Updated: Bette Midler: Biography (A&E) Bravo Darrell!


Photo Collage: Sammy Miro

Mister D: It’s late and I am so tired, but I thought I should post something about this. Tonight’s bio was heads above better than the old VH1 affair a few years back…for one, this was two hours and secondly, the producers came directly to a few BetteHeads for a lot of the archival footage, photos, and audio, in order to find rare material. This was most impressive during the first 45 minutes…and who should we be thanking for that? All you have to do is look at the credits at the end of the show:

Consultants: Don Bandel (president of Bette’s first and only official fan club) and Darrell Redmond….yes, our very own Darrell Redmond from Bette on the Boards….he worked tirelessly with the producers for a couple of months up to the last minute….I’m so proud of him and he deserves a lot of thanks for helping these guys out. So bravo to Darrell and Don.

I’d also like to mention, even though he did not get credited, BaltoBoy Steve Weiner. He provided them with information and some of his beautiful scans. So we should be giving thanks to Mr. Steve as well…job well done….

So where were you Mister D, you all ask in unison? I was TOO BUSY BEING AN ASSHOLE to want to cooperate!!!! The worst career move I EVER made!…LOL

I thought the show was thorougly enoyable ( I teared up several times, but alot at the early stuff because it took me back all the way to my teens…my how time flies), but like any BetteHead, I was sitting there saying you missed this and you missed that…what’s wrong with you people…but you know…a BetteHead would never be fully satisfied, I don’t think, anyway….the time just flew by on this…I wanted more more more…but then, that’s what keeps us coming back for more!!!

Bette herself participated in this with appearances by Marta Heflin, Bruce Vilanch, Marc Shaiman, Toni Basil, Glenn Close, Mark Rydell, Barry Manilow, Danny DeVito, Martin von Haselberg, Jann Wenner, Barbara Hershey, Craig Zadan, Arif Mardin, Ahmet Ertegun, Gary Marshall….okay, my mind went blank…somebody else can fill in now…

Correction: Last night I posted this very late and said that Bette had only one official fan club. Well we all know that at one time she sanctioned the Yahoo Official Bette Midler site, too…and I was remiss in leaving that out. I was just thinking at the time of the old fashioned fan clubs where real mail was used to get stuff….I know…prehistoric! 🙂 Anway, I just wanted to clarify that…

Never too late for a Bette Midler biography
Wednesday, Jun 9, 2004

It’s incredible that Biography (A&E, 8 p.m.) hadn’t covered Bette Midler until tonight’s program. The omission is even more shocking when you realize they’ve previously profiled John Stamos, Chevy Chase and, a few nights back, racehorse Smarty Jones.

That glaring oversight aside, this is a new profile of the Divine Miss Midler that runs at two hours, possibly to make up for the lateness. This is also a sanctioned Biography, which means Midler turns up to talk about her brilliant career.

While most of the biographical material related here has been covered before, Midler’s life is still a grand success story: Born in Hawaii, worked at a pineapple plant, moved to New York and sang in gay bathhouses, accompanied by Barry Manilow on piano. She was an instant diva. Midler won an Emmy, a Tony and four Grammys. She’s been nominated for an Oscar.

For the fans, the program will include long-buried clips of Midler appearances on talk shows in the early 70s. Midler herself reveals little-known biographical minutiae, such as the fact she was named after Bette Davis (likewise with her sisters Judy and Susan, for Garland and Hayward).

There’s not much about Midler not to like and even after three decades, she remains one brassy babe with showbiz heat: She’s top-billed alongside Nicole Kidman in the remake of The Stepford Wives, opening this Friday. And that explains why A&E was holding back this profile.

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