Vegas, NV, 1972. Member of the folk music trio the Pieridine Three and performed in Hawaii. Worked in a pineapple factory in Hawaii, as a go-go dancer in Union City, NJ, and as hat-check girl, department store clerk, and typist. New York Restoration Project, founder, 1994; Smile Train, member of advisory committee; also affiliated with Adopt-a-Highway, Get Out the Vote, and AIDS Project Los Angeles. Known as the Divine Miss M.

Member: Delta Phi Epsilon.

Awards, Honors: Ruby Award, entertainer of the year, After Dark magazine, c. 1972; Grammy Award, best new artist, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1973; Grammy award nominations, best female vocalist and album of the year, both 1973, for The Divine Miss M; Special Antoinette Perry Award, 1974; Woman of the Year, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard University, 1976; Emmy Award, outstanding comedy-variety or music special, and Emmy Award nomination, outstanding writing in a comedy-variety or music special, both with others, both 1978, for Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back; named one of the promising new actors of 1979, John Willis' Screen World, 1979; Grammy Award, best pop vocal performance by a female, 1980, for The Rose (soundtrack); Grammy Award (with others), best recording for children, 1980, for In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record; Golden Globe awards, best motion picture actress in a musical or comedy and female new star of the year in a motion picture, and Academy Award nomination, best actress in a leading role, all 1980, and Film Award nomination, best actress, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1981, all for The Rose (film); Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actress in a musical or comedy, 1981, for Divine Madness!; CableACE Award nominations, best performance in a music special and (with others) best music special or series, National Cable Television Association, both 1985, for Bette Midler: Art or Bust; Jack Oakie Comedy Award, Women in Film, 1985; awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1986; American Comedy Award, funniest actress in a leading role in a motion picture, 1987, for Ruthless People; American Comedy Award, funniest performance on a record, 1987, for Mud Will Be Flung Tonight!; American Comedy awards, lifetime achievement and funniest female performer of the year, both 1987; American Cinematheque Award, American Cinematheque Gala Tribute, 1987; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical motion picture, 1987, for Down and Out in Beverly Hills;named woman of the year, Ms. magazine, 1987; Sho-West Award, female star of the year, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1988; American Comedy Award, funniest actress in a leading role in a motion picture, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical motion picture, both 1988, and People's Choice Award, favorite comedy motion picture actress, 1989, all for Outrageous Fortune; American Comedy Award, funniest actress in a leading role in a motion picture, 1989, for Big Business; Grammy Award, record of the year, 1989, for "Wind beneath My Wings"; Commitment for Life Award, AIDS Project Los Angeles, 1991; Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical motion picture, and Academy Award nomination, best actress in a leading role, both 1992, for For the Boys; Emmy Award, outstanding individual performance in a variety or music program, 1992, and American Comedy Award, funniest female performer in a network, cable, or syndicated television show, 1993, both for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; Golden Globe Award, best performance by an actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, and Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or special, both 1994, for Gypsy; Saturn Award nomination, best actress, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, 1994, for Hocus Pocus; American Comedy Award, funniest supporting actress in a motion picture, 1996, for Get Shorty; named one of the most fascinating women of 1996, Ladies' Home Journal, 1996; National Board of Review Award (with others), best acting by an ensemble, 1996, Golden Apple Award nomination, female star of the year, Hollywood Women's Press Association, 1996, and Golden Satellite Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a motion picture comedy or musical, 1997, all for The First Wives Club; Crystal Award (with others), Women in Film, 1997; Emmy Award, outstanding performance in a variety or music program, CableACE Award, best performance in a musical/variety program, and Emmy Award nomination (with others), outstanding variety, music, or comedy special, all 1997, and American Comedy Award, funniest female performer in a network, cable, or syndicated television special, 1998, all for Bette Midler: Diva Las Vegas; United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) citation for environmental work, 1997, Governor's Award for Parks and Preservation, 2002, Medal of Distinction Award, 2002, and Master Builder's Award, 2004, all for her environmental work, including work with the New York Restoration Project; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, 1998, for "Never Can Say Goodbye: Part 1," Murphy Brown; named one of the 100 greatest women of rock and roll, VH1, 1999; People's Choice Award, favorite female performer in a new television series, TV Guide Award, actress of the year in a new series, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical television series, and TV Guide Award nomination, actress of the year in a comedy series, all 2001, for Bette; Grammy Award nomination, best pop vocal album, traditional, 2003, for Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook; platinum and gold record certifications, Recording Industry Association of America.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Passenger, Hawaii, United Artists, 1966.

Virgin Mary, The Thorn (also known as The Divine Mr. J), 1971.

Mary Rose Foster (title role), The Rose, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1979.

The Divine Miss M, Divine Madness! (concert film; also known as Bette Midler Is Divine Madness), Warner Bros., 1980.

Bonita Friml, Jinxed!, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists, 1982.

Barbara Stone, Ruthless People, Buena Vista, 1986.

Barbara Whiteman, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Buena Vista, 1986.

Music teacher, The Lottery (short film shown at Walt Disney World), 1987.

Sandy Brozinsky, Outrageous Fortune, Buena Vista, 1987.

Cecilia Carol "C. C." Bloom, Beaches (also known as Forever Friends), Buena Vista, 1988.

Sadie Shelton and Sadie Ratliff, Big Business, Buena Vista, 1988.

Voice of Georgette, Oliver & Company (animated musical), Buena Vista, 1988.

Stella Claire (title role), Stella, Buena Vista, 1990.

Deborah Fifer, Scenes from a Mall, Buena Vista, 1991.

Dixie Leonard, For the Boys, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1991.

Winifred "Winnie" Sanderson, Hocus Pocus, Buena Vista, 1993.

(Uncredited) Doris Saphron, Get Shorty, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1995.

Brenda Morelli Cushman, The First Wives Club, Paramount, 1996.

Lilly Leonard, That Old Feeling, Universal, 1997.

Herself, Get Bruce!, Miramax, 1999.

Segment hostess, Fantasia/2000 (live action and animated; also known as Fantasia Continued, Fantasia '99, and Fantasia 2000), Walt Disney Pictures, 1999.

(Uncredited) Dr. J. M. Perkins, What Women Want, Paramount, 2000.

Jacqueline Susann, Isn't She Great (also known as Ist sie nichtgrossartig?), MCA/Universal, 2000. Mona Dearly, Drowning Mona, Destination Films, 2000.

Bobbie Markowitz, The Stepford Wives, Paramount, 2004.

Linda Ashford, In the Pink, Columbia, 2007.

Some sources cite an appearance as an uncredited extra in The Hawaiians (also known as Master of the Islands), United Artists, 1970.

Film Song Performer:

Singing voice, Scarecrow in a Garden of Cucumbers, Maron Films, 1971.

Performer of songs have been featured in films, television broadcasts, and videos.

Film Producer:

(With Bonnie Bruckheimer-Martell and Margaret Jennings South) Beaches (also known as Forever Friends), Buena Vista, 1988.

(With Bruckheimer-Martell and South) For the Boys, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1991.

Executive producer, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Warner Bros., 2002.

Television Appearances; Series:

Host and voice of Woody the spoon, Vegetable Soup (live action and animated), syndicated, 1975.

Bette, Bette! (also known as Bette and The Bette Show), CBS, 2000–2001.

Appeared in the series The Edge of Night, CBS, c. 1960s.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Herself, 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll (also known as The Greatest), VH1, 1999.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Herself, Jackie's Back (also known as Jackie's Back: Portrait of a Diva), Lifetime, 1999.

Voice, The Magic 7 (animated), c. 2006.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Multiple characters, Burt Bacharach: Opus No. 3, ABC, 1973.

Neil Sedaka Steppin' Out, NBC, 1976.

Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back, NBC, 1977.

Bing! … A 50th Anniversary Gala, CBS, 1977.

People, CBS, 1978.

The Barbara Walters Special, ABC, 1980, 1987, 1991.

Bette Midler: Art or Bust, HBO, 1984.

"Why Bother?," David Letterman's Holiday Film Festival (also known as Late Night Film Festival), NBC, 1985.

People Magazine on TV, CBS, 1989.

Mother Nature, Time Warner Presents: The Earth Day Special (also known as The Earth Day Special), ABC, 1990.

An Evening with Bette, Cher, Goldie, Meryl, Olivia, Lily, and Robin, ABC, 1990.

Living in America, VH1, 1990.

Sinatra 75: The Best Is Yet to Come (also known as Frank Sinatra: 75th Birthday Celebration), CBS, 1990.

The Dream Is Alive: The 20th Anniversary Celebration of Walt Disney World (also known as Walt Disney World's 20th Anniversary Celebration), CBS, 1991.

A User's Guide to Planet Earth: The American Environment Test, ABC, 1991.

HBO's 20th Anniversary—We Hardly Believe It Ourselves, HBO and CBS, 1992.

Mama Rose Hovick, Gypsy (musical), CBS, 1993.

Voice, Earth and the American Dream, HBO, 1993.

What Is This Thing Called Love?, ABC, 1993.

Answering machine voice, How to Be Absolutely Fabulous, Comedy Central, 1995.

(In archive footage) 50 Years of Funny Females (also known as Fifty Years of Funny Females), 1995.

Golden Anniversary (also known as Rosemary Cloon-ey's Demi-Centennial and Rosemary Clooney's Golden Anniversary), 1995.

Hollywood Stars: A Century of Cinema, The Disney Channel, 1995.

We Are the World: A 10th Anniversary Tribute, The Disney Channel, 1995.

Peter Allen: The Boy from Oz (documentary), c. 1995.

Ladies' Home Journal's Most Fascinating Women of '96 (also known as The Most Fascinating Women of 1996), CBS, 1996.

Wynonna: Revelations, CBS, 1996.

Bette Midler: Diva Las Vegas (also known as Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas), HBO, 1997.

(In archive footage) Motown 40: The Music Is Forever, ABC, 1998.

Tara Lipinski: From This Moment, CBS, 1999.

Herself, Holidays with the Stars, E! Entertainment Television, 2000.

Crossover, Independent Film Channel, 2001.

A Prayer for America: Yankee Stadium Memorial, 2001.

Twas the Night, HBO, 2001.

United We Stand, ABC, 2001.

(In archive footage) Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The 1970s, 2002.

A Barry Manilow Christmas: Live by Request, Arts and Entertainment, 2003.

Herself, AFI's 100 Years … 100 Songs (also known as AFI's 100 Years … 100 Songs: America's Greatest Music in the Movies), CBS, 2004.

(In archive footage) 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs … Ever, VH1, 2004.

(In archive footage) Live from New York: The First 5 Years of Saturday Night Live, NBC, 2005.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 22nd Annual Tony Awards, NBC, 1968.

The 16th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1974.

The 17th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1975.

The 19th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1977.

The 52nd Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1980.

The 38th Annual Golden Globe Awards, CBS, 1981.

The 23rd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1981.

Presenter, The 54th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1982.

The American Film Institute Salute to Frank Capra (also known as The 10th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Frank Capra), 1982.

Host, MTV First Annual Video Music Awards, MTV, 1984.

The 59th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1987.

The 32nd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1990.

The 33rd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1991.

The 64th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1992.

The 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 1994.

Presenter, The 69th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1997.

Presenter, The 40th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 1998.

The 1998 Billboard Music Awards, Fox, 1998.

The 18th Annual American Fashion Awards, E! Entertainment Television, 1999.

Presenter, The 43rd Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 2001.

(In archive footage) The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, CBS, 2005.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Musical guest, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1979.

Herself, "The Divine Miss M," Entertainment Tonight (also known as Entertainment This Week, ET, E.T., ET Weekend, and This Week in Entertainment), syndicated, 1989.

The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated, 1989.

Narrator, "Weird Parents," Shelley Duvall's Bedtime Stories (animated), Showtime, 1992.

Voice of herself, "Krusty Gets Kancelled," The Simpsons (animated), Fox, 1993.

Herself, "The Understudy," Seinfeld, NBC, 1994.

Herself, "You Bette Your Life," The Nanny, CBS, 1996.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Bette Midler, Lifetime, 1997.

Caprice Feldman (secretary number ninety-three), "Never Can Say Goodbye: Part 1," Murphy Brown, CBS, 1998.

Herself, Intimate Portrait: Patti LaBelle, Lifetime, 1998.

Herself, "Bette Midler," Behind the Music (also known as Behind the Music: Bette Midler, BtM, and VH1's "Behind the Music"), VH1, 1999.

Herself, Joan Rivers: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! Entertainment Television, 2001.

Herself, "Bette Midler," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Bette Midler), Arts and Entertainment, 2004.

(In archive footage) E! 101 Most Starlicious Makeovers (also known as E's "101"), E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

(In archive footage) "Lo veraniego," La tierra de las 1000 musicas, 2005.

Television Guest Appearances; Episodic:

The David Frost Show, syndicated, 1970.

The Merv Griffin Show, CBS, 1970.

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, multiple appearances, from 1970 through 1992.

The Mike Douglas Show, syndicated, 1971.

Cher, CBS, 1975.

Today (also known as NBC News Today and The Today Show), NBC, 1979, 1983, 2003.

The Midnight Special, NBC, 1980, 1981.

"Wetten, dass … ? aus Saarbruecken," Wetten, dass …, 1990.

Top of the Pops (also known as All New Top of the Pops and TOTP), BBC, 1991.

The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, multiple episodes from 1996 to 2002.

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 1996, 2003.

Mundo VIP, 1997.

The Ruby Wax Show, Fox, 1997.

"Wetten, dass … ? aus Linz," Wetten, dass …, 1998.

The Entertainment Business, Bravo, 1998.

The Roseanne Show, syndicated, 1998.

Entertainment Tonight (also known as Entertainment This Week, E.T., ET Weekend, and This Week in Entertainment), syndicated, 1998, 2004.

Ruby Wax Meets, BBC, 2001.

"New York Special" (also known as "Ground Force in New York"), Ground Force, 2002.

The Caroline Rhea Show, syndicated, 2003.

Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (also known as Ellen and The Ellen DeGeneres Show), syndicated, 2003.

Larry King Live, Cable News Network, 2003.

The View, ABC, 2003, 2004, 2005.

Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 2004.

The Jane Pauley Show, NBC, 2004.

Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 2004.

Siskel & Ebert & the Movies (also known as Ebert & Roeper, Ebert & Roeper and the Movies, Roger Ebert & the Movies, and Siskel & Ebert), 2004.

Live with Regis and Kelly, syndicated, 2004, 2006.

Corazon de …, Television Espanola (Spain), multiple episodes in 2005.

Good Morning America (also known as GMA), ABC, multiple episodes in 2005.

(In archive footage) Showbiz Tonight, Cable News Network, 2005.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 2006.

Parkinson, Independent Television (England), 2006.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Mondo Beyondo and Eudora P. Quickly, Bette Midler's "Mondo Beyondo" (also known as Mondo Beyondo), HBO, 1988.

Bette, Bette! (also known as Bette and The Bette Show), CBS, 2000.

Television Executive Producer; Series:

Bette! (also known as Bette and The Bette Show), CBS, 2000–2001.

Some of My Best Friends (also known as Kiss Me Guido, Kiss Me, Guido, and Me and Frankie Z), CBS, 2001.

Television Producer; Specials:

Bette Midler: Art or Bust, HBO, 1984.

Executive producer, Bette Midler: Diva Las Vegas (also known as Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas), HBO, 1997.

Television Work; Pilots:

Creator, Bette Midler's "Mondo Beyondo" (also known as Mondo Beyondo), HBO, 1988.

Stage Appearances:

Cinderella Revisited, c. 1965.

Miss Nefertiti Regrets, La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, New York City, 1966.

Member of chorus, Fiddler on the Roof(musical), Imperial Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Tzeitel, Fiddler on the Roof(musical), Majestic Theatre, New York City, 1966–69.

Betty Lou, Salvation (musical), Jan Hus Playhouse, New York City, 1969–70.

Acid Queen and Mrs. Walker, Tommy (rock opera), Seattle Opera Company, Seattle, WA, 1971.

Bette at the Palace (concert; also known as Bette Midler), Palace Theatre, New York City, 1973.

Clams on the Half-Shell (revue), Palace Theatre, 1973–74, then Minskoff Theatre, New York City, 1975.

A Star Spangled Night for Rights, 1977.

Bette! Divine Madness (also known as Divine Madness), Majestic Theatre, 1979–80.

Experience the Divine (concert), Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1993.

Doin' What Comes Natur'lly (tribute concert), 1998.

Nora, "I Hate My Purse," Short Talks on the Universe, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 2002.

Also appeared in Bette Midler: Art or Bust, and in other productions and benefit productions.

Major Tours:

The Divine Miss M Tour, 1973.

The Depression Tour, 1975.

The Club Tour, 1977.

The World Tour, international cities, 1978.

Divine Madness, U.S., European, and African cities, 1980.

De Tour, 1982.

Experience the Divine, 1993–94.

Diva Las Vegas, U.S. cities, 1996–97.

Bathhouse Betty Club Tour, 1999.

The Divine Miss Millennium Tour, 1999.

Kiss My Brass, U.S. cities, 2003.

RECORDINGS

Albums:

The Divine Miss M, Atlantic, 1972.

Bette Midler, Atlantic, 1973.

Songs for the New Depression, Atlantic, 1975.

Broken Blossom, Atlantic, 1977.

Live at Last, Atlantic, 1977.

The Best of Bette, Atlantic, 1978.

New Depression, Atlantic, 1979.

Thighs and Whispers, Atlantic, 1979.

Divine Madness! (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1980.

No Frills, Atlantic, 1984.

Mud Will Be Flung Tonight! (comedy album), Atlantic, 1985.

Some People's Lives, Atlantic, 1991.

Divine Collection, Atlantic, 1993.

From a Distance, Atlantic, 1993.

Experience the Divine—Greatest Hits, 1993, Canadian version with additional selections, 1997.

Bette of Roses, Atlantic, 1995.

Bathhouse Betty, Warner Bros., 1998.

Bette, Warner Bros., 2000.

3 for One (box set), Wea International, 2000.

Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook (also known as Rosemary for Remembrance), Sony/Columbia, 2003.

Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook, Columbia, 2005.

Other albums include In Concert, Atlantic.

Albums; with Others:

Ringo Starr, Ringo the 4th, Atlantic, 1977.

The Rose (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1979.

In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record, 1980.

Beaches (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1988.

Oliver and Company (soundtrack), 1988.

Atlantic Hit Singles: 1980–1988 (also known as Atlantic Hit 45s: '80-88), Atlantic, 1990.

Disney for Our Children, 1991.

For the Boys (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1991.

Home Alone 2 (soundtrack), 1992.

Gypsy (soundtrack), 1993.

The First Wives Club (soundtrack), 1996.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (soundtrack), 1996.

That Old Feeling (soundtrack), 1997.

The Rainforest Foundation Carnival!, 1997.

Appeared in albums by other artists.

Singles:

"Do You Want to Dance?," 1972.

"Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," 1973.

"Friends," 1973.

"In the Mood," 1974.

"Old Cape Cod," 1976.

"Strangers in the Night," 1976.

"Daybreak (Storybook Children)," 1977.

"Paradise," 1977.

"You're Moving Out Today," 1977.

"Big Noise from Winnetka," 1979.

"Married Men," 1979.

"Hang on in There Baby," 1980.

"In My Mother's Eyes," 1980.

"The Rose," 1980.

"When a Man Loves a Woman," 1980.

"All I Need to Know," 1983.

"Favorite Waste of Time," 1983.

(With MickJagger) "Beast of Burden," c. 1983.

(With USA for Africa) "We Are the World," 1985.

"Wind beneath My Wings," 1988.

"Under the Boardwalk," c. 1988.

"From a Distance," 1990.

"The Gift of Love," 1990.

"Moonlight Dancing," 1990.

"Every Road Leads Back to You," c. 1991.

"In My Life," c. 1991.

"Night and Day," c. 1991.

"Yakety Yak Take It Back," c. 1991.

"In This Life," 1995.

"To Deserve You," c. 1995.

"My One True Friend," 1998.

"To Deserve You," c. 1998.

Videos:

(In archive footage) Oscar's Greatest Moments, 1992.

A Perfect World: The Making of "The Stepford Wives," Paramount Home Video, 2004.

Stepford: A Definition, Paramount Home Video, 2004.

The Stepford Husbands, Paramount Home Video, 2004.

The Stepford Wives, Paramount Home Video, 2004.

Bette Midler Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, 2005.

Music Videos:

(With MickJagger) "Beast of Burden," 1983.

"Favorite Waste of Time," 1983.

"Under the Boardwalk," 1988.

"Wind beneath My Wings," 1989.

"From a Distance," 1990.

"Night and Day," 1990.

"Every Road Leads Back to You," 1991.

"In My Life," 1991.

"Night and Day," 1991.

"Yakety Yak Take It Back," 1991.

"To Deserve You," 1995.

"To Deserve You," 1998.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

(With Jerry Blatt and Bruce Vilanch) Divine Madness! (concert film; also known as Bette Midler Is Divine Madness), Warner Bros., 1980.

Teleplays; Specials:

(With others) Bette Midler: Ol' Red Hair Is Back, NBC, 1977.

(With Jerry Blatt) Bette Midler: Art or Bust, HBO, 1984.

Teleplays; Pilots:

(With others) Bette Midler's "Mondo Beyondo" (also known as Mondo Beyondo), HBO, 1988.

Film Music; Songs:

Songs "Oh Industry" and "Otto Titsling," Beaches (also known as Forever Friends), Buena Vista, 1988.

Wrote songs that have been featured in films, television broadcasts, and videos.

Television Music; Series:

Bette! (also known as Bette and The Bette Show), CBS, 2000–2001.

Albums; with Others:

The Divine Miss M, Atlantic, 1972.

Bette Midler, Atlantic, 1973.

Songs for the New Depression, Atlantic, 1975.

Broken Blossom, Atlantic, 1977.

Live at Last, Atlantic, 1977.

The Best of Bette, Atlantic, 1978.

New Depression, Atlantic, 1979.

Thighs and Whispers, Atlantic, 1979.

Divine Madness! (soundtrack), Atlantic, 1980.

No Frills, Atlantic, 1984.

Mud Will Be Flung Tonight! (comedy album), Atlantic, 1985.

Some People's Lives, Atlantic, 1991.

Divine Collection, Atlantic, 1993.

From a Distance, Atlantic, 1993.

Experience the Divine—Greatest Hits, 1993, Canadian version with additional selections, 1997.

Bette of Roses, Atlantic, 1995.

Bathhouse Betty, Warner Bros., 1998.

Bette, Warner Bros., 2000.

3 for One (box set), Wea International, 2000.

Other albums include In Concert, Atlantic.

Singles:

(With others) "You're Moving Out Today," 1977.

(Additional lyrics) "Big Noise from Winnetka," 1979.

Wrote other songs, including "Shoot the Breeze (Dustin's Tune)" with Dustin Hoffman. Wrote songs recorded by others, including "I Could Have Loved You," "Something Your Heart Has Been Telling Me," and "Steal Away Again."

Nonfiction:

A View from a Broad, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

Writings for Children:

The Saga of Baby Divine, Crown, 1983.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Bego, Mark, Bette Midler: Outrageously Divine; An Unauthorized Biography, New American Library, 1987.

Bego, Mark, Bette Midler: Still Divine, Cooper Square Press, 2003.

Collins, Ace, Bette Midler, St. Martin's Press, 1989.

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 50, Thomson Gale, 2005.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Actors and Actresses, fourth edition, St. James Press, 2000.

Mair, George, Bette: An Intimate Biography of Bette Midler, Carol Publishing, 1994.

Spada, James, The Divine Bette Midler, Scribner, 1984.

Waldman, Allison J., The Bette Midler Scrapbook, Citadel Press, 1997.

Periodicals:

Advocate, November 10, 1998, p. 38.

Cleo, November, 1975.

Entertainment Weekly June 16, 1995, p. 11; October 16, 1998, p. 86.

Good Housekeeping, March, 1996, p. 82.

InStyle, March, 1997.

Ladies' Home Journal, July, 1993, p. 96; September,1996, p. 134.

Mirabella, November, 1998, p. 190.

Movieline, December, 1991.

Ms., December, 1987; March, 1989, pp. 52-57.

Newsweek, June 30, 1986, pp. 58-59; November 25, 1991, pp. 54-55.

New Yorker, January 19, 2004, p. 90.

People Weekly, January 7, 1980, pp. 52-56; November 14, 1983, pp. 115-19; January 16, 1984, pp. 43-44; February 3, 1986, pp. 92-96.

Rolling Stone, November 13, 1997.

Time, March 2, 1987, pp. 64-70; November 1, 2004, p. 105.

Variety, March 27, 2000, p. 61.

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"Midler, Bette 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Midler, Bette 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/midler-bette-1945

"Midler, Bette 1945–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/midler-bette-1945

Midler, Bette

Bette Midler

Singer

In her early years she was known as "The Divine Miss M.," a campy, raucous vocalist at home in many forms of jazz, swing, and pop. Since then Bette Midler has become a respected film star and a spokesperson for research into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), an illness that has killed dozens of her friends. For several years in the mid-1980s, Midler preferred starring in and producing movies to singing, but she resurfaced as a pop music superstar, releasing a Grammy-winning single, "Wind Beneath My Wings," in 1989. Combining her theatrical talents with her music, she starred in successive musical comedies in the early 1990s, including For the Boys, and Gypsy, and earned a Golden Globe for each performance. After signing with Warner Bros. in 1998 she released two new albums by the end of the decade, and each achieved gold sales.

In Vanity Fair, Joe Roth, the chairman of Twentieth Century-Fox, described Bette Midler as "one of the few superstars who connect emotionally with an audience as well as entertaining them—only a handful of people are capable of that." Few performers, especially women, sustain pop music careers into their middle years. Midler managed the feat by virtue of her wide range of vocal stylings and her good rapport with fans of all ages. Time magazine contributor Richard Corliss called Midler "the most dynamic and poignant singer-actress of her time."

Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 1, 1945. Her father painted houses for the U.S. Navy. Named after the great screen actress Bette Davis, Midler grew up in rural Aiea, Hawaii, a lonely girl who found solace in old Hollywood musicals and the thought that she might become a performer some day. She recalled in Time: "I'd sing Lullaby of Broadway at the top of my lungs in the tin shower—it had really good reverb. People used to gather outside to call up requests or yell that I was lousy."

Midler's parents did not see eye to eye about their daughter's ambitions. Fred Midler was a strict disciplinarian who felt that stage work was for loose women. He never saw Midler in a live performance, even after she became famous. Midler's mother, on the other hand, encouraged all of her daughters to take music and dancing lessons. "My mother was all for my starting on this journey and going full-speed ahead," Midler remarked in Time.

First Foray into Showbiz

After graduating from high school—where she was class president—Midler attended the University of Hawaii for a year. She also took a variety of part-time jobs, including sorting pineapple slices at a food processing plant. In 1965 she earned a place as an extra on the set of the film Hawaii. When the production company moved back to Hollywood to complete the movie, she went along. In Los Angeles she found work with United Artists as an extra, saving her wages to finance a trip to New York City.

After some months of odd jobs and small parts in Catskill Mountains productions, Midler auditioned for the Broadway play Fiddler on the Roof. She earned a chorus role in the New York company in 1966, but quickly graduated to the major part of Tzeitel, the eldest daughter. She stayed with Fiddler on the Roof for the next three years, augmenting her Broadway work with singing stints in clubs, including the famous Improvisation.

Midler used her club dates to experiment with different musical styles. She seemed most successful as a torch singer, but she noticed that the audiences liked to hear jokes between numbers. Slowly she developed the style that would become her trademark—strong vocals mixed with bawdy humor and a campy stage presence. She left the cast of Fiddler on the Roof in 1969 for an entirely new challenge.

One of Midler's acting teachers suggested that she apply to sing at the Continental Baths, a public bath-house catering to gay men. She was hired at $50 per night, and there she and her pianist-arranger Barry Manilow honed an outrageous and entertaining show that pulled musical numbers from every decade between 1930 and 1970. In her autobiography A View From a Broad, Midler recalled of the bathhouse: "I was able to take chances on that stage that I could never have taken anywhere else. The more outrageous I was, the more [the patrons] liked it. It loosened me up."

Became "The Divine Miss M."

Billing herself as "The Divine Miss M.—Flash with class and sleaze with ease," Midler began to attract attention outside the gay community. By 1971 she had signed with an ambitious manager who promoted her to television talk shows and bigger stage revues. Almost a decade before the emergence of pop icon Madonna, Midler dared to flirt, make bawdy jokes, and dress flamboyantly in her act. By 1972 she had released an album and was singing in Las Vegas and at the Lincoln Center.

For the Record …

Born on December 1, 1945, in Honolulu, HI; daughter of Fred (a house painter) and Ruth Midler; married Martin von Haselberg (a commodities trader and performance artist), December, 1984; children: Sophie. Education: Attended University of Hawaii.

Principal stage appearances include Fiddler on the Roof, 1966-69; Salvation, 1970; Tommy, 1971; and Clams on the Half Shell Revue, 1973-74. Principal film appearances include The Rose, 1979; Divine Madness, 1980; Jinxed, 1982; Down and Out in Beverly Hills, 1986; Ruthless People, 1986; Outrageous Fortune, 1987; Big Business, 1988; Beaches, 1988; Scenes From a Mall, 1991; Stella, 1991; For the Boys, 1992; Hocus Pocus, 1993; First Wives Club, 1996; Isn't She Great, 2000; Drowning Mona, 2000; Stepford Wives, 2004. Signed with Atlanta Records, early 1970s; signed with Warner Bros. Records, 1998.

Awards: Grammy Awards, Best New Artist, 1973; Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Female, 1980; Record of the Year for "Wind Beneath My Wings," 1989; Tony Award, 1973; Emmy Award, Outstanding Television Special, 1978; Golden Globe Awards, Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical Comedy, New Female Motion Picture Star of the Year, both for The Rose, 1980; Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical Motion Picture for For the Boys, 1992; Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Made for Television for Gypsy, 1993; American Comedy Awards, Funniest Female Performer in a Television Special for Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, 1993; Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Get Shorty, 1996; shared National Board of Review (NBR) Award, Best Ensemble Performance for First Wives Club, 1996; Emmy Award, Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas, 1997; People's Choice Award, Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series for Bette, 2001; TV Guide Award, Actress of the Year in a Comedy Series for Bette, 2001.

Addresses: Record company—Warner Records, 3300 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505-4694. Website—Bette Midler Official Website: http://www.bettemidler.com.

One of Midler's first big hits was an Andrews Sisters song, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." New Republic correspondent Richard Poirier commented that the entertainer "has the vocal resources to sing in the style of any woman vocalist of the past 30 years…. Midler doesn't imitate or parody a specific singer through an entire song, however. Rather, like a person truly haunted, Midler in the phrasing of a song will suddenly veer off from one coloration into another. It sometimes happens with an air of true discovery. As with most great jazz singers, she therefore never does a song exactly the same way twice. The avenue of experimentation is always left open."

Her success as a singer assured, Midler moved on into film. Her first movie was The Rose, a serious work about a self-destructive rock star. The film was a success, earning Midler two Golden Globe Awards, including New Female Motion Picture Star of the Year. Also in this role she was recognized with an Academy Award nomination, and she received the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance by a Female for the title song. Flush with success, Midler felt invincible. Then her career took a nosedive. A concert film, Divine Madness, did not perform as expected at the box office. Worse, Midler's next movie, Jinxed, earned her a reputation for temperamental behavior that took years to live down. Her live appearances lacked the zest of earlier years, and she entered a prolonged depression. "I couldn't face the world," she admitted in Time. "I was drinking to excess—I was miserable."

Midler's 1984 marriage to businessperson and performance artist Martin von Haselberg helped her to regain her equilibrium. Around the same time she signed a contract with Touchstone Films, a division of Walt Disney Studios. Through Touchstone Midler starred in several well-received comedy films, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, and Outrageous Fortune. Together these movies earned more than $60 million and revived Midler's flagging career.

Midler has not lacked film roles since then. She has starred in such vehicles as Beaches, Big Business, filmmaker Woody Allen's Scenes From a Mall, and a movie she produced herself, For the Boys. The latter film was that rarest of all types of modern motion pictures—a musical—with Midler appearing as a U.S.O. performer through three wars. This project earned Midler the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Midler might have given up recording entirely, given her busy schedule in the film industry. Instead she released a 1991 album, Some People's Lives, featuring the inspirational track, "From a Distance," for which she had earned a Grammy nomination in 1990. The song topped the charts during the Desert Storm hostilities, in which several nations, including the United States, intervened in a dispute between Iraq and Kuwait; the lyrics present a view of the world from space, noting how peaceful earth seems.

Returning to her Broadway roots again in 1993 she appeared in the made-for-television version of the musical comedy, Gypsy, earning a fourth Golden Globe Award in the process. As the decade progressed, so too did Midler's acting career. She starred as Brenda Cushman in Hugh Wilson's 1996 feature film First Wives Club, and contributed a cameo performance in Barry Sonnenfeld's light crime drama, Get Shorty, with John Travolta and Gene Hackman.

Socially Active and Aware

Following the release of Bette of Roses in 1995, Midler ended her affiliation with Atlantic Records, after more than twenty years. She signed with Warner Bros. in 1998, and made her label debut that same year, with Bathhouse Betty. As sales of this album surpassed the one-half million mark, she focused again on acting and produced Bette, a situation comedy series for television, based on her life. In the summer of 2004 she appeared among the star-studded cast of the Frank Oz film version of Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives.

Midler in 2000 released a self-titled album that achieved gold-level sales, and in 2004 the singer headlined a road show, called Kiss My Brass. In an interview with Vanity Fair she acknowledged that her resurgence in the pop music field in the 1990s had come as a surprise to her, said "It was not planned at all…. Not for one second. If it disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't be surprised, either."

Still, she confessed in the same profile, "I feel I have to create. I have to dig in the earth. I have to make something grow. I have to bake something. I have to write something. I have to sing something. I have to put something out. It's not a need to prove anything. It's just my way of life."

Singing, she has discovered, is one way in which she can communicate her concern for AIDS victims. "In her early divine crassness, She shared with her audiences the lighthearted freedom she was discovering in herself as a moxie-mouthing soubrette," wrote Kevin Sessums in Vanity Fair in 1991. "Now [she] … is heavier-hearted, and no longer endows her fans with a frivolous sense of hope, but instead instills in them a survivor's hard-won dignity." When the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center left New York City, (and the world), in anguish in 2001, Midler stifled her tears as she comforted mourners with an especially poignant rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings," which she performed live at an official memorial service for the victims. She also helped raise millions of dollars for the victims of the attack. In late spring 2004 she made time to perform in two benefit concerts with Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond, to collect funds for the Democratic presidential campaign that year.

Selected discography

The Divine Miss M., Atlantic, 1972.

Bette Midler, Atlantic, 1973.

Broken Blossom, Atlantic, 1977.

Live at Last, Atlantic, 1977.

Thighs and Whispers, Atlantic, 1979.

Songs for the New Depression, Atlantic, 1979.

Divine Madness, Atlantic, 1980.

No Frills, Atlantic, 1984.

Mud Will Be Flung Tonight (comedy), Atlantic, 1985.

Some People's Lives, Atlantic, 1991.

For the Boys (motion picture soundtrack), Atlantic, 1992.

Experience the Divine, Atlantic, 1993; reissued, Wea International, 2000.

Bette of Roses, Atlantic, 1995.

Bathhouse Betty, Warner Bros., 1998.

Bette, Warner Bros., 2000.

Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook, Sony, 2003.

From a Distance, Atlantic, 2003.

Selected writings

A View From a Broad, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

The Saga of Baby Divine, Crown, 1983.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, November 3, 2001, p. 10.

Hollywood Reporter (International Edition), January 20, 2004, p. 60.

New Republic, August 2, 1975.

Newsweek, May 22, 1972; June 30, 1986; January 26, 1987.

New York Times, December 3, 1972; December 29, 1972; January 14, 1973.

People, November 14, 1983; February 3, 1986; June 21, 2004, p. 29.

Rolling Stone, February 5, 2004, p. 24; June 10, 2004, p. 20.

Time, March 2, 1987.

Vanity Fair, December 1991.

Online

"Bette Midler," Internet Movie Database, http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0000541/ (July 19, 2004).

—Anne Janette Johnson andG. Cooksey

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Midler, Bette

Bette Midler

Singer, actress

For the Record

Broadway and the Baths

Career Ups and Downs

Pop Stardom

Selected writings

Selected discography

Sources

In her early years she was known as The Divine Miss M., a campy, raucous vocalist at home in many forms of jazz, swing, and pop. Since then Bette Midler has become a respected film star and a spokesperson for research into acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), an illness that has killed more than 50 of her friends. For several years in the mid-1980s, Midler preferred starring in and producing movies to singing, but she has resurfaced as a pop music superstar with two Grammy-winning singles, Wind Beneath My Wings and From a Distance.

In Vanity Fair, Joe Roth, the chairman of Twentieth Century-Fox, described Bette Midler as one of the few superstars who connect emotionally with an audience as well as entertaining themonly a handful of people are capable of that. Few performers, especially women, sustain pop music careers into their middle years. Midler has managed the feat by virtue of her wide range of vocal stylings and her good rapport with fans of all ages. Time magazine contributor Richard Corliss called Midler the most dynamic and poignant singer-actress of her time.

Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on December 1, 1945. Her father painted houses for the U.S. Navy. Named after the great screen actress Bette Davis, Midler grew up in rural Aiea, Hawaii, a lonely girl who found solace in old Hollywood musicals and the thought that she might become a performer some day. She recalled in Time: Id sing Lullaby of Broadway at the top of my lungs in the tin showerit had really good reverb. People used to gather outside to call up requests or yell that I was lousy.

Midlers parents did not see eye to eye about their daughters ambitions. Fred Midler was a strict disciplinarian who felt that stage work was for loose women. He never saw Midler in a live performance, even after she became famous. Midlers mother, on the other hand, encouraged all of her daughters to take music and dancing lessons. My mother was all for my starting on this journey and going full-speed ahead, Midler remarked in Time.

After graduating from high schoolwhere she was class presidentMidler attended the University of Hawaii for a year. She also took a variety of part-time jobs, including sorting pineapple slices at a food processing plant. In 1965 she earned a place as an extra on the set of the film Hawaii. When the production company moved back to Hollywood to complete the movie, she went along. In Los Angeles she found work with United Artists as an extra, saving her wages to finance a trip to New York City.

For the Record

Born December 1, 1945, in Honolulu, HI; daughter of Fred (a house painter) and Ruth Midler; married Martin von Haselberg (a commodities trader and performance artist), December, 1984; children: Sophie. Education: Attended University of Hawaii.

Singer, actress, and comedienne, 1966. Principal stage appearances include Fiddler on the Roof, 1966-69; Salvation, 1970; Tommy, 1971; and Clams on the Half Shell Revue, 1973-74. Principal television appearances include numerous guest spots on the Tonight Show and a special, Bette Midler: Old Red Hair Is Back, 1978 . Principal film appearances include The Rose, 1979; Divine Madness, 1980; Jinxed, 1982; Down and Out in Beverly Hills, 1986; Ruthless People, 1986; Outrageous Fortune, 1987; Big Business, 1988; Beaches, 1988; Scenes From a Mall, 1991; Stella, 1991; and For the Boys, 1992.

Awards: Grammy awards for best new artist, 1973, best pop vocal performance by a female, 1980, and for singles Wind Beneath My Wings and From a Distance; Tony Award, 1973; Emmy Award for outstanding television special, 1978; Academy Award nominations for best actress, 1979, for The Rose, and, 1992, for For the Boys.

Addresses: Record company Atlantic Records, 75 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10019.

Broadway and the Baths

After some months of odd jobs and small parts in Catskill Mountains productions, Midler auditioned for the Broadway play Fiddler on the Roof. She earned a chorus role in the New York company in 1966, but quickly graduated to the major part of Tzeitel, the eldest daughter. She stayed with Fiddler on the Roof for the next three years, augmenting her Broadway work with singing stints in clubs, including the famous Improvisation.

Midler used her club dates to experiment with different musical styles. She seemed most successful as a torch singer, but she noticed that the audiences liked to hear jokes between numbers. Slowly she developed the style that would become her trademarkstrong vocals mixed with bawdy humor and a campy stage presence. She left the cast of Fiddler on the Roof in 1969 for an entirely new challenge.

One of Midlers acting teachers suggested that she apply to sing at the Continental Baths, a public bathhouse catering to gay men. She was hired at $50 per night, and there she and her pianist-arranger Barry Manilow honed an outrageous and entertaining show that pulled musical numbers from every decade between 1930 and 1970. In her autobiography A View From a Broad, Midler recalled of the bathhouse: I was able to take chances on that stage that I could never have taken anywhere else. The more outrageous I was, the more [the patrons] liked it. It loosened me up.

Billing herself as The Divine Miss M.Flash with class and sleaze with ease, Midler began to attract attention outside the gay community. By 1971 she had signed with an ambitious manager who promoted her to television talk shows and bigger stage revues. Almost a decade before the emergence of pop icon Madonna, Midler dared to flirt, make bawdy jokes, and dress flamboyantly in her act. By 1972 she had released an album and was singing in Las Vegas and at the Lincoln Center.

One of Midlers first big hits was an Andrews Sisters song, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. New Republic correspondent Richard Poirier commented that the entertainer has the vocal resources to sing in the style of any woman vocalist of the past 30 years. Midler doesnt imitate or parody a specific singer through an entire song, however. Rather, like a person truly haunted, Midler in the phrasing of a song will suddenly veer off from one coloration into another. It sometimes happens with an air of true discovery. As with most great jazz singers, she therefore never does a song exactly the same way twice. The avenue of experimentation is always left open.

Career Ups and Downs

Her success as a singer assured, Midler moved on into film. Her first movie was The Rose, a serious work about a self-destructive rock star. The film was a success, earning Midler an Academy Award nomination for her acting skill and a Grammy Award for best vocal performance by a female for the title song. Flush with success, Midler felt invincible. Then her career took a nosedive. A concert film, Divine Madness, did not perform as expected at the box office. Worse, Midlers next movie, Jinxed, earned her a reputation for temperamental behavior that took years to live down. Her live appearances lacked the zest of earlier years, and she entered a prolonged depression. I couldnt face the world, she admitted in Time. I was drinking to excessI was miserable.

Midlers 1984 marriage to businessperson and performance artist Martin von Haselberg helped her to regain her equilibrium. Around the same time she signed a contract with Touchstone Films, an adult-oriented division of Walt Disney Studios. Through Touchstone Midler starred in several well-received comedy films, including Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, and Outrageous Fortune. Together these movies earned more than $60 million and revived Midlers flagging career.

Midler has not lacked film roles since then. She has starred in such vehicles as Beaches, Big Business, filmmaker Woody Allens Scenes From a Mall, and a movie she produced herself, For the Boys. The latter film was that rarest of all types of modern motion picturesa musicalwith Midler appearing as a U.S.O. performer through three wars.

Pop Stardom

Midler might have given up recording entirely, given her busy schedule in the film industry. Instead she released a 1991 album, Some Peoples Lives, that contained the Grammy Award-winning From a Distance. The song topped the charts during the Desert Storm hostilities, in which several nations, including the United States, intervened in a dispute between Iraq and Kuwait; the lyrics present a view of the world from space, noting how peaceful earth seems.

Singing is one way in which Midler can communicate her concern for AIDS victims. In her early divine crass-ness, Midler shared with her audiences the lightheart-ed freedom she was discovering in herself as a moxie-mouthing soubrette, wrote Kevin Sessums in Vanity Fair in 1991. Now forty-five, Midler is heavier-hearted, and no longer endows her fans with a frivolous sense of hope, but instead instills in them a survivors hard-won dignity. Midler commented in Vanity Fair that her recent resurgence in the pop music field came as a surprise to her. It was not planned at all, she said. Not for one second. If it disappeared tomorrow, I wouldnt be surprised, either.

Still, she confessed in the same profile, I feel I have to create. I have to dig in the earth. I have to make something grow. I have to bake something. I have to write something. I have to sing something. I have to put something out. Its not a need to prove anything. Its just my way of life.

Selected writings

A View From a Broad, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

The Saga of Baby Divine, Crown, 1983.

Selected discography

The Divine Miss M., Atlantic, 1972.

Bette Midler, Atlantic, 1973.

Broken Blossom, Atlantic, 1977.

Live at Last, Atlantic, 1977.

Thighs and Whispers, Atlantic, 1979.

Songs for the New Depression, Atlantic, 1979.

Divine Madness, Atlantic, 1980.

No Frills, Atlantic, 1984.

Mud Will Be Flung Tonight (comedy), Atlantic, 1985.

Some Peoples Lives, Atlantic, 1991.

For the Boys (motion pictue soundtrack), Atlantic, 1992.

Sources

Books

Midler, Bette, A View From a Broad, Simon & Schuster, 1980.

Midler, Bette, The Saga of Baby Divine, Crown, 1983.

Periodicals

New Republic, August 2, 1975.

Newsweek, May 22, 1972; June 30, 1986; January 26, 1987.

New York Times, December 3, 1972; December 29, 1972; January 14, 1973.

People, November 14, 1983; February 3, 1986.

Time, March 2, 1987.

Vanity Fair, December 1991.

Anne Janette Johnson

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"Midler, Bette." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Midler, Bette." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/midler-bette

Midler, Bette

MIDLER, Bette



Nationality: American. Born: Honolulu, Hawaii (some sources say Paterson, New Jersey), 1 December 1945. Education: Attended the University of Hawaii; studied acting at the Berghof Studio. Family: Married Martin von Haselberg, 1984, daughter: Sophie. Career: 1966—film debut in bit part in Hawaii, then returned to Hollywood with unit; moved to New York, worked off-Broadway (including Salvation, 1969) and in Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof; 1970—singer/entertainer (with Barry Manilow) at The Continental Bathhouse, Manhattan; 1971—recording contract; 1979—film debut in starring role in The Rose; 1985—signed three-picture contract with Touchstone Pictures (extended 1987); also co-founder, All Girls Productions. Address: c/o Rick Nicita, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, U.S.A.


Films as Actress:

1966

Hawaii (George Roy Hill) (as passenger)

1969

Goodbye, Columbus (Peerce) (bit part)

1974

The Divine Mr. J (Alexander—filmed record of 1969 off-Broadway musical Salvation) (as the Virgin Mary)

1979

The Rose (Rydell) (as Rose)

1980

Divine Madness! (Ritchie—filmed record of a concert)

1982

Jinxed! (Siegel) (as Bonita Friml)

1986

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (Mazursky) (as Barbara Whiteman); Ruthless People (Abrahams) (as Barbara Stone)

1987

Outrageous Fortune (Hiller) (as Sandy Brozinsky)

1988

Big Business (Abrahams) (as Sadie Ratliff/Sadie Shelton); Oliver & Company (Scribner—animation) (as voice of Georgette); Beaches (Garry Marshall) (as C. C. Bloom, + co-mus, co-pr)

1990

Stella (Erman) (as Stella Claire)

1991

For the Boys (Rydell) (as Dixie Leonard, + co-pr); Scenes from a Mall (Mazursky) (as Deborah Fifer)

1993

Hocus Pocus (Ortega) (as Winifred Sanderson); Gypsy (Ardolino—for TV) (as Rose Hovick); Earth and the American Dream (Couturie—doc) (voice only)

1995

Get Shorty (Sonnenfeld) (as Doris)

1996

The First Wives Club (Hogan)

1997

Bette Midler in Concert: Diva Las Vegas (Callner) (as herself + ex pr); That Old Feeling (Carl Reiner) (as Lilly Leonard)

1999

Isn't She Great (Bergman) (as Jacqueline Susann); Get Bruce (Kuehn) (as herself); Jackie's Back (Robert Townsend) (as herself)

2000

What Women Want (Nancy Meyers)

Publications


By MIDLER: books—

A View from a Broad, New York, 1980.

The Saga of Baby Divine, New York, 1983.


By MIDLER: articles—

Interview in Interview (New York), no. 11, 1974.

Interview in American Film (Washington, D.C), September 1978.

Interview in Films Illustrated (London), March 1981.

Interview in Photoplay (London), February 1982.

Interview in Hollywood Reporter, 50th Anniversary Issue, 1986.

Interview in Radio Times (London), 1 June 1991.

Interview in Radio Times (London), 9 December 1995.

Interview in Premier (New York), September 1996.


On MIDLER: books—

Spada, James, The Divine Bette Midler, New York, 1984.

Bego, Mark, Bette Midler, Outrageously Divine: An Unauthorized Biography, New York, 1987.

Collins, Ace, Bette Midler, New York, 1989.

Mair, George, Bette: An Intimate Biography of Bette Midler, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1995.

Waldman, Allison J., The Bette Midler Scrapbook, 1997.


On MIDLER: articles—

Current Biography 1973, New York, 1973.

Films and Filming (London), February 1980.

Time Out (London), 9 September 1987.

Worrell, Denise, in Icons: Intimate Portraits, New York, 1989.

Revue du Cinéma (Paris), February 1989.

"Bette Midler," in Film Dope (London), January 1990.

Holden, Stephen, "The Two Sides of Bette Midler, Mushy and Divine," in New York Times, 16 July 1995.


* * *

Bette Midler represents one of the best examples of a movie star during the sharply focused business mentality of the "New Hollywood" of the 1980s. Developing a persona based on eight previous years of hit records and sold-out concerts, Midler became one of the major film stars of the late 1980s (in 1986 and 1988 she ranked as the top female box-office attraction).

Before entering the film industry, Midler established a devout following focused on her singing and an outrageous personality modeled after Mae West, Sophie Tucker, and Rosalind Russell. Known as "The Divine Miss M," she projected an image of brassy vulgarity, aggressive humor, and bawdy sexuality. Not surprisingly, her film debut as The Rose (constructed as a "fictionalized biography" of Janis Joplin) emphasized these traits. Besides showcasing her well-known talents as a singer/comedienne, the film also demonstrated she could act; she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. After the ironically titled Jinxed! nearly ended her film career, Midler signed an exclusive contract with Disney (Touchstone Pictures) in 1985. While working for Disney, Midler achieved her greatest success, mostly because she also began to modify her image. Her first six Touchstone films tamed and contained her earlier over-the-top persona to fit the Disney mold and appeal to a wider audience. Midler's characters begin as vulgar, abrasive, and egocentric, but end, after contact with characters exhibiting opposing qualities, as genteel, ingratiating, and cooperative. In Down and Out in Beverly Hills she plays a crass, nouveau riche housewife struggling with sexual frigidity. Once "cured" by a homeless man, she softens and contributes to the fight against social inequality. In Ruthless People she starts as an unattractive, ostentatious, spoiled, and loudmouthed heiress whose contact with working-class kidnappers reveals generosity, beauty, and self-assured independence. In Outrageous Fortune, her vulgarity and overt sexuality become refined and romantic after a series of adventures with an upper-class actress. This interplay between opposites receives its fullest expression in Big Business. Midler plays identical twins separated at birth: one a demure daydreamer and the other a ruthless business executive. Each adopts qualities of the other to produce two well-balanced individuals.

Big Business also signaled Midler's move away from comedy and into melodrama. Both Beaches and Stella functioned as "Women's Films," using a strong, well-known star to address notions of friendship, romance, children, work, self-sacrifice, and death. The synthesis of contradictory personality traits remains however. In Beaches, an independent, extroverted celebrityhood turns into a mature sense of private responsibility when her best friend dies and she adopts the orphaned daughter. The film also featured Midler's No. 1 Grammy award winning song ("The Wind beneath My Wings") reinforcing her legacy as a singer. In Stella (the third film adaptation of Olive Higgins Prouty's Stella Dallas), Midler arranges for her daughter's upward social mobility by sacrificing their relationship. These two films, with their emphasis on romance, work, and children, occurred soon after the birth of her daughter. To make the point even clearer, Midler also played "Mother Earth" on an Earth Day 1990 television special.

This maternal inflection of her star image manifests itself in her most recent films. In Hocus Pocus, she parodies herself as a witch who must sacrifice children for her own immortality. In Gypsy (a remake of the Rosalind Russell film), she plays the ultimate stage mother whose obsessive nature nearly alienates her daughter; the songs are also tailor-made for Midler's typical performance style. For the Boys is perhaps the most revealing of her recent films. Produced by her own company (All Girls Productions), the film combines ribald humor, song and dance, and maternal melodrama. Tracing 50 years in the life of a very popular entertainer and her relationship to her husband, son, and partner, the film highlights and synthesizes every facet of Midler's stardom (and resulted in her second Oscar nomination for Best Actress).

Midler continues to record music, tour, write, and star in films and television specials (her farewell song to Johnny Carson, "Dear Mr. Carson," was the highlight of Carson's televised retirement and won her an Emmy). This ability to successfully perform in a number of interrelated media should secure her stardom in the even more business-oriented Hollywood of the twenty-first century.

—Greg S. Faller

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"Midler, Bette." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Midler, Bette." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/midler-bette

"Midler, Bette." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Retrieved July 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/movies/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/midler-bette