Bette Midler is a talented singer, actress, and songwriter. With a career spanning over five decades, she’s a legendary figure in Hollywood. From Halloween classics like Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 to Broadway shows and music hits, Bette Midler is a woman of many talents.
She has received many awards for her accomplishment throughout her career, and she keeps on working hard on new projects even as she is nearing retirement. One thing’s for sure: Bette Midler is an iconic performer, a stage and screen icon. Here are ten facts you probably didn’t know about Bette Midler.
10. She’s Named After Bette Davis
One of the lesser-known facts is that Bette Midler got her name after another Hollywood sensation, Bette Davis. This was the idea of her parents, who wanted their daughter to achieve the same level of success as her namesake Bette Davis. On top of that, Midler’s sisters, Judy and Susan, also got their names after Hollywood stars Judy Garland and Susan Hayward, respectively.
9. She Wrote a Children’s Book
Another fact you probably didn’t know about Bette Midler is that she wrote a children’s book called The Tale of the Mandarin Duck: A Modern Fable. It’s about a rare duck who appeared in New York’s Central Park in 2018. The book was inspired by real events that all come together to tell a powerful story to kids.
8. Better Midler’s a Woman of Many Talents
Midler has many talents. She’s an award-winning singer-songwriter, actress, comedian, dancer, and producer. Midler has been winning global crowds for decades as the legendary “Divine Miss M.” To this day, she remains one of the top talents in the industry, and her extraordinary portfolio will always be her legacy.
7. Her Daughter Followed in Her Footsteps
As life would have it, talents like Midler’s tends to run in the family. So it’s not strange that her daughter gets it from her mother. Sophie Von Haselberg, daughter of Bette Midler and artist Martin von Haselberg, is also a successful actress. Sophie had a role in 2015’s Irrational Man. The movie’s director, who was impressed by her performance, revealed, “I thought she was so good that I combined her part. There was another part too, and when I gave her the role, then I dropped the other character out of the movie and worked it so that she could have a double role, so could appear more frequently ’cause she was impressive.”
6. She’s a Huge Fan of Adele
It takes one to know one. Being a pure talent herself, Bette Midler knows how to appreciate other people’s raw talents too. So, it makes sense that she’s the ultimate Adele fan. She once talked about how she adores Adele in an interview. She said, “I think she’s a really good singer and a terrific songwriter. Her voice is such a beautiful voice.” But the appreciation is mutual. Adele also said that she’s loved Midler for years and that she is a huge fan.
5. Better Midler Has a Few Career Regrets
It seems that even the greatest icons have career regrets. And Midler is no exception. One of her biggest regrets is turning down the role in the film Sister Act which was reportedly written specifically for her. Another major regret of hers is having rejected the role of Annie Wilkes in the Oscar-winning movie Misery.
4. She Inspired Her Own Costume in Hocus Pocus
An interesting fact about Hocus Pocus is that the witches’ costumes were inspired by the actresses’ personalities. That’s why Midler didn’t want to wear anything black. Instead, she went for a colorful and vibrant look for her costume. She even influenced make-up choices. “I told my hair and makeup people that I wanted to look like the red queen in Alice and Wonderland… I designed that make-up myself, and I was very proud of it.”
3. She Was a Performer at a Popular Gay Bathhouse
When she was younger, Bette Midler worked as an entertainer at the famous Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in Manhattan. And She fit right in. The job paid well, which worked for her at the time, and she claims she felt right at home.
2. Bette Midler Received an Academy Award Nomination for Her First Movie Role
Midler’s first motion picture role turned out to be a major hit. The movie was called The Rose, and it was a rock ‘n’ roll tragedy following a troubled rock star modeled after the legendary Janis Joplin. Midler’s incredible performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress nomination, and the soundtrack album sold over two million copies across the country.
1. Bette Midler Strongly Advocated for the Hocus Pocus Sequel
Hocus Pocus is for sure one of Midler’s greatest roles. And as it turns out, she was the reason the sequel happened. According to several sources, Midler was the one who advocated for years to make Hocus Pocus 2 happen. Reportedly, she strongly wanted to return as the scheming witch Winifred and reprise her role. She once said, “I’d call the studio once a year to ask, ‘How about it?’ It wasn’t until about three years ago that they advocated for it, and movement started.”
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