Name: Bette Midler, aka The Divine Miss M
Born: December 1, 1945
Occupation: Actress, comedian, singer-songwriter
What’s not to love about Bette Midler? Born in Hawaii in 1945, Bette grew up and spent most of her early life in and around Honolulu. Here parents were actually from NJ and moved to Hawaii before she was born. She eventually went to the University of Hawaii, where she studied drama, but dropped out after only 3 semesters. Her first job was playing an extra in the film Hawaii in 1966.
Midler used the money she saved from her Hawaii role to relocate to New York City. She started out with some Off-Off-Broadway roles and then moved to Broadway where she played in Fiddler on the Roof and then Salvation.
Her real claim to fame came when she developed her persona as The Divine Miss M. The Divine Miss M performed regularly at Continental Baths, at the time a very popular gay bathhouse. Midler has been quoted as saying that while the AIDS crisis became a huge issue later on, she hopes she helped to move the gay liberation movement forward during the 70’s.
It was during the 70’s that she also released her first album, The Divine Miss M. The album went platinum and earned her a Grammy in 1973 for “Best New Artist.” Midler continued recording albums and performing on Broadway, earning particular fame for songs like The Rose and Wind Beneath My Wings. She continued performing and recording throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s. Her most recent Broadway performance came in 2013 with her role as Sue Mengers in I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers. Midler is slated to play the role of Mae West in a HBO movie documentary to be released in the near future.
Proving love can last, Bette Midler and her husband Martin von Haselberg have been married since 1984 and have one daughter. Bette Midler’s net worth is estimated to be $200 million.
How much is $200 million?
It’s enough to continue working on some of her charity projects, which are really cool. It would be nice to see Bette continue to support LGBT organizations. In 1995, Bette founded an organization known as the New York Restoration Project, which is a non-profit dedicated to helping preserve some of the green spaces in New York City, especially in lower-income areas.