BetteBack: Raye vs. Midler

Midler Accused of Stealing the Show
Article from:Chicago Sun-Times Article date:August 3, 1992

Entertainer Martha Raye filed a $5 million lawsuit against Bette Midler and 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. Friday, accusing the singer-actress of stealing Raye’s life story as the basis for “For the Boys.”

The big-budget film, which stars Midler and James Caan, was released last year to disappointing box-office results and recently came out on videotape.

In the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Raye said she registered a screen treatment of the story with the Writers Guild of America in 1981. She says she offered the story to Fox, but the company turned it down.

According to the lawsuit, Raye met Midler in 1985. Midler kept a copy of the manuscript and later claimed to have lost interest in producing a film based on it, according to the suit.

Raye, 75, alleges that shortly thereafter, Midler began production on “For the Boys,” a movie about U.S.O. singers who entertain the troops during World War II.

Raye was a popular performer with the U.S.O. in World War II and Vietnam.

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