BootLeg Betty

BetteBack April 26, 1986: Why Is Disney Searching For A Bette Midler Look-A-Like?

Santa Fe New Mexican
April 26, 1986

8-3-2014 7-26-23 AM

They’re looking for the look.

Not just any look, but the campy, crazy, can-you-believe it look of Bette Midler, in Santa Fe to film Walt Disney ProductionsOutrageous Fortune.

But Bette’s outrageous style is hard to match, said Irene Levitt, who’s conducting the casting search.

“They have looked on the East and West coasts, they’ve had people flown in, but they haven’t been satisfied,” she said. “We already have a stand-in who is perfect as far as height goes, but she’s a little bitty cute thing.”

The stand-in Levitt is searching for is 5-foot-2, weighs 125 pounds and has some tough measurements to fill. They want a woman whose bust is 34DD, has a waist of 29 inches and hips of 35 inches.

“We’re looking for a dead ringer,” she said.

Well, almost. Padding is allowed.

“That area isn’t the problem,” Levitt said.

“There’s a certain ambience about Bette. She has a certain walk, a certain look.”

The stand-in will do just that, stand in for Midler as the technicians on the picture get the lights and camera angles figured out.

“They have to pinch hit for Bette when she needs to be standing in front of the camera,” Levitt said. “They don’t have to do anything, just be physically like her. It saves a lot of time.”

Midler is fresh from her role as Richard Dreyfuss’ rich wife in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, her latest since debuting almost 10 years ago in The Rose. In between, she starred in films like Divine Madness and Jinxed, while continuing her concert touring.

She’ll appear in Outrageous Fortune, a comedy adventure, with Sheiley Long of TV’s Cheers.

Levitt, who runs New Mexico Entertainment Agency, a talent firm, has made some tough searches in her time as she has searched for cast for different pictures filmed in New Mexico.

Matching the Divine Miss M is difficult, but still comes in second to the search for a Chinese waiter for a role in Legend of the Lone Ranger.

She and her assistant, Davene Lee, took time between visitors to examine the snapshots of would-be Bettes.

“This lady is OK,” Levitt said. “She had a double D, I’ll guarantee you that.”

Only a handful of women applied Friday afternoon, but Levitt said she doesn’t mind.

“We don’t need a lot, just the right one.”

More interviews are scheduled for today beginning at 2 p.m. at the Sheraton.

“They’re determined to find that look,” Levitt said.

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