A self-confessed eternal showgirl, Bette Midler—or The Divine Miss M, as she is reverentially known—is the quintessential entertainer, uniting a love for singing, acting, comedy, and sequins. During her career, she has won four Grammys, an Emmy, and a Tony; been nominated for two Academy Awards; sold more than 14 million albums; and received 25 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum certifications for her albums and singles, including her most recent gold album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook. In 2006, she released her first holiday album, Cool Yule, featuring a duet of "Winter Wonderland/Let It Snow” with Johnny Mathis. Read More >
Brimming with personality and exuding glamour, Midler recounts her performing heyday to audiences around the nation, from singing at the Continental Baths accompanied by Barry Manilow on the piano to recording one the 20th century’s greatest hits, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
A champion of New York’s green spaces, Midler also discusses her work with the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit organization that revitalizes neglected parks in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods of the city, which she founded in 1995.
In her new book, A View from a Broad, originally published in 1980, Midler relives her career through memories of endless rehearsals, her fear of flying and crazy schedules, with the trademark razor-blade wit that her fans have grown to know, love and expect. Whether discussing her career or her environmental activism, The Divine Miss M unfailingly delights audiences and transports them to a distant time and place where vaudeville reigned high and showgirls ruled the stage.
After studying drama at the University of Hawaii, Midler was hired as an extra on the film adaptation of James Michener’s novel Hawaii. She then moved to New York City where she made her stage debut in “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1966. She developed a popular nightclub act as a chanteuse and purveyor of outrageously bawdy comic routines and in 1970, she began singing at the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in the city, with Barry Manilow, who produced her first major album, The Divine Miss M.
The Divine Miss M won a Grammy award for Best New Artist and that same year, Midler received a Tony Award for her record-breaking Broadway show. Followed by the self-titled Bette Midler, she eventually went on to record many top selling records and songs. When the American Film Institute announced "The 100 years of the Greatest Songs" in 2004, two of her hits—“Wind Beneath My Wings" (#44) and "The Rose" (#83)—were on the list.
Branching out into acting, her dramatic performance in The Rose earned her an Oscar nomination and she has had considerable commercial success in a string of films including Beaches, Outrageous Fortune, Big Business, Scenes from a Mall, For the Boys, Hocus Pocus, The First Wives Club, and Get Bruce.
Midler has guest-starred on The Simpsons in the episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled” and has also appeared on Seinfeld, in the episode "The Understudy" which was the season finale of that show's sixth season.
In 1999, Midler led a coalition of greening organizations to save 114 community gardens which the city planned to auction for commercial development. Her nonprofit the New York Restoration Project took ownership of 60 of the most neglected plots.
Today, Midler and her organization work with local volunteers and community groups to ensure that these gardens are kept safe, clean, and vibrant. In 2003, Midler opened Swindler Cove Park, a new five-acre public park on the Harlem River shore featuring specially designed educational facilities and the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, the first community rowing facility to be built on the Harlem River in more than 100 years. The organization offers free in-school and after-school environmental education programming to students from high-poverty Title I schools. The NYRP has been around for almost 11 years now, making New York City a better and cleaner place. Read Less ^