Happy 67th birthday to the Divine Miss M!
This two-time Golden Globe Award winner was born in Honolulu, Hawaii where she took an interest in acting and singing at a young age. After landing a few small roles in the television series "The Edge Of Night" and studying drama at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, she made her first big-screen debut as an uncredited extra in the 1966 movie "Hawaii." The money she made as an extra provided her with the finances to move to New York City and start her professional career.
Though Midler was cast in a Broadway production of “Fidler On The Roof” soon after moving to New York, it was her gig performing at The Continental Baths, a well-known gay bathhouse, that allowed her to hone her onstage persona. She wasn’t the only celebrity who got her start there either: She was often accompanied by a then little-known pianist named Barry Manilow.
Her bathhouse fame helped her land a record deal, which put her on the path to becoming the singing/acting/comedienne power house as we know today. Her first album "The Divine Miss M" earned her the 1973 Best New Artist Grammy, and by the end of the decade she would record two more albums, return to Broadway and star in three movies, including 1979’s “The Rose.”
Her star profile rose in the 80s and 90s as she starred in blockbuster hits such as “Beaches” in 1998, “For The Boys” in 1991 and “First Wives Club” in 1996. She starred in her own television sitcom, “Bette" (2000-2001), which earned her a slew of awards, such as a Golden Globe. These days, Midler has been working on her upcoming film “Parental Guidance,” where she and Billy Crystal play babysitting grandparents.
Midler has had great success in her personal life as well. She has been with her husband Martin von Haselberg since 1984, and together they have raised a daughter. Midler is also a committed philanthropist and ardently supports non-profits like the New York City Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.
Now that Midler is 67, is it likely that she will slow down her monster career? It doesn’t seem so. In 2008, she told The Daily Mail:
"It's ... a tradition to do good work up until the day you decide it's time to leave. Picasso worked until the day he died. Why aren't popular artists the same? Why are they so skimpy with their gifts?"
We're glad Midler hasn't kept her gifts to herself. Happy birthday!