Tag Archives: Bruce Forsyth

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Video: Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night – Includes Bette Midler Segment – 1978

bette on the bruce forsyth show 1978

This video, Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night is something like a telethon with many guests. There is a full Bette Midler segment with a hilarious interview and two songs, Hello In There and Leader Of The Pack. This is an English show, Bette Midler was there starting her World Tour.

Bette Midler was performing at the London Palladium in 1978 in her Trash With Flash tour, and I went to see her the week before she was due on my TV show Bruce Forsyth’s Big Night. All the way through her act she kept falling on the floor and talking to the audience from where she was lying. It was very funny indeed. And boy could she sing. ...  Read More

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

The biggest misconception people have about me is that I’m seven feet tall (1991)

The biggest misconception people have about me is that I’m seven feet tall (1991) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, standing and on stage
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

(On how difficult it is to get good movie material) “Two words: Im Possible. Very, very hard. A struggle of life and death. A bore.

(On how difficult it is to get good movie material) “Two words: Im Possible. Very, very hard. A struggle of life and death. A bore. Especially soul destroying. Wearying beyond belief. I mean, we leave no stone unturned. And yet even when you come up with something you believe in, it’s so hard to convince people that it’s worthwhile, that it’s worth making. Even though they think, hey, she’s good, she’s got a string of hits behind her, she knows what she’s doing– they don’t have any faith, they don’t want to take that chance.” (1991, Movieline) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, shoes and indoor
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Saturday, August 26, 2017

(On what she does with her money) “Not a goddamn thing. I don’t do anything with it.

(On what she does with her money) “Not a goddamn thing. I don’t do anything with it. I give a lot of it away. I like charity. I like gardens. And travel. My husband says my life is wasted on me. He said no one should have as much good fortune as me and not have any idea what to do with it. I don’t pay any attention to it.” (1991, Movieline) – Bette Midler Image may contain: one or more people
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(On being a director) “To tell you the truth, I’m no dummy. Directing is just a bitch. And it’s years out of your life.

(On being a director) “To tell you the truth, I’m no dummy. Directing is just a bitch. And it’s years out of your life. And you are in a dark editing room a lot of it. You’d better like that person you are in there with because you’re there, you’re locked. It’s a lot like making records. Sometimes it gets so claustrophobic in those little dark rooms, it’s hard. And I don’t want to do that much work. I don’t want to work that hard for no money. I would rather work a little and make a lot of money than work like a dog and make nothing.” (1991, Movieline) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup
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Friday, August 25, 2017

(On Sally Field) “She’s very smart. She’s doing exactly what she wants to do.

(On Sally Field) “She’s very smart. She’s doing exactly what she wants to do. It took her a minute to figure out how the business has changed, because it changed right out from under her, when nobody was looking. So that’s what we’re all in for. You can either jump in feet first and go to work or you can stand on the sidelines. Things have changed.” (1991, Movieline) – Bette Midler Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup
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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

(On whether she’d rather sing or act) “Singing. No question

(On whether she’d rather sing or act) “Singing. No question. I’d much rather sing. I have to work on my singing. Singing is hard for me. Comedy is easy. Acting is really easy.” (1991, Movieline) – Bette Midler

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

BetteBack December 18, 1973: Bette Midler At The Palace

Mattoon Journal Gazette December 18, 1973 Bette+Midler+BetteDeltaDawn_ThePalace Bette Midler’ll haul down about $300,000 for three weeks of doing her “trash with flash ’ act at the Palace Theater. Las Vegas salaries have come to New York. That’s $100,000 a week. Six shows a week. $26,000 a show. Jimmy Nederlander, the personable proprietor of the Palace, said as we watched the unbelievable opening night lobby scene, “Bette Midler is the biggest grosser in the history of the Palace.” “I was here in ’67 when Judy Garland came in and I think this is bigger,” I agreed. We watched the remarkable people shoving in. some normals, some celebrities like Dyan Cannon, Peter Boyle and Julie Newmar . . . some bearded ladies, men in gowns, a bare-backed man who stood up and waved, one who had to be hauled off stage. But Judy Garland had cultists too, people with a revival meeting • fervor. “You paid 15 dollars!” shrieked the fiercely energetic 28-year-old redhead who said she was the only Jewish girl in a Samoan neighborhood in Hawaii and always liked the red light districts to walk in because they were interesting. “You could have bought 3 gallons of gas for that kind of money!” She was worried about the first-night stiffs in the front row. She mimicked them, “Dirty girl . . . I don’t get i t . . . Gross . . . very gross.” She went after Nixon: told the well-known “Deep Throat” story to huge applause. Got several standing ovations. Had the greatest stage presence, warmth and personality of any new performer in years. She said she was very tired. “I’ve been standing in line all day trying to get tickets to the Winter Garden to see Liza Minnelli.” “Went to great .expense to get these Hawaiian girls here tonight,” she said. “ Had to pay their fare all the way from Broadway and 50th St.” “Listen,” she said once, “whose idea was it to play this dump?” A great one, whosever it was. Still, Bette Midler, after that madhouse, went over to Improvisation with Peter Boyle and gloomed all over the place that those trussedup first-night stiffs weren’t her people and didn’t appreciate her. I trust the thought of $300,000 for the three weeks will help her accept her fate. BetteBack January 10, 1991: Bette Midler Moves From Worst Dressed List To Fashion Independents List BetteBack September 21, 1990: A Fan Wants To Know The Basics Of Bette Midler On Being Compared To Barbra And Liza: | BootLeg Betty BetteBack March 19, 1996: Who Will Play Mame In The TV Adaption | BootLeg Betty

BetteBack September 13, 1972: Bette Midler’s Star Rises Fast | BootLeg Betty ...  Read More

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Monday, August 15, 2016

BetteBack September 12, 1973: Bette Midler on a New Tack

Los Angeles Times September 12, 1973 2016-08-15_3-25-24 Pardon me, I know you’re probably in a rush this morning, but if you have a minute or two free, I could use some help with a couple of problems. They both concern Bette Midler and her new show at the Universal Amphitheater. You see, I’m supposed to write about rock music and I keep finding these non-rock performers with such impact and power that I find myself occupied a lot with them these days. First, there was Harry Belafonte and then Liza Minnelli and now Bette Midler. I mean, what are my pals going to think? Actually, Bette has a following among the gang at the Whisky and the Troubadour. After all, it was at the Troubadour that she made her local debut last winter. And she does have songs like “Leader of the Pack” in her repertoire. But the Troubadour, we all knew, was just a stepping stone. By March, she was at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and now she’s at the Universal Amphitheater through Sunday. Despite a couple of hit AM singles and her Troubadour appearance, however, her rise has been so rapid that many in the rock world may have missed her. For those who did, they shouldn’t let the fact that she is now into the concert world of Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and Henry Mancini keep them from catching up with her at this point. She’s a strikingly original, vital, even thrilling performer who is able on her best nights, to touch you emotions with both her music and manner. She is, when everything is right, truly the Divine Miss M. Her show Monday at the Amphitheater drew one of the strongest ovations of the season, greater even than the emotional outpouring at Liza Minnelli’s opening last month at the Greek Theater. But there were some troubling signs in Monday’s show, a fact that brings us to the second problem. So many of her moves–particularly musical ones–seemed less arresting than in the past (a warning signal that should be noted). So, I ask you, do I stress how worthwhile she remains? Or do I lament that she seems–for whatever reason–to be wearing thin. Maybe a reconstruction of her past appearances will put things in better perspective. LAST NOVEMBER: Ah, the first time I saw Miss Midler. A glorious night. She did three sold out performances before wildly cheering audiences at the Boarding House in San Francisco prior to making her Los Angeles debut at the Troubadour. At the Boarding House, the tiny (5 foot, 1 inch) red haired fireball of energy combined all the gaudy show business exuberance of the 1940’s with a steady stream of funny, exaggerated remarks (referring to herself as “last of the tacky women…trash with flash”) and some highly stylized versions of such varied songs as, “Am I Blue?” “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” and “Leader of the Pack”. DISPLAY OF ENERGY: Through it all she exhibited a continuous display of energy: arms twirling, body twisting, eyebrows arching and, best of all, a wide, happy rainbow of a smile. Her every move seemed to be in an effort to challenge the audience to enjoy itself, to feel some emotion, to step out from the protective shell that surrounds so many in these troubled, isolated times. Both her music and manner range from the harshly cynical to the unabashed sentimental. The impact was enormous. She was a certain star. MONDAY NIGHT: Things started off well at the Amphitheater. There was an eager, festive audience on hand–a colorful mix of such Hollywood personalities as Kirk Douglas, Dyan Cannon and Janet Leigh and a large delegation of the glitter ‘n’ rouge crowd. Even the two remaining Andrew Sisters–Pat and Maxine–were there. Opening with her standard “Friends”, Miss Midler, wearing a low-cut white satin dress with a marvelously tacky heart cut out just below her chest, peppered the audience with her purposefully catty remarks about Los Angeles, the Monday night audience, Karen Carpenter and herself, right on target. But then, slowly, it began to drift. There wasn’t any particular, alarming moment. There was, however, a comparison to be made. Miss Midler remained entertaining, but she didn’t touch me emotionally the way she once did. The most noticeable change was her music. Neither the new material nor the now familiar songs were delivered with the depth, conviction or impact of the past. The only exceptions were the spirited “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Leader of the Pack”. Otherwise, what was once a feast of both music and manner seemed reduced to simply manner. ALTERED MANNER: And, beneath the flash and frenzy, the manner even seemed altered. Where there was once a certain philosophical stance to her work–an over-whelming desire to make her audiences feel and experience–there now seems simply the goal of entertaining, of succeeding. It all seemed so mechanical at times. It had been several months and several dozen shows since San Francisco and maybe Miss Midler is easing up or, more probably, she is beginning to feel a certain need for new direction and purpose. She is to valuable a performer to simply “entertain”. There was a certain greatness in her ability to touch audiences and I hope it wasn’t lost along the way. Besides her rhythm section and the Harlettes vocal trio, she’s backed by an orchestra under the direction of Barry Manilow. The Amphitheater show was produced by Aaron Russo and there are several cute touches, particularly in the costuming.
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Sunday, June 26, 2016

BetteBack September 13, 1972: Bette Midler’s Star Rises Fast

Oakland Tribune September 13, 1972 Bette - The Divine Miss M Bette Midler may be the fastest-rising star to emerge this year. The 26-year-old former Hawaiian has in the past few months come from complete obscurity to considerable fame, all through the most incredible of circumstances. Three years ago Bette Midler came to New York from Honolulu, hoping to become an actress. She nailed down a few off-Broadway roles and played on Broadway in “Fiddier On The Roof.” Then, after listening to Aretha Franklin a lot, she decided to try singing. She put together an act mixing equal parts of old (1940’s, 1950’s and early 1960’s) songs, contemporary ballads and ribald comedy. She began dressing weird. During a recent appearance she wore a black,’Victorian, porno-corset fastened with a Shangri-Las fan club button; skin-tight gold pedal pushers and transparent high heels. Since her act was a bit un”usual, a friend suggested she debut in the same manner. She began an engagement at the Continental Baths, an establishment with an audience consisting of guys wearing towels. Then she came to the attention of Johnny Carson, who not only booked her on his show, but used her as the opening act for his night club routine in.Las Vegas. A few short months after the Baths, she was playing at the Bitter End and” the” lines went down the block in two directions. The biggest crowd to” turn out in the Village since James Taylor tied up traffic in 1970. Bette sings such songs as ‘Patti Page’s “Old Cape Cod“; Joni Mitchell‘s “For Free”; Leon Russell‘s “Superstar”; “John Prine’s “Hello In There”; the old rock ‘n’ rollers: “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” and “A TeenAger in Love.” There is also a slow version of “Do You Wanna :’Dance” along with these others on her first album, being readied for release in about a month on the Atlantic label. Live, she also sings early 1960’s songs like “Leader of the Pack” or the 1940’s “Chattanooga Chop Choo.” She laughs a great deal, hops around the stage, runs through a series of ageless dirty jokes, and generally presents a rock audience with, its first, old-style cabaret act. A grotesque exaggeration of Liza Minnelli singing rock ‘n’ roll, if you will. “Her smile, seems sincere, and though the jokes are old, she makes you feel good.
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