Bette Midler biography
The Addams Family
Date of Birth: December 1, 1945
Born to the only Jewish family in a Polynesian Hawaiian neighborhood in Honolulu, Midler dropped out of a drama course at the University of Hawaii. She then moved to New York to try her luck in showbiz, following in the footsteps of her namesake, Bette Davis. Midler landed in the chorus of Broadway's A Fiddler on the Roof and eventually gained a lead role. Bawdy, brassy, and rambunctious, she told dirty jokes and belted out songs in Manhattan's Continental Baths in 1971, and she became a campy cult figure on the local gay scene. Her appearances on David Frost's show, the Tonight Show, and in nightclubs exploded into hit pop albums, a 1973 Grammy, a special Tony, and the title "The Divine Miss M." For 1979's The Rose , her impressive first starring movie role (loosely based on Janis Joplin), Midler snapped up an Oscar nomination and a Grammy for the title song.
Though her film career over the next several years was characterized by the name of one of her films from that period, Jinxed, she found outrageously good fortune in the late eighties with Disney comedies such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Ruthless People, and she parlayed those successes into a production company of her own. Midler was less popular in a couple of tearjerkers that followed, but she did earn a 1992 Academy Award nomination for her role in For the Boys. Her good-bye to Johnny Carson in 1992 was rewarded with an Emmy, and in 1993, her Experience the Divine concerts sold out for six straight weeks at Radio City Music Hall.
1996 saw her joining Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton to round out the full-tilt cast of cast-off wives in The First Wives Club. The following year, Midler played another first wife whose romantic sentiments for her ex-husband (Dennis Farina) are rekindled at their daughter's wedding in That Old Feeling. In 1999, Midler played herself in two documentaries, the first the TV "mockumentary" Jackie's Back and the second the big-screen Get Bruce!, a documentary about legendary comic writer Bruce Vilanch. In addition to her film work, Midler still performs live in concert to turnaway crowds and continues to release albums, including Bathouse Bette, a tribute to her days at the Continental Baths.