The brassy and sassy Bette Midler is one of the few major stars to have successfully scaled the summits of both singing and acting. Her best-known screen roles combine the two sides of her career into high-voltage portrayals of strong women under emotional stress.
Midler began her solo singing career in the early ’70s at the Continental Baths, a famous gay bath house in New York where she would perform humorous and bawdy musical numbers for the clientele. (Midler would later capitalize on her bathhouse stint in the 1998 album “Bathhouse Betty.”)
Midler’s “The Divine Miss M” was released in 1972 and won the singer a Grammy Award for best newcomer. Her other albums during the ’70s included “Songs for the New Depression,” “Broken Blossom” and “Thighs and Whispers.”
Midler had her big movie breakout in 1979’s “The Rose,” receiving an Oscar nomination for her performance as a self-destructive rock singer inspired by Janis Joplin. Her follow-up was the appropriately titled comedy “Jinxed,” a flop that set her film career back a few years. But Midler rebounded with a string of mid-80s hits including “Ruthless People,” “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and “Beaches.”
In 1992, Midler scored her second Oscar nomination for “For the Boys” in which she played a USO singer whose career takes her from World War II to the Vietnam War. She followed up with a critically praised performance as Mama Rose in a television version of the musical “Gypsy.”
Midler’s other films include “The First Wives Club,” “The Stepford Wives” and “The Women.”
From 2008-10, she performed “The Showgirl Must Go On” at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Midler is married to Martin Von Haselberg and has a daughter, Sophie.
Points of interest
|1979||Best Actress||The Rose||Nomination|
|1991||Best Actress||For the Boys||Nomination|