Tag Archives: midler

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bette Midler To Tour In 2015

New York Daily News Divinity has arrived in the Bronx — with a huge pair of scissors. Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:01 PM 299597_168426199911099_100002311596243_357448_931636584_n The two-time Academy Award nominee, Bette Midler, said she is planning to release a new album in November and go on tour in 2015. “I haven’t really toured for a number of years,” Midler said, noting that she had a regular gig at Ceasars Palace in Las Vegas, from 2008 to 2010. “It will be fun to get back on the bus.”
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What a rose! Bette Midler to unveil Bronx community garden renovated by her nonprofit

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bette Midler: Sweet On Marijuana (Thanks Andy)

CelebStoner Bette Midler: Sweet on Marijuana Singer/actress Bette Midler’s marijuana advocacy dates back to the ’70s. On Monday, she tweeted about Philadelphia decriminalizing pot… Last year, Midler tweeted: “FDA claims marijuana’s as toxic as alcohol. 41,682 alcohol related deaths last year. Marijuana, 0. Guess nobody’s died of the munchies.” According to Very Important Potheads, “Midler famously planned to put a joint underneath every seat of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for her New Year‘s Eve show in 1975/76, to celebrate California’s pending decriminalization law. Her staff had purportedly rolled 1,800 joints before word leaked out and she was talked out of the magic moment by her lawyers and the L.A. district attorney. Instead she dropped her top at midnight.” In 1976, Midler’s version of the reefer-jazz classic “Sweet Marijuana” was released on Songs for the New Depression (titled “Marajuana” on the album). The song was written in 1934 and originally performed by Gertrude Michael.   From Very Important Potheads: Bette Midler was performing on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof when her sister died, sending the young performer into a more self-expressive career. She honed her beautifully raunchy “Divine Miss M” persona at gay baths in New York, and soon was a hit with her “Clams on the Half Shell” revue (pictured). Taking her show on the road, Midler performed her cover of the 1934 Arthur Johnston/Sam Coslow tune “[Sweet] Marihuana,” feigning hallucinations as she danced with two “Doobie Brothers.” (The song is on her “Songs for the New Depression” album). “In the ’70s, Midler’s self-professed fondness for marijuana was legendary and unashamed, as was her objection to its criminalised status,” wrote Australia’s The Age. Midler famously planned to put a joint underneath every seat of the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles for her New Year’s Eve show in 1975/76, to celebrate California’s pending decriminalization law. Her staff had purportedly rolled 1800 joints before word leaked out and she was talked out of the magic moment by her lawyers and the LA district attorney. Instead she dropped her top at midnight. (California did enact decrim on January 1, 1976, saving the state $1 billion in the next decade.) On February 15, 1976 Midler bailed seven members of her touring entourage out of jail after they were arrested on cocaine and marijuana possession charges. Two days later, she accepted the Harvard Hasty Pudding award before opening for five nights at Boston’s Orpheum on a tour that ended wth a five-day run at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. (She was recently back in Vegas in “The Showgirl Must Go On.”) In advance of her Emmy-winning TV special 1977, TV Guide wrote a feature article on a toned-down Midler that ended, “Even her dad ought to be able to watch her perform this time.” A career in Disney films followed, as well as the tragically overlooked “For the Boys” (1991) where Midler shows some of her indomitable spirit. Admired for her witty performances and appearances on the Grammys (with a gold record in her hair) and the Golden Globes (“I’ll show you a pair…”), in 1992 Midler seranaded Johnny Carson on his last Tonight Show. Though she said in 2005 that she hasn’t smoked pot in 25 years, Bette shamanically imbibes cannabis on film as Mel Gibson’s psychotherapist in “What Women Want” (2000)–but you won’t see that part of the scene on TNT, where it is censored. In 2008’s “The Women,” Meg Ryan discovers her husband is cheating on her, and goes to a yoga retreat where she encounters Midler — who has procured a joint. Though Meg does imbibe in the movie proper, you’ll have to go to the deleted scenes on the DVD to hear her saying “I’m really stoned.” After this scene, her character finds her way to her own center. “The Women” is a re-make of a play by Clare Booth Luce, wife of Time Inc. founder Henry Luce. The Luces admittedly tried LSD, and thought it was great, but wasn’t for the masses. In the 1939 movie based on the play, one character, played by Marjorie Main, often exclaims, “Smokin’ Oakum!” Oakum is made of the small fibers of the hemp plant and used to plug holes in the planks of ships. In 2013, Midler was a hit in her one-woman show “I’ll Eat You Last” playing the pot-loving superagent Sue Mengers. After a successful run on broadway, she played Mengers to sold-out shows in Los Angeles and regaled Jay Leno with tales of her past pot use and Sue’s too. BetteBack 1976: Bette Midler Receives Harvard’s “Woman Of The Year” Award Bette Midler Considering MAME; Bringing I’LL EAT YOU LAST to LA Interview: Bette Midler Hangs Up The Phone On ‘Eat You Last’

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Monday, September 15, 2014

BetteBack November 28, 1986: Billing tug-of-war for Midler-Long film ends in compromise

Madison Capital Times November 28, 1986 374702_223683711038607_221327031274275_541414_443010576_n HOLLYWOODTouchstone Pictures finally has managed to placate star Shelley Long over billing for “Outrageous Fortune,” upcoming in February. Bette Midler will have top billing in half of the United States and Long is No. 1 in the other half. That means two sets of posters, lobby cards, trailers, etc. A representative for Long says that her top billing was guaranteed, because she was the first star signed for the film. But Midler, star of Touchstone’s two recent hits, “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and “Ruthless People,” ain’t exactly chopped liver. One source says that agents for the two stars battled over the issue for hours. The end result, said Long’s representative: “Shelley has generously decided not to pursue the top billing as guaranteed in her contract.” One insider called the truce “a very creative solution to the problem of having such big stars in the same film.” Now, what about foreign territories, not to mention cassettes, cable showings, etc.? “We will cross those bridges when we come to them,” said a harried studio executive.

  • BetteBack September 20, 1986: Shelley Long On Bette Midler
  • BetteBack August 24, 1986: Bette Casting shocks jet-setting socialite
  • BetteBack May 29, 1986: Bette’s Pregnancy Makes It Tough On Shelley Long
  • Bette Midler laments the roles she let get away
  • Bette Midler to Talk A VIEW FROM A BROAD Memoir at Barnes & Noble, 4/1
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    Wednesday, September 10, 2014

    BetteBack November 21, 1986: Midler Has A Baby

    Monessen Valley Independent November 21, 1986 384070_231637133576598_221327031274275_564143_625240156_n LOS ANGELES CAP) – Actress and singer Bette Midler and her newborn daughter are doing fine and should soon be leaving the hospital, the star’s spokesman said “The Divine Miss M” named the girl Sophie, publicist Mark Stern said from his New York office. “The name is Sophie von Haselberg — sounds like royalty, doesn’t it?” Miss Midler married Martin von Haselberg, a performance artist in 1984. The baby is the couple’s first. Miss Midler, 40, delivered the 8-pound ii-ounce girl a week ago at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

  • Sophie von Haselberg To Make New York Theatrical Debut In “Billy & Ray”
  • Vineyard Theater Casts Its Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler
  • BetteBack Dec. 15, 1984: Bette Midler Is Wed
  • BetteBack: Bette Midler says TV was the only medium left for her to conquer
  • Bette Midler Shows Off Her Airy, Open N.Y.C. Penthouse
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    Friday, September 5, 2014

    BetteBack October 23, 1986: Martin Lays Down The Rules On Baby Names

    Logansport Pharos Tribune Logansport Indiana October 23, 1986 381288_221755931231385_221327031274275_535758_2121034193_n Bette Midler is scheduled to become a mother for the first time (due date: Monday) and has been thinking about possible names. Her husband, Martin von Haselberg, has had to talk her into sticking with something conventional. “I like Bob Geldof’s baby’s name – Fifl Trixibelle,” Midler says,’ ‘but my husband says when she’s 40, a librarian and a spinster, sloe’s not going to be so happy with Fifi Trixibefle.”
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    Saturday, August 23, 2014

    BetteBack June 27, 1986: Roger Ebert Reviews Ruthless People

    Roger Ebert June 27, 1986 387140_223717494368562_221327031274275_541820_1338587690_n It is so hard to play a lovable villain, and Danny DeVito does it so easily. His eyes narrow, his voice deepens, and he speaks with great earnestness and sincerity about his selfish schemes and vile designs. “Ruthless People” opens as DeVito is having lunch with his mistress, and we can see that this is a man filled with passion. In this case, the passion is hatred for his wife and for all that she stands for, and for all that her rich father stands for, and even for all that her poodle stands for. DeVito is the mainspring of “Ruthless People,” the engine of murderous intensity right at the center. His passion is so palpable that it adds weight to all the other performances in the movie. If we can believe he really wants to kill his wife, then we can believe he would not pay the ransom if she were kidnapped, which is the movie’s comic premise. It is, indeed, a pleasure to watch his face as he receives the first call from the kidnappers and they threaten to kill his wife if he doesn’t follow every single one of their instructions to the letter. As he agrees to their stipulations, one after another, a wonderous calm spreads over his face, and the scene builds to a perfect climax. The wife is played by Bette Midler, who makes her first entrance kicking and screaming inside a burlap bag. She has been kidnapped by Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater, who want to get even with DeVito, a clothing manufacturer who has ripped off their designs. It’s a juicy role for Midler, a first cousin to the airhead housewife she played in “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” and she milks it for all it’s worth, turning into an exercise freak while being held captive in a basement. The movie doesn’t depend on just the one inspiration – the husband who doesn’t want to ransom his wife. It has lots of other ideas and characters that fit together like a clockwork mechanism. We have the mistress (Anita Morris) and her boyfriend (Bill Pullman), who is not playing with a full deck. And then there are the police chief (William G. Schilling), who backs himself into an embarrassing situation, and a mad slasher (J.E. Freeman), who picks the wrong victim when he comes after Midler. The movie is slapstick with a deft character touch here and there. It’s hard to keep all the characters and plot lines alive at once, but “Ruthless People” does it, and at the end I felt grateful for its goofiness. The discovery in the movie is DeVito. After seeing him on television’s “Taxi” and here and there in character roles, I first began to notice how good he was in “Romancing the Stone.” Then came his great performance in “Wise Guys,” opposite Joe Piscopo, and now this second virtuoso performance in a row. He is, of course, very short, but there’s a funny thing about his stature: It seems to be a fact of his body, not his mind or personality. In closeups and whenever he speaks, he has so much force that he can easily command his scenes. He never seems to be compensating; he seems to be holding back. Like British actor Bob Hoskins, who also is shorter than most of the people in most of his scenes, he has a way of making the taller people around him seem unsure of what to do with their legs. DeVito is a great joy to watch in this movie, as the turns of the plot catch him in one dilemma and then another. First he wants the kidnappers to kill his wife. Then, when he is charged with faking her kidnapping, he wants to ransom her. All along, there’s a running gag as he negotiates the ransom price, and Midler has a great moment when she learns that her husband is trying to buy her back – at a discount. “Ruthless People” is made out of good performances, a script of diabolical ingenuity and a whole lot of silliness.
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    Monday, August 18, 2014

    BetteBack July 12, 1986: ‘Ruthless People:’ you’ll leave laughing

    Madison Wisconsin State Journal July 12, 1986 317311_223717427701902_221327031274275_541815_495793801_n Take a good, simple idea — the kidnaping of a nagging wife whose husband doesn’t want her back — and add some charismatic casting — Danny DeVito and Bette Midler — and it would take a cinematic clod to turn out a bad picture. Fortunately, the talents behind the camera in “Ruthless People” — the unusual three-man directing team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker — are not clods. They proved it with the Hellzapoppin comedy “Airplane,” and they prove it once again here with a more traditional narrative story. In fact, one of the delights of the movie (playing at Hilldale and Eastgate) is that its script dares to complicate what could have been a much more straightforward yarn. In addition to the ruthless husband (DeVito) who wants to get rid of his wailing wife (Miss Midler), there’s also his voluptuous girlfriend (Anita Morris). She has her own private agenda while sleeping with the film’s funniest character, the dumbest hunk in Los Angeles (Bill Pullman), which makes him the dumbest man in the world. And there’s more. The kidnapers are a nice young couple (Judge Reinhold from “Beverly Hills Cop” and Helen Slater from “Supergirl”) who kidnap Midler to get back at DeVito because he stole one of their clothing designs. But they are such nice kidnapers that they keep lowering the ransom price in an effort to entice DeVito. That eventually causes Miss Midler to scream one of the film’s best lines: “I’m being marked down.” It’s always tempting in critiquing a comedy to steal the film’s gags and make the review funnier. But so many of the big laughs in “Ruthless People” are so ruthlessly foulmouthed, and yet good-naturedly funny, that you won’t read them here. Instead, let’s take the time to acknowledge the talent of Danny DeVito,who at 5 feet tall may be the most unlikely leading man regularly working today. Throughout his fine performances in “Romancing the Stone,” “Wise Guys” and now “Ruthless People,” DeVito relies less and less on his size for comic effect and more on his facial expression. He’s an actor and not a freak. His character of Sam Stone, a vulgar, wealthy, Bel Air dress manufacturer, is a hard-nosed classic, admitting in the film’s opening sequence that he married his wife because she was very, very rich and her wealthy father was very, very sick. That may be ruthless, but it’s so honestly expressed that it’s funny. And that’s DeVito special talent. He expresses the rage that big and little guys feel, and his rage is both credible and yet obviously designed to entertain. Miss Midler’s fans, and they are legion, may be disappointed that she doesn’t have a bigger role in the film. We want the film to be more of a duel between them, even if it means cutting back on the kidnapers, who are only mildly amusing. The film’s only other failing is its flat ending. Otherwise, “Ruthless People” contains some of the biggest laughs of 1986. The film is rated R.
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    Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    BetteBack May 29, 1986: Bette’s Pregnancy Makes It Tough On Shelley Long

    Santa Ana Orange County Register May 29, 1986 306415_223683967705248_221327031274275_541432_85304344_n Bette Midler‘s pregnancy is making life a bit tough for Shelley Long. The actresses are making Touchstone’s “Outrageous Fortune,” a big-screen comedy that was given the green light for production shortly before Midler discovered she was expecting her first child in the fall. As things have evolved, “I’ve been doing more running, jumping, climbing and leaping in difficult conditions than I ever expected,” says Shelley. “And I didn’t even like camp as a kid.” Having gone through months of “Cheers” shooting while she was pregnant last year, Shelley can empathize with Bette’s situation — and considers it “only smart” that her co-star sometimes remains on the sidelines during rigorous action work. They have wrapped Albuquerque, N.M., sequences, and at the time we spoke, Shelley was recuperating from a stunt she did at the airport. She said with pride, “I fell out of the baggage conveyor belt! I’ve been asked to do some scary things I’d never done before — some of them that have been dreamed up in the middle of a moment — but it’s been up to me to decide what I feel comfortable with. And it’s been terrific fun.” *

  • BetteBack March 29, 1986: Bette Midler To Make Outrageous Fortune
  • BetteBack April 25, 1986: More Outrageous Fortune News
  • BetteBack March 1, 1986: Will Bette Play In “Down And Out” Series?
  • Be a fly on the wall when Bob Dylan and Bette Midler went into the studio together, 1975
  • “Ruthless People”
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    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    Bette Midler Really Doesn’t Want You To Do Crack, Plus Four Other PSAs By Gay Icons

    Every now and then celebrities feel compelled to use their platform to make a difference in the world. Public service announcements are a tried and true way for them to help spread an important message while simultaneously promoting themselves (without seeming like they’re promoting themselves, of course.) There’s no shortage of these PSAs floating around out there. We’ve scoured the internet for the best ones featuring some of our favorite gay icons. Bette Midler Hair teased to high heaven, Better Midler warns against the ills of crack in this 1987 PSA that plays at the beginning of the VHS version of her film Outrageous Fortune. “I’m so hot. I’m so cool. I’m so where it’s at. I’m it. I’m a genius,” Miss Midler says. “Yeah, crack’ll make you feel like that. For exactly 10 minutes. Then you crash.” “If anyone offers you some,” she says, “tell ‘em where to shove it!” Cher It’s unclear when exactly Cher shot this PSA promoting Medic Alert bracelets, but judging by her hair, snakeskin print blouse, and plastic surgery, it was likely around the time her album Believe was released. Barbra Streisand Barbra Streisand did a PSA for the National Association for Retarded Children in the early 1970s. The video opens with a clip from her 1964 hit “People.” “That was a lucky song for me,” Streisand coos. “But it made me think: What about people who aren’t so lucky? Like the thousands and thousands of children who are born each year mentally retarded?” Interesting correlation, Babs. Madonna The year was 1988. As she was preparing to release her iconic Like A Prayer album, Madonna (and her eyebrows) teamed up with the National AIDS Network for the “Artists for Life” PSA series that encouraged AIDS awareness. Dressed in a black leather jacket and standing in the stairwell of what appears to be an inner city high school, the singer tells viewers: “Not having sex is one way to avoid AIDS. Not hanging out with people who shoot drugs is another. If you do have sex, use a condom.” Noted. Thanks, Madge. Sharon Stone Sharon Stone channels Catherine Tramell in this dramatic PSA for the American Stroke Foundation. “There’s something you should know about me,” Stone purrs at the beginning of the video, giving the camera her best bedroom eyes. “I’m cold. I’m calculating. I get what I want … I am a stroke!”
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