Bette Midler Bails On David Mametâ€™s Phil Spector Biopic On â€˜Doctorâ€™s Ordersâ€™
July 13, 2011
Itâ€™s easy to forget these days what a big star Bette Midler was for a period of time. A Broadway and recording star who made her movie debut with thinly-veiled Janis Joplin biopic â€œThe Rose,â€ Midler had a series of successes in the 80s and 90s, up to 1996â€™s surprise smash â€œThe First Wives Club,â€ but since then, her few film appearances have underwhelmed, with a whole generation knowing her principally for seasonal Disney favorite â€œHocus Pocusâ€ over anything else.
And it looks like any talk of a Midler comeback may need to be put on hold: the actress (whoâ€™s only one Oscar away from having an EGOT) was about to play Linda Kenney Baden, the defense attorney for Phil Spector in the Al Pacino-starring biopic for HBO that David Mamet has just started filming, part of a supporting cast that also includes Jeffrey Tambor. Midler was meant to start shooting yesterday, but didnâ€™t show up for her call-time, and Mamet told the crew two hours later that the actress had pulled out after suffering a herniated disc, on the orders of her doctor, and that the part would be recast.
While dropping out at such late notice wonâ€™t win Midler any fans at HBO, thereâ€™s no reason to believe for the moment that the reason is anything other than legit: weâ€™re sure Mamet, who scathingly responded to Jeremy Piven dropping out of his play â€œSpeed-The-Plowâ€ after suffering mercury poisoning by congratulating the â€œEntourageâ€ star on his new career â€œas a thermometer,â€ would have something to say on the matter otherwise. Nevertheless, HBO will need to act swiftly, with the cameras already rolling, so weâ€™d expect to see a replacement announced in the next few days. [Deadline]