Woman and Home Magazine
by Louise Gannon
The ultimate showgirl talks to woman and home about her amazing life
Bette Midler on happiness
I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy. I feel all those dreams I had as a kid were actually a real plan because everything has turned out as I dreamt it. I’m 63 years old and I’m doing the greatest show in Las Vegas. It really is fantastic. On top of this, my daughter, Sophie, has just graduated, and she’s well and happy. My husband is happy and I feel incredibly secure, which is the most wonderful feeling any woman can have. Every day I knock on wood because I think I am a lucky one, a really lucky one.
Bette Midler on retiring
Iâ€™m not retiring and you canâ€™t make me. Iâ€™ve always known Iâ€™m not the most beautiful and I havenâ€™t got the greatest voice, but I know the thing that I can do is entertain. Iâ€™ve always called myself â€œdivineâ€. To me, that word means a lot of things, from fabulous to the spiritual divine. But the real meaning is joy and thatâ€™s what I love to do, spread a little joy. Thereâ€™s no age limit on that. Iâ€™m going to carry on because I want to and because I love to.
Bette Midler on her wild times
I had pretty wild times in my youth, but I never took my eye off the ball. I lived through the 60s and 70s, I was performing in clubs in New York and, yes, it was pretty wild. There were drugs, there was drink, there were orgies, all those things, but I never got so dragged in that I forgot what I was doing. I never lost focus. It makes me mad when young girls go off the rails with drugs and parties, like Amy Winehouse and Lindsay Lohan. I want to shout at Amy Winehouse and tell her she has an incredible talent and she has to look after that. For me, it always came first and Iâ€™m so glad it did.
Bette Midler on her friends
Barry Manilow is still one of my greatest friends. We started out together. He was my pianist in the Continental Baths in New York. It was a tiny place with all these gay guys sitting around in towels, but it was fabulous. Barry is a genius and we just clicked on stage. Heâ€™s a generous, caring, sweet, sweet man and I love him.
I finally gave Cher back a dress I borrowed from her in 1978. In Las Vegas, I share a stage with Elton John and Cher. Iâ€™ve known Cher for years. She comes in and out of my life.
Bette Midler on her looks
I donâ€™t wish I was younger. I think I look fabulous just as I am. I think I look better these days than I ever did. I donâ€™t know how it happened. Itâ€™s not all natural. I have the best beauty squad in the business looking after my hair, my face. I donâ€™t look like this first thing in the morning. But I do have great legs. I had the famous Midler pins. Itâ€™s nothing to do with anything except good genes. On my new album cover, they blasted the airbrushes at my face, but my legs are totally untouched.
Bette Midler on her greatest achievements
My greatest achievements in life are my marriage and my daughter. I could live without a lot of things, but I couldnâ€™t live without them. There would be no me without them. Life canâ€™t be all work, all career â€“ there has to be something else. Something more important. Iâ€™m a happy woman because of them.
Bette Midler’s latest album, The Best Bette, has already gone platinum and is out now.
Read this interview in full in the May issue of woman & home magazine. Bette reveals the secret of happiness and opens up about her marriage, motherhood and her movie career. Don’t miss it!