Ruston Daily Leader
By Polly Vonetes
May 6, 1990
Q: Would you please tell me anything you know about Bette Midler? I think she’s the most versatile actress there is today. I really admire her and would love to have an address at which I might write her. â€”Sharon R., Willis, Texas
A: Bette Midler was born in Paterson, N.J. (wrong), Dec. 1, 1944 (wrong year). She owes her rather peculiar name to the fact that her movie buff mother thought Bette Davis‘ first name was pronounced the way it looked.
Growing up Jewish and unhappy in Honolulu, she had few friends and she often felt lonely and different from other girls her age. Landing a role as an extra in the film Hawaii while a freshman at the University of Hawaii gave her a chanceÂ to change her life. She used her earnings to move to New York.
It was 1965 and Bette supported herself as a file clerk at Columbia University, as a gloves sales clerk at Sterns department store and as a go-go dancer in a New Jersey bar. A year later she landed a role in Fiddler On The Roof.
In 1972, she won a Grammy for her debut album, The Divine Miss M.
In 1973, she won a special Tony for her one-woman concert on Broadway, Clams On The Half Shell.
Try writing her at; P.O. Box 46703, Los Angeles, Calif. 90046. (Don’t even waste your time)