1. The youngest of three
Bette Midler was the youngest of three children born to Fred and Ruth Midler, both of whom were avid movie fans. Her full name was Bette Davis Midler, a tribute to the iconic Hollywood actress Bette Davis, and her two sisters were named after other famous actresses. Growing up in a family of movie-lovers, Bette was exposed to the world of show business from a young age, and it's no surprise that she went on to become one of the most beloved entertainers of all time.
2. Bette Midler's Early Exposure to the Arts Shaped Her Career
Growing up in an impoverished family in Hawaii, Bette Midler and her sister were determined to learn about the arts. With limited resources, they turned to the Honolulu Public Library, where they read books about ballet, theater, and opera. This early exposure to the arts would later shape Bette's career as a singer, actress, and comedian.
3. Bette Midler's mother named her daughter after Bette Davis
Bette Midler's mother was a huge fan of the Hollywood actress Bette Davis, so much so that she named her daughter after her. However, Bette's mother was unaware that the name was actually two syllables, and she always pronounced it as "Bet". This mistake was something that Bette found amusing throughout her life, and she often joked about it in interviews.
4. Bette Midler's Rise: Experimental Theater & Gay Bathhouses
Bette Midler's career skyrocketed when she began performing in experimental theater in the male gay bathhouse scene. Her performances were met with critical acclaim and earned her a devoted gay following that has remained loyal throughout her entire career. This role was a major turning point for Midler, and it helped to launch her into stardom.
5. The 1972 Breakthrough Album
Bette Midler's career skyrocketed in 1972 when she released her debut album, "The Divine Miss M", produced by Barry Manilow. The album was a huge success, earning her a Grammy and launching her into stardom. It featured some of her most iconic songs, such as "Do You Want to Dance?", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and "Friends". To this day, it remains one of her most beloved albums and is a testament to her immense talent.
6. 1979's Golden Globe-Winning Mary Rose Foster
In 1979, Bette Midler made her mark in the film industry with her role as Mary Rose Foster in "The Rose". Her performance was so impressive that it earned her two Golden Globe Awards, an Academy Award nomination, and a Grammy for the movie's soundtrack. Midler's success in "The Rose" was a major milestone in her career and established her as a formidable force in the entertainment industry.
7. Iconic Singer
In just a few short years, Bette Midler skyrocketed to fame as a singing sensation, selling over 14 million albums by 2007. Her success was unprecedented, with her albums reaching the top of the charts and her concerts selling out in record time. Her unique style and powerful voice have made her a beloved icon in the music industry, and her influence continues to be felt today.
8. Bette Midler's 1988 movie becomes an international sensation
In 1988, Bette Midler starred alongside Barbara Hershey in the movie that would become an international sensation. The theme song, "Wind Beneath My Wings," quickly became a hit and was even nominated for "Song of the Year" in 1989. The song was so popular that it was even covered by other artists, including Celine Dion, Gary Morris, and even Willie Nelson. Bette Midler's performance in the movie and her rendition of the song made it an instant classic.
9. Bette Midler honored by American Film Institute
In 2004, Bette Midler was honored by The American Film Institute for two of her most iconic songs, "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "The Rose", which were both chosen for the compilation of "The 100 Years of the Greatest Songs". This compilation was a celebration of the most influential and memorable songs in the history of American cinema, and Bette Midler's songs were selected to represent the best of the best. It was a testament to her immense talent and lasting impact on the music industry.
10. 65 and Still Performing
At the age of 65, Bette Midler proved that age is just a number with her two-year-long musical tour, “The Showgirl Must Go On”, which concluded in 2010 at the iconic Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Throughout her career, Bette has consistently demonstrated her remarkable ability to defy age and continue to perform her beloved musicals to audiences around the world.
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