BetteBack February 26, 1977: Bette Wails Against Liz Smith Item

Colorado Springs Gazette
Liz Smith
February 26, 1977

THE MORE YOU ARE TALKED ABOUT, THE LESS POWERFUL YOU ARE said Disraeli, who was nobody’s fool. (The British Prime Minister married an older woman with money, for one thing.)

Bette Midler seems to definitely feel that the more one is talked about, the less something or other it makes them.

The Divine Miss M took violent exception to a recent perfectly innocent item here about her new romance. She called up
wailing that such publicity “only serves to ruin the relationship.”

Once the gifted Bette calmed down, we had an interesting philosophical discussion about fame and publicity and Privacy.

Said Bette: “I think my work is important! The cult of personality has exploded, and it keeps people from knowing real artists through the one reality–their work or their art. People should be interested in ideas rather than in a performer‘s private life. So I think people have their priorities all screwed up. I want to be known, evaluated, and
judged f r o m my work alone. What I do otherwise is nobody’s business!”

Naturally I don’t exactly agree with Bette, but I’m glad to present her point of view. As much as I admire Bette’s extraordinary work-and have since the first moment of her early fame at the Continental Baths-I think when you are a
colorful performer, you have to accept some public interest in your colorful life. When a performer goes up to accept an award at Harvard and flashes a bare backside at the boys and when a performer says unprintable things on a Home Box Office concert, it naturally gets them – and their giant talents – talked about.

And then people want to know more about their inside story and the way they live offstage. It’s a tiny bit ironic that
Bette who is becoming almost a fanatic about her right to privacy as a public person, will probably select for one of her first movies a story about that most pathetic, pointless and rabid interferer with private lives, the autograph hound.

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3 Responses to BetteBack February 26, 1977: Bette Wails Against Liz Smith Item

  1. Mister D says:

    That is nice that it’s bloomed into a nice, long friendship////

  2. Kevin Waring says:

    I love that 36 years later they are still friends.

  3. mark says:

    She’s brilliant, (both Bette and Liz actually!)