- BIRTHDAY: December 1, 1945
- BIGGEST SINGLE: “The Rose” (1980)
- BIGGEST LP: Beaches soundtrack (1988)
- GRAMMY AWARDS: 3
- As Bette Midler begins life as a woman in her 50’s, she is showing no signs of slowing down or losing popularity. With platinum records, an Academy Award nomination, multiple Grammy Awards, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award, Bette has a show-biz career few performers can ever achieve and one that many young hopefuls dream of – including a young girl in Hawaii in the 1950s. Bette Midler was born on December 1, 1945, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Even in her childhood, Bette stood out from the rest of her peers as the Jewish, white girl who dreamed of being an actress in a tropical paradise. Bette was named by her parents after Bette Davis, but was soon on her way to becoming known as “The Divine Miss M.” Bette studied drama at the University of Hawaii, and at the age of 20, she moved to the mainland after being cast as an extra in the film, Hawaii. Bette’s move to New York prompted her stage debut as Tzeitel in Broadway‘s Fiddler On The Roof for three years. Bette also began performing at the Continental Baths for audiences of gay men and quickly became a legendary sensation with gay audiences.
– As teenager was member of folksinging trio that toured Hawaiian army bases.
– Worked in a pineapple cannery in Hawaii after leaving college.
– Moved to Hollywood for final shooting on “Hawaii”.
– Film debut in a bit part as a missionary’s wife in “Hawaii”; earned $350.
– Moved to New York City; worked as a go-go dancer in a Union City, New Jersey club; also employed as a hatcheck girl, glove saleswoman at Stern’s department store and a typist at Columbia University.
– Made New York stage debut in “Miss Nefertiti Regrets”.
– Answered open call for national company of “Fiddler on the Roof”; was hired for the chorus of Broadway production instead; took over the role of Tzeitel in and remained in role for three years.
– After her Broadway run, performed at the Improvisation, a New York club that showcased new talent.
– Appeared in the Off-Broadway musical, “Salvation”;Performed as a go-go dancer in a Broadway bar after “Salvation” closed.
– Began appearing at NYC’s Continental Bathhouse with accompanist Barry Manilow.
– Signed contract with Atlantic Records.
– Performed in the Who’s rock opera “Tommy” with the Seattle Opera Company.
– After signing with Atlantic Records, Bette released The Divine Miss M. The LP was produced by Barry Manilow, who used to play with her while their stars rose and contained the favorites “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Friends,” “Do You Want To Dance.”
– Played Carnegie Hall.
– Bette won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
– The Divine Miss M was certified gold.
– Bette released Bette Midler.
– Bette Midler was certified gold.
– Starred in sold-out revue, “Clams on the Half Shell”.
– Bette released Songs For The New Depression.
– Bette released Live At Last and Broken Blossom.
– Bette released Thighs And Whispers.
– Bette opened on Broadway in “Bette! Divine Madness”.
– Bette became an author with A View From A Broad, a memoir of her European tour.
– Bette had her first starring role in the movies with The Rose. Directed by Mark Rydell,the film was largely assumed to be loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin. The role won her praise from the critics, increased appeal with music fans, another Grammy Award, an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress,and two Golden Globe Awards in the same category. The soundtrack to The Rose gave Bette pop radio success with the #1 title track and a rousing live rendition of “When A Man Loves A Woman.”
– Made a concert film of her Broadway show, “Divine Madness”.
– Fired her entire musical entourage, including her backup group, the Harlettes, after the close of “Divine Madness”; was successfully sued for $2 million, although one of the “canned” Harlettes, Linda Hart, would later tour with Midler, who would introduce her each night as “Linda ‘I Sued and Won’ Hart”.
– Co-starred in “Jinxed!”. Midler reportedly clashed with co-star Ken Wahl and director Don Siegal during filming.
# 158 Singles Artist of the Year
– Bette won a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance – Female (“The Rose”) and was nominated for Record of the Year (“The Rose”).
– # 167 Singles Artist of the Year
– Bette released No Frills which included her version of the Rolling Stones’, “Beast Of Burden” (which was nominated for 3 MTV Video Music Awards in ’84). The LP also contained the favorites “Your My Favorite Waste Of Time” and “Only In Miami.”
– Bette embarked the “De Tour” into 1983.
# 193 Singles Artist of the Year
– TV producing debut, “Bette Midler: Art or Bust”, an HBO concert.
Bette appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone.
– The video for “Beast Of Burden” was nominated for 3 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video, Best Choreography, and Best Stage Performance Video.
– Bette released a comedy LP, Mud Will Be Flung Tonight.
– Signed contract with Walt Disney/Touchstone; returned to films after a four-year absence to play a leading role in the popular comedy “Down and Out in Beverly Hills”.
– Supplied the voice of Georgette for the animated children’s feature “Oliver and Company”.
– Formed own production company, All Girl Productions, with Bonnie Bruckheimer-Martell and Margaret Jennings South; first production, “Beaches” (in conjunction with Disney’s Touchstone Pictures).
– Produced first feature film, “Beaches”; also starred.
# 41 Singles Artist of the Year
The Beaches soundtrack was certified gold.
Bette hit the Top 40 with “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
– Bette hit the Top 10 with “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
The Beaches soundtrack was certified platinum and the single “Wind Beneath My Wings” was certified gold.
– Bette hit #1 for a week with “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
# 57 Singles Artist of the Year
The Beaches soundtrack was certified 2x platinum and The Divine Miss M was certified platinum.
Bette could be seen in the film Stella.
Bette won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year (“Wind Beneath My Wings”) and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (“Wind Beneath My Wings”).
Bette released Some People’s Lives which contained her 3rd hit, “From A Distance” and the cover “Miss Otis Regrets.”
Bette hit the Top 40 with “From A Distance.”
Some People’s Lives was certified gold.
Bette hit the Top 10 with “From A Distance.”
Some People’s Lives was certified platinum and the single “From A Distance” was certified gold.
Bette hit #1 for a week with “From A Distance.”
– Won a landmark $400,000 lawsuit against an ad agency for appropriating her musical style without her consent (date approximate).
– Reteamed with Rydell and received second Best Actress Academy Award nomination playing a USO entertainer in “For the Boys“, which she also produced. Later on she was sued by entertainer Martha Raye, who claimed Midler appropriated her life as the basis of the film; suit dismissed.
# 185 Singles Artist of the Year
Saluted a retiring Johnny Carson on the next-to-last installment of the long-running, “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” by singing Carson’s favorite song “One for the Road”. For that performance she won an Emmy for the appearance.
– Kicked off her first concert tour in ten years, aptly titled “Experience the Divine,” which culminated in a record-breaking 30-night stand at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall.
Bette released her greatest collection – Experience The Divine – Bette Midler’s Greatest Hits. The package included Bette’s memorable rendition of “One For My Baby” that she sang on Johnny Carson’s farewell show (the performance that also won Bette an Emmy Award).
Bette could be seen in the film Hocus Pocus.
The soundtrack to Bette’s TV presentation of Gypsy was released.
Experience The Divine – Bette Midler’s Greatest Hits was certified gold and The Rose soundtrack was certified 2x platinum.
– Portrayed Mama Rose in the CBS TV remake of the stage musical “Gypsy”.
– Bette released Bette of Roses which contained the tracks “To Deserve You,” “To Comfort You,” and “In This Life.” The LP continued Bette’s success with pop and adult contemporary fans with a majority of the tracks being ballads.
– Bette founded the New York Restoration Project, an urban beautification group. By 1998, the staff of 50 workers had removed 2000 tons of debris, including cars, refrigerators and 2000 tires from project sites (i.e., the north side of Fort Tryon Park, above the Cloisters) in northern Manhattan and Long Island.
– Made hilarious uncredited appearance in “Get Shorty”.
– Bette could be heard on the soundtrack for Oliver And Company with “Perfect Isn’t Easy.”
– Bette of Roses was certified gold.
– Experience The Divine – Bette Midler’s Greatest Hits was certified platinum.
Bette could be seen in the hit film The First Wives Club, in which she teamed with Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton.
– Starred opposite Dennis Farina in “That Old Feeling”. The project reteamed her with “Outrageous Fortune” screenwriter Leslie Dixon.
– Headlined the HBO special “Bette Midler”“Diva Las Vegas”, snagging her third Emmy, for Best Performance in a Variety or Music Program. The special earned, altogether, 10 Emmy Awards nominations.
– Bette contributed the track “Sweet And Low” to the Carnival: Rainforest Foundation Concert compilation to benefit the rainforests.
– Made guest appearance on “Murphy Brown” finale. For her cameo she was nominated for n Emmy award.
– Bette’s next LP, Bathhouse Betty, was a collection of cover tunes and new ballads with the David Foster tune, “My One True Friend” (also used in the film One True Thing). Bette has said of the LP’s title: “I was in my house down in Orange County… I was all by myself and I was nervous because I don’t like to be
alone… it’s kind of scary… somebody knocked on my door and it was a fan… he started shrieking ‘Bathhouse Betty! Bathhouse Betty!’ and I thought, ‘oh my God! How mortifying’… it was pretty scary… but he left me with Bathhouse Betty… he was giving me an homage to my days playing the bathhouse.”
– Bette signed a deal with Sony Entertainment that would allow her to develop films and television shows including a sitcom starring Bette.
– Bathhouse Betty was certified gold.
Bette topped the Billboard Club Play chart for 2 weeks with “I’m Beautiful.”
Bette embarked on her 32-city Divine Miss Millennium Tour which had her performing in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve.
– Portrayed Jacqueline Susann in the biopic “Isn’t She Great”.
– Appeared in the movie “What Woman Want.”
– Reteamed with Danny De Vito in the feature comedy “Drowning Mona”.
– Bette started starring in her first television sitcom, Bette, on CBS.
– Released a new LP, “Bette”, produced by Don Was.
– Bette’s TV show Bette was cancelled. The TV show had started off the season strong, but lost viewers over the past several months.
– Bette of Roses was certified platinum.
– Bette delivered a moving rendition of “Wind Beneath My Wings” at a memorial rally in New York after 09/11 terrorist attacks in USA.
-Bette Midler: Bootleg Betty, The First Weblog Devoted To The Divine Miss M established by The Divine Mister D, Don Bradshaw (a magnetic personality who only repels the worst of the worst!). Okay, and Bette on The Boards, too, by Darrell Redmond (He’s Fabu!)
-Bette teamed up once again up with Barry Manilow on her release – Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook. Bette said the creation of Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook began with a phone call from Barry Manilow who told her he had a dream with Bette singing Rosemary Clooney songs: “The concept
was absolutely brilliant. I loved Rosemary. I had a lot of respect for her, and I missed Barry. And those songs are magical.”
-Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook was certified gold.
-Bette kicked off her ‘Kiss My Brass’ tour in Chicago.
-Bette was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Bette Midler Sings The Rosemary Clooney Songbook). Bette publicly stated that she hoped she didn’t win because the late Rosemary Clooney was also in her category with The Last Concert, and Bette felt she was more deserving. Tony Bennett and k.d. lang ended up with the award for their LP A Wonderful World.
-Bette could be seen in the remake of The Stepford Wives.
-#199 on the Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years chart.
-Bette released Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook.
-Bette released the holiday LP Cool Yule.
-Bette was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook).
-The film, The Women, is released.
-Bette was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (Cool Yule).
-Bette will be headlining for 2 years at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace starting in February, 2008.
-Bette’s movie “Then She Found Me” will open in New York and Los Angeles
-Bette celebrates one year of her outrageously successful Vegas show, The Showgirl Must Go On.
-On June 7 Bette celebrates her 100th show of her outrageously successful Vegas show, The Showgirl Must Go On.
-Bette guest stars on Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List (June 8)
CAST (feature film)
WRITER (feature film)
PRODUCER (feature film)
MUSIC (feature film)
Herbert Berghof Studio: New York , New York –
Radford High School: Honolulu , Hawaii – 1963