(1945 - )
Bette Davis Midler is a Jewish American singer-songwriter, actress, comedian, film producer and entrepreneur.
Also known as The Divine Miss M, Midler was born
on December 1, 1945 in Honolulu, Hawaii. She majored in drama at the
University of Hawaii at Manoa. She made her first film appearance, in
1966, as an extra in the film Hawaii. Following graduation, Midler
moved to New York City to pursue acting on stage. She obtained her first
onstage role in Miss Nefertiti Regrets. From 1966 to 1969 she
played the role of Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway.
In 1970, Midler began singing at the Turkish Continental
Baths, a gay bathhouse in New York; while performing there, Midler became
close to her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow. In 1973, Manilow produced
Midler’s first major album, The Divine Miss M. The following
year, she released a second album, "Bette Midler." In 1974,
she received a Special Tony Award for her contribution to Broadway for
the “Claims on the Half Shell Review” at the Palace Theatre.
She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, for her
title role of Janis Joplin, in The Rose.
By the 1980s, Midler had established herself as a successful
comedic actress. In 1986, she was cast by Paul Mazursky in Down and
Out in Beverly Hills. Then in 1988, she starred in the film drama Beaches. That same year, she contributed her voice to the animated
character Georgette, in Disney’s Oliver & Company.
Midler has won four Grammy Awards including the 1973
Best New Artist and the 1989 prestigious Record of the Year for the
#1 hit “Wind Beneath My Wings.” She also won a Grammy for
her rendition of the 1990 “From a Distance.” On June 22,
2004, when the American Film Institute announced “The 100 years
of the Greatest Songs,” two of her hits were selected: “Wind
Beneath My Wings” (#44) and “The Rose” (#83).
In 1992, Midler won an Emmy Award for her performance
on the final episode of The Tonight Show. From 2000-2001, she
had her own short-lived CBS sitcom Bette.
Midler has won a total of four Grammy Awards, four
Golden Globes, one Tony Award, and three Emmy Awards. Furthermore, she
has sold over 15 million albums worldwide.
In 1995, Midler founded the New York Restoration Project,
an organization dedicated to revitalizing neglected neighborhood parks
in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of New York City.
Sources: "Bette Midler (1945 - )." American
Jewish Historical Society, American
Jewish Desk Reference, (NY: Random
House, 1999). pg. 471, Wikipedia, Internet Movie Database