BetteBack November 28, 1986: Billing tug-of-war for Midler-Long film ends in compromise

Madison Capital Times
November 28, 1986


HOLLYWOODTouchstone Pictures finally has managed to placate star Shelley Long over billing for “Outrageous Fortune,” upcoming in February. Bette Midler will have top billing in half of the United States and Long is No. 1 in the other half.

That means two sets of posters, lobby cards, trailers, etc. A representative for Long says that her top billing was guaranteed, because she was the first star signed for the film. But Midler, star of Touchstone’s two recent hits, “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and “Ruthless People,” ain’t exactly chopped liver.

One source says that agents for the two stars battled over the issue for hours. The end result, said Long’s representative: “Shelley has generously decided not to pursue the top billing as guaranteed in her contract.”

One insider called the truce “a very creative solution to the problem of having such big stars in the same film.”

Now, what about foreign territories, not to mention cassettes, cable showings, etc.?

“We will cross those bridges when we come to them,” said a harried studio executive.

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2 thoughts on “BetteBack November 28, 1986: Billing tug-of-war for Midler-Long film ends in compromise

  1. I am always intrigued by hearing reports of these two. I think there was alot of tension of the set. Taking into account Miss M’s interview with Oprah about working with Shelley again. I know that the billing thing was in the papers but I have a feeling there were many more daily fights regarding the two. However, it turned out to be one of Bette’s funniest pictures and the two of them played off each other very nicely. Still I would have loved to be a fly on the wall of that set.

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