Las Vegas Review-Journal
Bette Midler shares her secrets to a good life
By C.L. Gaber
October 06, 2022
“Here she is … the lovely Bette Midler,” a publicist says. Bette Midler’s Secret”s To A Good Life You almost expect a drumroll and stage lights. Instead, all you hear is a voice.“Bette Midler, still standing,” the Divine Miss M says on a fall day in New York City, her hometown for the past seven decades.
Thriving is a better way to describe it. The screen and music icon is chic and ageless in a hot pink floor-length skirt and a red, gold, and pink striped silk shirt. Her hair is the perfect metallic silver white.
The smile is wide, theatrically (and mischievously) broad for a good reason. Her movie “Hocus Pocus 2,” now a hit on Disney+, adds to the rabid following of the 1993 original. The sequel reunites Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the sisters Sanderson, a trio of Salem witches who are child-hungry as they plan to wreak havoc on the world.
Midler had been itching for another outing for years.
“This was a dream come true,” she says in a Zoom interview. “I won’t say I was agitating for this to happen. I realized the first movie was a phenomenon, so I asked my agent, ‘Don’t you think they would be interested in a sequel?’
“I do love a franchise. I’m a little old for it, but I’ll take it!”
“I do love a franchise. I’m a little old for it, but I’ll take it!” she adds.
At 76, Midler isn’t stopping now. The actor/singer/comedian/author known for “Beaches,” “The First Wives Club,” and “Ruthless People” refuse even to slow down. Upcoming films include “A Childhood History Plan,” which reunites her with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.
How does Midler — married for 38 years to artist Martin von Haselberg and mom to actress daughter Sophie, 35 — live the good life?
How does Midler live the good life?
- Lean on your female friends: “When women are together and have a bond or a sisterhood, it is very important and crucial for mental health,” Midler says. “Women know how to lean on each other. We count on each other. We’re seriously funny, which women aren’t supposed to be. We’re decisive. We’re intensely loyal to each other, too. These are all positives.”
- Move it or lose it: “The main thing is you have to move,” says Midler, who loves to walk, dance, and do Pilates. “Dancing is one of my favorite ways to move. You can do it anywhere. You don’t need to leave the house. Just put on your favorite music. Dancing breaks a sweat, plus it’s fun.”
- Stop trying to conform: “Why didn’t someone tell me years ago that red hair is aging? I should have been a blonde all those years ago!” It’s funny when you look back at your old beauty routines. If you’re like me without the perfect hair, you’ve spent a lifetime beating your hair into submission! Just stop. Treat your hair kindly from now on. Don’t make it into something it’s not. Live with what you got.
- Learn to let go of a dream: “A dream is exactly that … a dream. Sometimes, they’re just a fantasy, but you commit to making it come true,” Midler says. “Sometimes they’re even hormonal. When the hormones fade, then the dream might not mean the same thing to you. That’s when it’s OK to realize it’s time to get yourself a new dream.”
- Retire on your terms: Will she ever call it a career? “I’m not finished,” Midler says. “There is always more.”
- Get involved: “I’m very involved in projects that help clean up New York parks,” she says. “It makes me feel young and good to give back to the next generation. They deserve a clean, beautiful park to dream their dreams. Getting involved at every age is helpful because it’s a way to stay engaged in the world.”
- Realize life is not just about you: I figure, “Well, there are 7 billion people in the world — it doesn’t have to be about me! It took me about 70 years to come to this conclusion!