As the Divine Miss M (Bette Midler’s byname) rang in her 74th birthday on December 1st, we thought there was no better way to honor the multitalented actress, singer, songwriter, comedian and film producer than by taking a look back at some of her greatest accomplishments and most memorable roles throughout her 50+ years in showbusiness.
After releasing her first album in 1972, The Divine Miss M, Midler received two prestigious awards: her first Grammy for best new artist in 1973 and a special Tony Award for “adding lustre to the Broadway season” in 1974.
The late 70’s and 80’s were equally kind to Midler as she appeared in numerous hit films including The Rose (1979), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Ruthless People (1986), Outrageous Fortune (1987), Big Business (1988).
While many of Midler’s early films in the 70’s and 80’s were considered a success, perhaps one of her most beloved roles came in 1988 when she played C.C. Bloom, an actress and singer reflecting on her friendship with heiress and lawyer Hillary Whitney (played Barbara Hershey) after tragedy strikes in the cult classic, Beaches. Not only has this film become a fan favorite but the theme song for the film, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, sung by Midler, became a smash hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and winning Midler a third Grammy, for record of the year.
Another notable performance that fans of the Divine Miss M go crazy for is her role as Winifred Sanderson in the 1993 classic Halloween film, Hocus Pocus, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary since being released. Midler starred alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy and all three women have emphatically agreed that they would be up for a sequel with Midler commenting on the rumors that a sequel is underway, “I heard that it’s going to be fabulous, I hope they hire me because I want to fly again in the worst way.”
Two other female focused casts that included Midler and resonated with fans were The First Wives Club (1996) and The Stepford Wives (2004), with the former focused on three divorced women seeking revenge on the husbands that left them and the latter a feminist satire that uncovers how the women of fictional town, Stepford, came to be so perfect (spoiler alert: they’re robots!).
More recently Midler has received critical acclaim and a Tony Award for her performance in the revival of Hello, Dolly in 2017, lent her voice to the animated version of The Addams Family (2019), and appeared in the new Netflix series, The Politician (2019– ). We can also look forward to seeing Midler in the upcoming film set to be released sometime in 2020, The Glorias, a film where Midler claims to have made a new BFF in Julianne Moore, “She’s been my best friend for nine months. I love her. We met this past spring while playing two icons in a new [Julie Taymor] film called, ‘The Glorias.’”
At 74 years old and with over 50 incredibly successful years in showbusiness, it would seem that the musical and film icon is not slowing down one bit – and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us!
Are you a fan of Bette Midler? What is your favorite Bette Midler film or album? Share your thoughts and comment below.