BootLeg Betty

Time Capsule: Monday, Apr. 17, 1978

“I have never met a dumber broad,” complains Bette Midler. Who could it be? Why, the Divine Miss M happens to be describing the Divine Miss M. The occasion: an interview with herself for the tenth-anniversary issue of After Dark magazine. She also appears on the cover, kicking up her heels above a sea of balloons.

Soon she will be kicking off her first movie, which, she promises, is “nothing with flying saucers. Nothing with sharks.” The Rose is the story of a flamboyant, 1960s blues singer. “It’s not about Janis Joplin. It’s about a blues singer who wins—beats life at its own game,” insists Bette. Her co-star is Alan Bates, who plays her manager. “I’ve never met Miss Midler,” he said after signing for the part.

Both hope their work together will not put anyone in mind of Bette’s last nightclub act: “Close Encounters of the Worst Kind.”

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