BETTE MIDLER, American song stylist and actress, born; During her career, she has won four Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award, and has been nominated for two Academy Awards.
In 1970, Midler began singing the Continental Baths, a gay bathhouse in the city, where she became close to her piano accompanist, Barry Manilow, who produced her first major album, The Divine Miss M in 1973. To quote the Divine Miss M: “Despite the way things turned out [with the AIDS crisis], I’m still proud of those days [singing at gay bathhouses]. I feel like I was at the forefront of the gay liberation movement, and I hope I did my part to help it move forward. So, I kind of wear the label of ‘Bathhouse Betty’ with pride.”
Midler is currently dazzling Broadway in a revival of Hello Dolly!, which began preview performances on March 15, 2017 and premiered at the Shubert Theatre on April 20, 2017. It is her first leading role in a Broadway musical. Needless to say, she’s killing it: It comes as no surprise that on June 11, Midler received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the title role in Hello, Dolly!