I discovered Bette Midler when I was in high school. I thought her music was terrific.
She’s always been her own person. Back then, she wore outrageous costumes when she performed. Also, some of her performances were a little naughty and believe me, for a girl raised in a conservative home–it was exciting! Here is some more information about her.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several Off-Off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following.
Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist. Throughout her career, many of her songs became hits on the record charts, including her renditions of “The Rose“, “Wind Beneath My Wings“, “Do You Want to Dance“, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy“, and “From a Distance“. In 2008, she signed a contract with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to perform a show titled Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On, which ended in 2010.
Midler made her motion picture debut in 1979 with The Rose, which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress, as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She has since starred in a number of hit films, which include: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune, Big Business, Beaches, The First Wives Club, Hocus Pocus, The Stepford Wives, and Parental Guidance. She also starred in For the Boys and Gypsy, and won two additional Golden Globe Awards for these films.
In a career spanning almost half a century, Midler has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and two Tony Awards. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide, and has received four Gold, three Platinum, and three Multiplatinum albums by RIAA.
Recently, I read she visited the New York Public Library when she was researching Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly! I liked her even more. Here’s an interview with Bette concerning the library and its importance to all of us.