Tag Archives: Harry Kipper

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Kipper Kids at The Kitchen – WCVA – MOCAtv – Age Restricted (Bette’s Husband Was One Of The Kipper Kids)

Harry and Harry Kipper, performance artists, stress the visual, the visceral, and the violent aspects of social rituals, with a feeling for the relationship between ordered social rituals and conventions and the festering violence that lies beneath the facade of mannered behavior. From silly but seriously performed rituals, the work progresses to ever more extreme actions. Harry and Harry Kipper are portrayed by Brian Routh and Martin von Haselberg. Both artists attended E. 15 Drama School in London, and began performing together in 1971.
Kipper Kids- Live at the Kitchen (1988). Bette Midler’s husband was better known as Harry Kipper and/or Harry Kipper, one of two European performance artists who dressed as identical clowns and performed “ceremonies” of scatological/industrial performance art vaudeville in a number of cult films. from r/ObscureMedia
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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Bette And Martin Meet Up With Mariah Carey In Capri On July 4th

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

BetteBack January 29, 1987: Midler On Movies, Life, And Babies

Syracuse Herald Journal January 29, 1987 374837_223685077705137_2213 Midler and her husband, Harry Kipper, a performance artist and commodities trader, became the parents of Sophie Frederica Alohe Lani in November. Frederica was chosen in honor of Midler’s father, Fred, with whom she says she “made peace with a long time ago.” The Hawaiian, according to Midler, means “bright sky.” Passing around a Polaroid of Sophie at 6 weeks, the new mother says, “She looks like both of us. She was an accident but a happy one. We may decide to have another at the end of the year.” Motherhood came to Bette Midler shortly before her 41st birthday. But at the interview, where she wore her hair in a single pigtail and tortoise shell glasses, she looked like a college student. Although Midler was between five and six months pregnant while filming outdoor sequences for “Outrageous Fortune” in New Mexico, director Arthur Hiller claims he made few accommodations to her condition. “A couple of days, she had tft quit earlier than we anticipated, but Bette usually made it up by working longer the next day,” he says. “But we did do a lot of preplanning. We would level the earth so the running up and down wasn’t as tough or dangerous. For the climbing, we put in … well, they were like steps.” And, Hiller says, they used the star’s stunt woman for any remotely dangerous segments. Midler is high on success now, but that’s in sharp contrast to her condition not too many years ago. “I thought I’d made the transition to actress with ‘The Rose,’ but nobody else did,” Midler said. “Nothing ever came of it. I was off the screen for a couple of years.” Eventually, she was offered “Jinxed” and leaped at the chance to get back on the movie screen. It was a disjointed film, and filming was reportedly disrupted by Midler temper tantrums. “I was off the screen two more years after that,” she said. Her slumping film career sent her back to the show business area that had made her a star — music. Midler went into the recording studio and did an album, then hit the road to promote the disc. “I was on the road nine months, and the record never came out,” she complained. “It’s a drag to spend all that time in a record studio for nothing.” Consequently, the periormer is ruling out a concert tour for the immediate future. Besides, Midler worries that she’d have to adopt an entirely new image. “They’re all doing my act. They’re doing standards and doing them dressed funny. They’re wearing corselets and pedal pushers like I do. It’s like seeing your closet parade before your eyes.” Despite the “trashy” label that has been attached to her stage performances, Midler is quick to correct an interviewer who uses that term. “I was tasteless, not trashy,” she says with a grin. “But my act was never even tasteless, I have brilliant taste.” Undoubtedly, the latest Midler award tickles her sense of humor. She has been chosen to receive the lucite popcorn box that symbolizes her honor at the second annual Moving Ball, to be staged Feb. 21 at the Hollywood Palladium. Since she’s on a winning streak, Midler expects to stick with comedy. “People will go anywhere for a laugh. I wanted so badly to be a leading lady and I still do. But the time is not right to pursue that.” Her comedic influences began as a child going to movies. Rather than the “weepers,” young Bette wont to comedies and musical comedies. “I watched Chaplin a long, long time. He used his whole body. I never was interested in Buster Keaton, because he never moved his face. My face is my instrument. I’ve always been a mugger.” Midler says her attitude toward her profession has changed. “Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. If you’re not prepared for the loss, you shouldn’t be in this business. I did not have to feel like the whole world had come crashing down, but I did. I don’t have that pain now.” Yet lh., old performer’s insecurity hasn’t left the star. “I know this is all going to disappear. The difference is I know the system now. But it was very hard to learn.”

  • BetteBack: Bette Midler struggles to the top in “Outrageous Fortune.”
  • Bette Midler To Tour In 2015
  • Sarah Silverman, Bette Midler, Kelly Osbourne Send Well-Wishes to Joan Rivers
  • BetteBack November 26, 1986: Midler To Be Honored By American Cinematheque
  • Bette Midler Prepares First Album In Eight Years
  •  ...  Read More

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    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    BetteBack November 2, 1986: Is Bette’s Husband Harry Or Martin?

    Santa Ana Orange County Register November 2, 1986 380778_231638106909834_221327031274275_564191_2108827458_n

    Q Bette Midler is supposed to be pregnant by • her husband, a German businessman named Harry Kipper. But today I picked up a magazine that says Bette Midler is pregnant by her husband, Martin von Haselberg. What is the true story? —Dorothy Watanabe, Honolulu, Hawaii ...  Read More

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    Sunday, May 18, 2014

    BetteBack Dec. 15, 1984: Bette Midler Is Wed

    Kokomo Tribune Dec. 15, 1984 Singer Bette Midler is wed ...  Read More

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    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    BetteBack Quotes August 17, 1990: Today’s Female Comics Not Funny

    Winnipeg Free Press People August 17, 1990 They’re just not funny, says Bette Midler. Midler told Redbook that she’s not impressed by today’s female comedians. “In recent years, the floodgates have opened, and the business has been taken over by low-life sluts.”
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    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    BetteBack May 6, 1990: Talkin’ Bout Bette Ya’ll

    Ruston Daily Leader Let’s Talk By Polly Vonetes May 6, 1990 Q: Would you please tell me anything you know about Bette Midler? I think she’s the most versatile actress there is today. I really admire her and would love to have an address at which I might write her. —Sharon R., Willis, Texas A: Bette Midler was born in Paterson, N.J. (wrong), Dec. 1, 1944 (wrong year). She owes her rather peculiar name to the fact that her movie buff mother thought Bette Davis‘ first name was pronounced the way it looked. Growing up Jewish and unhappy in Honolulu, she had few friends and she often felt lonely and different from other girls her age. Landing a role as an extra in the film Hawaii while a freshman at the University of Hawaii gave her a chance to change her life. She used her earnings to move to New York. It was 1965 and Bette supported herself as a file clerk at Columbia University, as a gloves sales clerk at Sterns department store and as a go-go dancer in a New Jersey bar. A year later she landed a role in Fiddler On The Roof. In 1972, she won a Grammy for her debut album, The Divine Miss M. In 1973, she won a special Tony for her one-woman concert on Broadway, Clams On The Half Shell. In 1984, she married Harry Kipper, they have a daughter and live in Beverly Hills, Calif. Try writing her at; P.O. Box 46703, Los Angeles, Calif. 90046. (Don’t even waste your time)
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    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    BetteBack – February 2-4, 1990: Mommy Imperfect

    USA WEEKEND Mommy Imperfect Story by Richard Price February 2-4, 1990 She’s been good at all of it. Hilarious comic, versatile actress, great singer. She put a song on top of the charts just last summer; she’s always a hit on stage. She’s been up for an Oscar, and she’s on a string of five ‘ straight box-office winners for Disney. Bette Midler doesn’t do things halfway. When the Divine Miss M sets a goal, she flies into it. That’s why she wound up in the parking lot bawling her eyes out. She sat in the car outside her daughter’s school, and the sobs tore through all 5-feet-l-inch of her. Tears flooded her cheeks. She wailed, she shook, she questioned her entire reason for living. Her heart had been broken, snapped by a 3-year-old girl who has been teaching Mom all the tough lessons- of parenthood. That day’s class: Don’t Try So Hard, Mom. The occasion was Sophie’s 3rd birthday, which has turned out to be an important day in Midler’s life as a mom, and not so distant from the theme of her newest role as an actress. In Stella, a movie that debuts this weekend, she plays a woman who would do whatever it takes to give her child a better life, even give her up. Midler’s that way. For Sophie, she’d do anything, sometimes too much. “I’m crazy about her,” she sighs. “I’m telling you, we (slie and her husband, actor Harry Kipper) come down for breakfast every morning, and we just look at her, the two of us, like where did she come from? What is she doing here? We’re absolutely mad, mad, mad about her, to the point that we almost don’t see each other, we’re looking at her so hard. Well, not all the time. On the moming of her 3rd birthday, Nov. 16, 1989, Sophie woke up, made a face, burst into tears and threw away the crown Midler had made her. At breakfast, when she found her booster seat wrapped in foil (it was to be a throne) she ripped it off and threw it on the floor. She announced she didn’t want to be 3. She hated the cupcakes Midler had baked for the kids at school. She didn’t like the drinks. She didn’t like anything. She was miserable. Midler crumbled. She had worked feverishly to pull off the ultimate birthday, and it had bombed. “Oh, I was so hurt, oh, it was so horrible, horrible, horrible,” she says, laughing at herself now. “Oh, I can’t tell you how horrible.” Midler made the standard p a i n f ul error. She had tried to be a Perfect Mom. For a b o ut two weeks, nothing else mattered, not even multimillion-dollar movie deals. While meeting with the heads of Walt Disney Studios, all she could think about was the birthday. “They’re talking to me about this script and that script, and I’m thinking, ‘Well, I could have a musician come, and I could have someone play the piano.’ And so they’re talking to me, and I’m going yes, yes, yes, but my mind is going a mile a minute, and I’m thinking, I’ll make the invitations myself.” So she cut and pasted and painted invitations, then she agonized over whom to invite from Sophie’s school. “First I was going to have the whole class, and my husband said, ‘You can’t have the whole class, because they won’t pay attention to her.’ And then someone called me up and said, ‘Oh, when she’s 1, she’s supposed to have one friend, and when she’s 2 she’s supposed to have two friends.’ And I thought, God, that’s a brilliant idea, but I can’t give her just three friends, so I’ll give her 10 friends.” Then she had to make ruffles and pompons for the clowns, because she had picked clowns for the party theme, so she went to the knitting store and realized that she didn’t know what to do there. “I’ve never been in a knitting store, I’ve never bought yam, I have no idea what’s going on. It’s the most expensive yam store in the world. It’s like S9 for two yards . .. all I know is I’ve got to get out and make those pompons.” Midler grew up poor and still thinks about price, but she finally bought just a little bit of what she needed — and was up half the night working on pompons. The week before the birthday, Midler and Sophie went to a party for Candice Bergen‘s 4-year-old daughter, Chloe, at Kiddieland, a child entertainment center complete with children’s rides and video games. “She was smart,” says Midler, sick of pompons by then. “I’m saying this is what I should have done, then I see there’s a K mart across the road and I say I’ve got to get out, I’ve got to leave this party and get to the K mart: Maybe they have yarn. So I go to K mart, and I’m in heaven. Everything is 90 cents, like two miles of yarn for 90 cents. I’m saying, this place is fantastic!” But when she returned to the Bergen party, there had been a setback. Sophie didn’t like the Kiddieland clowns. In fact, she’d decided she hates clowns altogether. “But Sophie’s party is going to be a clown party,” Midler said despairingly. When she rushed home, she called the woman who was going to play the clown. “I say, Grade, there’s a crisis. Do you do anything besides clowns? She starts telling me what she does. Oh, she does Mary Poppins, she does this and she does that. And then she says, ‘I do Dorothy.’ ” Magic words. Sophie loves everything about The Wizard ofOz. “We’ve been in Oz Land for over a year,” says Midler, who has dressed up and played every part a hundred times for her daughter. So wh en Gracie mentioned Dorothy, Midler yelled, “You do Dorothy? You do Dorothy? I’m saved! I’m saved!” Intense? Credit part of it to the natural comic in her, but it’s clear that Midler really does sweat the details of bringing up daughter. Everything has to be right. ^^â„¢ Food, for example. Midler has hooked Sophie on the healthies. Fish, tofu, vegetables. Sophie even likes broccoli; she calls it “the tree.” Her only steady vice is chocolate. “My husband is German, so he’s got German chocolate on the brain,” Midler says with disgust. And clothes. She and Sophie already are fighting about those. Sophie wants to wear skirts and to twirl and tap dance — in fact, she wore tap shoes to bed all last summer — and Midler wants something down to earth: “I want her to wear pants and get grubby and to run around.” When Sophie hits elementary-school age, Midler’s sending her someplace that requires uniforms. “I’ve had enough of these trendy clothes. These are years when they should be absorbing as much as they possibly can and not thinking about stupid things like, ‘What do I look like?’ and ‘I want that jacket because Bobby has that jacket.’ ” No television, either. Midler thinks the programming is too violent and the commercials too sexual. She’ll let Sophie watch a classic on the VCR now and then, but that’s it. “We just do stuff together. We do a lot of construction paper, a lot of drawing, a lot of chatting, a lot of dancing around and making up stories and games and stuff. I really enjoy that because when I’m with her, I’m really with her. “I’ve got to say we’re on the pompous side. At first, I thought, ‘Well, gee, everyone’s going to think I’m a jerk.’ And then I thought I don’t care what they think. I want her to have a foundation in things the world considers good and artful. I want her to have a certain innocence. I don’t want her to be jaded at 8, so I keep a lot of things away from her.” That includes material things. She rarely allows Sophie gifts that fans send, and she’s cautious about her own giving for fear she’ll spoil Sophie. She wrestles over whether to guide her daughter into show business. Sophie’s already come up with her own whirling dance routine that Mom and Dad call “The Sophie.” “My daughter sits in the makeup chair and yells mahkey-mahkey-mahkey (her word for makeup). She wants powder and paint, and she thinks that’s a fun life, and what can I do? She doesn’t see what I have to go through screaming at people on the telephone and all that stuff.” What Midler really wants is to raise a capable daughter who could survive rich or poor, so she’s constantly teaching. “I want her to be able to solve problems. I want her to know how to use a hammer and nail, how to sew and to cook. I don’t want her to slough off numbers like I did. I want her to understand math and physics and all that stuff, because I think that’s part of understanding the universe.” She tells Sophie stories, endless stories, all the great fables of history, drawing heavily from Greek and Indian mythology, and embellishing them with her own “half-baked theories of the world. And we’re always counting, ‘Oh, my goodness, I dropped FOUR peas,’ you know. And ABCs: ‘Happy, happy we shall be when we know our ABCs.’ ” She worries, as most moms worry. She’s nervous because Sophie doesn’t like reading. She frets when Sophie fights with friends. She wonders what will happen when Sophie reaches grade school and can’t come along on Midler’s trips. And she’s still sorting out how to handle religion. Midler’s Jewish, and she plans to teach those traditions, but her husband was raised by two atheists, and he wants Sophie exposed to a variety of thinking. Lately she’s been struggling with rebellion. Sophie has learned to say no, and she says it every night at 9:30, her bedtime. So Midler is learning the discipline business. But she’s doing OK. She knows the kind of relationship she wants with Sophie. “I don’t want to be my daughter’s buddy, I want to be her mom …someone she can look up to.” Sophie has completely changed Midler’s life, and most parents will recognize the symptoms. “When I work, I have to be quiet, to stare off into space and try to get some ideas. When I Like Bananas Because They’ve Got No Bones is playing in your ear, it’s real hard to sit and think about how you’re going to make this project that’s going to elevate the human race.” It’s affected her outside relationships — “I don’t have any,” she moans — and she’s tired all the time. She partly blames “Attila,” her workout trainer, but mostly it’s the old story of balancing job and family. She and Harry devote two hours each morning to Sophie and she spends the rest of the day dashing back and forth between meetings to be with her. She does the cleanup after dinner (Dad cooks), and parents swap bathtime duties, not a house favorite. “The baaaatthhh,” Midler calls it, rolling her eyes and collapsing on the floor in mock agony. “Every day is full. I get into bed and I read for five minutes, and my eyes get so heavy I just pass out.” Will there be more kids? Probably not. She and Harry are trying, but Midler thinks their chances are slim because of her age: She’s 44 and has gone through one miscarriage. She’s considered adoption, but Harry is cool to the idea. Meanwhile, Sophie’s umbilical cord is preserved and floating around somewhere in a virtual library of motherhood memorabilia. When it was time to cut a lock of hair, Midler cut two. There are hundreds of baby record books, piles of pictures. It’s no wonder Midler has no friends left, she says: “I’m too busy putting pictures in albums.” Then there are all those strangers in her house — an endless parade of nannies who leave as soon as they’ve become a part of the family. “There is c h a o s, j u st chaos.” Her husband k e e ps t e l l i ng her to r e l ax. “He gets on my case a lot. He is so convinced he is if in the fat h er d e p a r tment. Once in three years he’s said he did the wrong thing. The rest of the time I do the wrong t h i n g. He t h i n ks I overreact, I spoil her, I’m always trying to push food down her throat.” But she admits he was right about one thing. She overextended herself on the birthday. Obsessed is the word she uses. All she could think was, “I gotta, I gotta, I gotta.” She was in a frenzy right up until 2 a.m. on the last night, baking those cupcakes, hanging those decorations, putting on those last touches. Next morning came the disaster. And after dropping Sophie off at school with the hated cupcakes and drinks, she trudged out to the parking lot for her big cry. Still, there’s a happy ending. Two things finally turned it around. One was her husband’s idea: For the party at the house, he filled the dining room with a waist-high sea of wadded-up newspaper so the kids could j ump around. They loved it. The other triumph was Dorothy. “Thank God,” Midler says. “All of a sudden this disaster turned into a huge success. I have to say this was my fault, I went nuts. I just went nuts. I won’t do this again … I learned a lesson. No one cares as much as you do, and they’re usually happy with a little, so you don’t have to knock yourself out.” Someday Bette Midler may write down these lessons. She’s been invited to write a book on motherhood (somebody told her she could be the Bill Cosby of her generation) but Midler’s holding off. She doesn’t have time, she says, and besides, if she’s learned one thing about parenting, it’s what kids have known all along: Parents don’t understand much. “I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. I don’t even know what I’d say. All I have are experiences, but I won’t even have time to t h i nk about what happened before we’re on to the next birthday.”
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    Monday, February 6, 2012

    BetteBack – Friday, February 2, 1990: “I’ve got to say we’re on the pompous side”

    Lethbridge Herald, The No junk food for Midler’s daughter Friday, February 2, 1990 NEW YORK (AP) – Actress-singer Bette Midler won’t let her three-year-old daughter, Sophie, watch television, eat junk food or stay up late because she doesn’t want her to “be jaded at eight.” “I’ve got to say we’re on the pompous side,” Midler said of herself and her husband, Harry Kipper, in an interview in the Feb. 2 edition of USA Weekend. “At first, I thought, ‘Well, gee, everyone’s going to think I’m a jerk. And then I thought I don’t care what they think. I want her to have a foundation in things the world considers good and artful.” Midler said she nixed television for her daughter because the programming is too violent and the commercials are too sexual. “We just do stuff together; we do a lot of construction paper, a lot of drawing, a lot of chatting, a lot of dancing around and making up stories and games and stuff,” she said.
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    Monday, January 2, 2012

    BetteBack – 11-06-1987: Bette Midler: Settling Down In Disneyland

    Bette Midler: Settling Down In Disneyland HOME VIDEO GUIDE By Dan DiStasio 11-06-1987 “My daughter will have a very traditional upbringing. No television. Lots of books. Piano lessons, dance lessons. I don’t ever want her to see my work and say, ‘That’s you? How could you do that?'” Could this really be the self-pro­claimed “last of the truly tacky women” speaking? Yes, the ultratalented, brash and b a w dy q u e en of camp, having m a de three hit films for Walt Disney Studios, has now b e c o me the toast of Hollywood, a Beverly Hills matron, mother and wife. Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who recently s i g n ed her to another three film d e a l, says, “As a performer, Bette Midler is the single b i g g e st asset we have.” Has she t r a d ed In her fabulous four-ietter-wit to walk the squeaky c l e an p a th of Wait Disney’s family entertainment machine? Has she, in a wo r d, sold out? Or is the first lady of “trash with flash” l e a d i ng the Mickey a nd Minnie c r owd up a new g o l d en road? That her hystericaiiy funny vulgar hu­mor hasn’t b e en t emp e r ed is obvious from touches in Outrageous Fortune like her identifying a corpse using anatomical detail not In most textbooks of forensic sci­ence. Yet in the same film, this woman of the wild wa r d r o be c an be seen wear ing not a glitzy halter top stretched precariously across pos­sibly the best-known mammaries in moviedom, but rather a relatively tame tailored houndstooth jacket. More and more. Miss Madness seems to be favoring the stylish rags of Rodeo Drive instead of wild frip­pery from the Frederick’s of the im­agination. If clothes make the man, how much more do they make the woman? A peek into the closet of Ms. Midler would p r o b a b ly reveal not only a history of hysteria a nd kitschy taste in the ’70s, and ’80s, but with a little luck, the woman, the di­vine Miss M herself. So imagine, if you will…. A six-foot-long, mustard-streaked hotdog in a bun? Hanging off it a long dark robe befitting a nun? Do these both belong to the mad woman of Honolulu? Yes. Bette, ever in search of the outrageous and absurd, did indeed don a knee-iength dog with relish in one of her wildly success­ful stage shows. Imagine the quips! Yet that long dark turn-of-the-century gown buttoned tight against immoral­ity is precisely what Bette wore In her true screen d e b ut in 1966, playing a missionary’s wife in Hawaii. Born on December 1,1945, to work­ing class parents in a modest Honolulu neighborhood, the third daughter of Ruth Midler was named after one of her mother’s favorite movie stars, Bette Davis. Throughout Bette’s c h i l d h o o d, her mother encouraged her to pursue her eariy ambitions of becoming a star. Fred, Bette’s father, never ap­proved, a nd in his entire life he never saw his daughter perform. Hawaii p a id Bette enough to buy a one-way ticket to New York, where she c o u ld begin to make her dreams come true. A hardworking D-cup brassiere to keep Bette’s bust in line (when she chose to). A necessary piece of ac­coutrement, let’s face it: Bette’s Bust is part of her trade­mark. She began creating a stir in the late ’60s at the Continental Baths in New York, a gay establishment forced to o p en its doors on Saturday nights to the straight public’s d e m a nd to see the new sensation. Few knew that they might already have seen her in the hit Broadway musical, Fid­dler on the Roof as Tzeitel, the eldest daughter. The antique velvet dresses she first wore on Broadway b e c a me an early trademark for Bette, a l o ng with the torch-song style that would later elevate her to stardom. In the baths, Bette also b e g an a pro­fessional relationship with another future success, Barry Manilow. Barry t a p p ed the ivories at the “tubs” (as Bette c a l l ed them) a nd e n c o u r a g ed her to d e v e l op her own distinct musi­c al style. G o od a d v i ce for a young woman with the pizzazz of Garland, the precise phrasing of Streisand a nd a voice that c o u ld handle anything from Piaf to Presley. But ’30s a nd ’40s songs b e c a me Bette’s breakthrough material, giving her a c h a n ce to lose public eye, whether mooning the Harvard Club after being given the Hasty Pudding Award or stealing the Oscar ceremonies by appearing in a lowcut, shiny gold gown with red and blue silk spangled scarves billowing from the sleeves. [She floored the audience by proclaiming. “I guess you thought it was impossible to overdress for this affair.”] A 5′ 1″. pudgy Jewish girl who didn’t consider herself very pretty. Bette had created a mask, a persona strung with all those baubles, bangles and beads which gave her creative genius freedom to fly. But Jinxed weighed heavily on her. The line to Hollywood was on indefinite hold. A near nervous collapse occurred. Had she come to the end of the line? Was she all dressed up with no place to go? What now? What new costume could she wear? A simple blue-gray chiffon dress and a maternity gown. In December of 1984, it was love at first sight for Bette and Martin von Hasselberg, a.k.a. Harry Kipper. A German South American industrialist, he doubled as a Kipper Kid, half of a comedy duo who per formed in jockstraps and smeared each other with chocolate and paint, fterhaps just crazy enough to appreciate the private Miss Madness. Bette was off again to Las Vegas, this time in the simple aforementioned wedding gown, to be married by an Elvis impersonator. Clam Shell girl calming down? Hardly. Yet. motherhood soon followed and in the tradition established by her mother Bette named her own daughter after a favorite performer—Sophie Tucker. But instead of settling down to enjoy the simpler and quieter life she seemed ready for, Bette surprised everybody, including herself. She was about to see her dreams come true. Fox fur, diamond earrings, platinum watch, and a cream-colored silk chamois dress designed to kill. Who would have thought that Bette (bleep%m-if-they-can’t-take-a-joke) Midler would be playing a bored Beverly Hills matron? Yet Bette was never more seductive on the screen. Jiggling up and down the stairs in tippy-toe high heels, sitting crosslegged and cooing mantras to her guru. Bette stole the show in what she originally thought was not a major role. A comeback in the Disney stable as a sedate but loony married woman was middle age making Bette a Midler-of-the-roader? Was the wonderful vulgar spokeswoman of bad taste and good comedy about to vanish into the simonized hills of Lala Land? Not on your life. In a single year, Bette had a baby and three hit movies. A crown and sceptre—not the ones she carried years ago as the Statue of Libido. No. to Bette Midler goes the crown of the Queen of Comedy. The biggest female box office attraction in film in 1986. Cleaned up her act? Watch her have her way with Danny DeVito in Ruthless People. As she lets out a hilarious string of expletives she tops it by saying sweetly, “They made me say that.” No. Bette Midler isn’t slowing down. She’s just getting started.
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