April 2, 1991
Bette Midler is short, middleaged and no conventional beauty â€” but she is the most bankable female star in Hollywood.
Midler, 45, standing 5-foot-l, is the only actress, according to an article in Good Housekeeping, who commands as much attention and almost as much money as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone or Tom Cruise.
Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century-Fox calculate that Bette is more bankable than Meryl Streep or Michelle Pfeiffer.
“At this moment in her life, Bette is the only woman in Hollywood who can make a picture go at the box office where it counts,â€ said Mark Rydeli, the director of her current film, â€œFor The Boys,â€ who also directed her in â€œThe Rose” IO years ago.
â€œShe is the only actress whose films exhibitors will take sight unseen. She is the hottest female star in the business.â€
Midler has changed greatly since those early days. Ken Wahl, her co-star in â€œJinxed,” said at the time, â€œAttila the Hun would be a relief after Bette.” The filmâ€™s director, Don Siegel, called working with her â€œbloody awfulâ€ an^l added, â€œive worked with many stars who are difficult, but sheâ€™s a realty tough customer.â€
In her personal life, years ago, she spoke openly about drug use and drinking. She told one interviewer, â€œIâ€™m mean and vicious, and I bite people and jump out of cars. Iâ€™m the worst kind of drunk. I cry a lot and get on the telephone with old lovers and my family.”