Legendary as an Oscar nominated actress and Grammy Award winning singer, Bette Midler has kept up her resilient pace in a wide variety of mediums in recent years. In 1996, her film The First Wives Club was a hit and two years later, she scored a gold album with Bathhouse Betty. More recently, with film opportunities harder to come by, she tried her hand at sitcoms with the short lived 2000 series, Bette.
Having been named after screen icon Bette Davis, there's no way the Honolulu-born Midler could miss. She won first prize in talent shows in high school, and used the money from a starring role in the movie Hawaii to pursue her acting and singing careers in New York.
In 1966, after many odd jobs, Midler landed a part in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof, and later moved up to the role of the daughter Tirzel. She left the show in 1969 and began performing in small nightclubs like the Continental Baths, where she began creating her alter ego character, The Divine Miss M. Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun stumbled upon her act and signed her to the label.
In 1972, Midler began working on her first album, The Divine Miss M and also began a tour with that name., The Top Ten album spawned the hit singles "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Do You Want to Dance?" She also won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Her self-titled second album went gold immediately but received poor critical response. She took the next year off to reinvent herself.
Returning in 1975, she starred in a brand new show, Clams On The Half Shell Revue, which broke all Broadway records. Her third album Songs for the New Depression only reached #27 on the Billboard chart, but her subsequent tour was very successful. In 1977, she won an Emmy Award for Best Variety Show for her TV special Ol' Red Hair is Back. The next year, she took her first film role as Mary Rose Foster in The Rose, about a self-destructive rock-singer loosely based on the life of Janis Joplin. Midler lost her Best Actress Oscar to Sally Field, but won two Golden Globes and scored her biggest hit ever with the title theme.
After a handful of less successful recording and film ventures, she signed as an actress with Disney and starred in the hit movies Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune and Down and Out in Beverly Hills. Midler became America's queen of comedy, and one of Disney's highest grossing and highest paid stars of the 1980's. In 1988, she starred in the acclaimed drama Beaches, whose soundtrack hit #2 on the strength of the multiple Grammy winning hit and adult contemporary standard "Wind Beneath My Wings."
Bette is touring and recording, happily married with one child, involved with an ongoing campaign to remove garbage from the streets and parks of New York City, and continues her successful show business career.