Quips And Quotes 7

Quips And Quotes 7

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Experience The Divine: “I know you all want the rush of singing along…DON”T” (Observer-Reporter - Jul 14, 1994)

On The Harlettes: “These girls are FILTHY! Simply filthy. They come here directly from Disney land where they were a ride.” (1973)

Bette Midler On Revenge: “Oh, revenge is very healthy. I like it. If I didn’t believe that what goes around comes around, I would have to kill myself. It is the cornerstone of my life.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Her Family: “We both very much wanted to get married,” she says. “My career has had its ups and downs but nothing compares to my family. They are my top priority and for the first time in my life I’m completely happy.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Martin: “My husband’s a great guy. He has an artist’s soul, ability and drive. He’s working on his first feature film, and yes, I could have a part in it but I don’t know if I want it. He accepts my help when I give it to him, but he doesn’t expect it.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Sophie: “She’s a great actress. She has a great ear. She can do all the personalities I’ve done on stage. Any of them. Probably better than me.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Turning 50: “Inside I feel much younger,” says Bette. “Someone once said to me that you reach an age and then you never get any older inside, so I guess I’m about 22. Although I don’t feel any older I’d like to think I’m getting wiser in certain respects.”  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Anger:  “I used to get really upset about certain things but I’m learning to let go. Life really is too short.  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On OutLook: “I used to be interested only in the showbiz things that made my own world go round. But I would have to say that having Sophie has calmed me down. I’ve learned that I can turn my face to another arena.” (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

Bette Midler On Being Lucky In Hollywood:  “It didn’t start out as that at all, In fact, Goldie, Diane and I have been pretty lucky. There are a lot of women our age who have started out on the same path and haven’t had the good luck we have. But what can you do?  I’m too old to have an axe to grind any more. I can’t go tilting at windmills for the rest of my life and all the yelling and venom in the world isn’t going to help anyone. As far as Hollywood is concerned, the bottom line is the dollar. That’s the only thing that’s going to change them. I would love to get my revenge on the system and believe me if I had a chance I would. But you can’t spend your entire life in that mould. But you know what?” she says, her smile breaking into the biggest grin you’ve ever seen. “A hit is always the best revenge!”  (Sunday Mirror, 1996)

“I know you’re thinking to yourself, ‘How old is this woman, anyway? Well, honey, I look a good deal better than Creedence Clearwater Revival. A good deal better.” (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

 On That Old Feeling: “This movie fulfills my desire to do something broad. I like characters who are way over the top. She doesn’t hold anything back, And it’s nice to be back in high heels, too. This woman wears some nice threads. It’s the type movie I think is right for me to do right now.” (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On First Wive’s Club: Yes. Yes. I will admit it. It was a big hit. I’ve had the depths and then I’ve had ‘First Wive’s Club. I knew it was a natural. There are a lot of angry women around and they were rooting for us. I’ve been saying for years, “What are we girls, but the waitresses for the banquet of life?’ I knew this picture couldn’t flop. And the three girls got along really well. Diane is so low-key. I mean she hasn’t even SEEN movies that she was in. I’d look at the videos, and I’d say, ‘It’s OK girls. But let’s do it again.'” (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

 On That Old Feeling: “I’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed, after all, and making movies is nothing to touring. I mean, this woman before you has been frazzled, at times. But who;s complaining? Work is work, but making this movie with Carl Reiner is like bustin’ free a little. Carl goes for the big laughs.” (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On Life And Aging: “The teenagers think that life is over when a person hits 40, much less 50. The little darlings. Little do they know what’s going on. In Italy, women put on a black dress when they’re 40. In the 19th century, they locked the door on women when they got married. It was in the 20’s that everyone took of their corsets and became flappers. The idea that it all ends at 40 is a myth. In all ages, there has been sex and passion for people in their 50’s. I kind of suspect that.”  (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On ‘Over The Top’ Diva Roles: “I mean we have Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep and a lot of others too numerous to mention. They’re all getting good roles. They’re stars. The starlets can wait awhile.”  (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On That Old Feeling: “People want to make fun of people with money. Lily, the woman I play, is a movie star. These people are pretty rich. It’s fun to find the foibles of rich people. They are among the more ridiculous because they have things but still are just like everyone else.” (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On The Paparazzi: “The paparazzi haven’t been too much of a problem. You expect them at premieres and things. That’s your job. Let’s face it. But the other day my husband and I were having lunch at an outside cafe in New York. I told him ‘That guy over there is photographing us.’ He said “Oh, you think everyone is photographing you.’ Yeah sure. The photograph came out the next day, and I didn’t look so hot.”  (Herald-Journal - Apr 8, 1997)

On Trashiness In Show Biz: “Hey, wait a minute. I should talk, right? Who am I to throw stones.? I practically invented trashiness. You get to the point where you say, ‘The line has been definitely crossed now’. But I never meant to cross that line” (Toledo Blade - Oct 8, 1999)

On Entertaining The Masses: “I’ve tried to keep it cheerful and upbeat, and not so dark, The trend over the last 9 or 10 years has been toward so much darkness. I’m talking about a darkness that used to be in a tiny segment of the world or city, but now, everything is so dark and ironic and cynical. There doesn’t seem to be much joyousness. I’ve always felt that basically what I do convey is a certain amount of joy” (Toledo Blade - Oct 8, 1999)

On Getting Rid Of Certain Songs And Characters In Her Act: “I was looking at a review of John Prine the other day and he’s singing the same songs that he sang when I first met him many years ago. I guess that’s basically what a career is…you have your great songs and your great characters and you do them.  But for me, at least, I’d like to say goodnight to a couple of them. It’s the millennium, you know, the perfect time to let them have their last gasp of glory in the sun.”  (Toledo Blade - Oct 8, 1999)

On Her Ticket Prices: “I haven’t had many complaints about my ticket prices. We’re not in the Rolling Stones range. I think the people who want to see the show will find their way there.”  (Toledo Blade - Oct 8, 1999)

At The 1998 Ethel Merman Benefit On Broadway: “I SURE am glad that I am here for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis instead of down in Washington at the straight men’s health crisis…mental health, that is.” (Toledo Blade - Feb 4, 1998)

 Bette Midler On Her Audience’s Diverse Taste In Music: “My audience has been great about that. They like music. They don’t look down their nose at people because they don’t make a certain kind of music. They have respect for musicians and they have respect for arrangers.” (Lakeland Ledger - Oct 4, 1998)

On Radio Demographics: “I think for the most part radio stinks. All this demographic stuff and all this marketing stuff where they will play only a certain kind of music and you can’t be older than 25 to get on the station is nuts. I think it makes for a very ignorant audience.” (Lakeland Ledger - Oct 4, 1998)

On Rapping: “Well, now, wait a second. I can rap as well as Puff Daddy. He can hardly rap. Now that girl, L’il Kim, she can rap. She speed raps. I couldn’t do that. Well, maybe I could if I had enough practice.” (Lakeland Ledger - Oct 4, 1998)

On Isn’t She Great: “It’s very strange, but it’s pretty funny. I play Jaqueline Susann in a long brown wig, but don’t tell anyone it’s a wig! They’ll never know.” (Lakeland Ledger - Oct 4, 1998)

On Kiss My Brass: “My guts told me that it was time to do a great big show, again, before I say, ‘Well, I’m going to try something else'” (Toledo Blade - Jan 22, 2004)

On Kiss My Brass: “I’m starting to think, ‘Enough already with the fishtails.’ At this stage of the game it’s a lot of work and too much hopping. Even getting into the tail is a major struggle.” (Toledo Blade - Jan 22, 2004)

On Kiss My Brass: “I always want a beautiful stage show. When I fell in love with the theater, I really fell in love with colored lights and glittery costumes. So I’m always trying to recreate that experience for the audience who come to my show, that sort of openmouthed wonder, the thing that sort of turns them into children again. I love magical things to happen.” (Toledo Blade - Jan 22, 2004)

On Women Making More Than Their Husbands: “There may be a stand taken against women who are more successful than their men, but I don’t think that’s so important ultimately. I don’t feel it in my own life, because my husband is at home, and he’s OK with it. We have a pretty great life. There must be tensions because people talk about it, but I don’t feel it myself.” (The Hour - Jun 10, 2004)

On Conformity And Self Definition: “When it comes to fitting in, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You have to keep your eye on the prize, seize your opportunities, and get the hell out when the party’s over.” (The Hour - Jun 10, 2004)

Bette Midler On Art Or Bust: “The show is kind of baby steps in the direction of art. I try not to be too pretentious. I’m not a scholar. I comment on it. I’ve always commented on all of my own actions. I’ve always wanted to burst my own balloons before anybody else does.”  (Beaver County Times - Aug 29, 1984)

On Reading Victorian Novels: “I must say they certainly were a sleazy lot. But they certainly could write. The women were terrific; the Brontes just slay me.” (Beaver County Times - Aug 29, 1984)

On Adopting New Personas: “Even today, I love slipping into a new persona as much as I love slipping into a new Halston one of a kind. It’s much cheaper, and far more dramatic.” (Beaver County Times - May 4, 1980)

On Regretting Her Choice To Become A Film Star: “When I watched my HBO special, Diva Las Vegas, I realized I’ve been a fool. I realized that I should have been doing my own stage work all these years. I never should have bought into all this movie business. I realized that I have been doing work that didn’t require me to use any of my skills. The movie business never knew what to do with me. And I couldn’t help them because they didn’t want my help.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Regretting Her Choice To Become A Film Star: “When I tried to put my own spin on ‘Jinxed’ I was completely trashed as someone who didn’t know what she was doing.  That was a terrible lesson to learn. I totally disintegrated. I didn’t want to get involved anymore. I just wanted to do the job, get paid, and then go home.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Regretting Her Choice To Become A Film Star: “I really screwed myself after Jinxed. I did it to myself. It must have been something deep inside me that wanted this so badly (a film career) that I was willing to put up with all that. I guess I wanted it so badly that I was willing to tow the party line. I was constantly filled with this terror and fear. I feared that they would take it all away if I spoke up.”  (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Her End Goal Starting Out: “When Aaron Russo and I made up our grand plan movies seemed the natural place to go next. Movies were the top of the line; it was as far as someone could go. But I was naive. The kind of movies I wanted to make, the kind of movies I loved as a child, were no longer being made. Claudette Colbert was long gone and she wasn’t coming back.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Aaron Russo: “Looking back I should have never left Aaron Russo because he was the only person who knew me well enough to know how to use me in movies. He wanted to use everything I had in the movies. He was the only one who ever understood that. But he was so crazy. I had to leave. If I had stayed, it would have been too hard a life.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On First Wive’s Club: “It was completely unexpected (the success of the movie). I never had a feeling while making it that it was going to be a hit. Nobody expected it to go through the roof. Now I’m the poster girl for divorce.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On The Success Of First Wive’s Club: “As for what that success meant to me, it was very nice.  But it meant nothing in the long run. The good scripts still don’t come, and I still have a hard time finding a director.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Diva Las Vegas: “I was watching that show and saying to myself, ‘Hey, that girl’s good. She hasn’t lost it. It’s all still there.’ It was then I realized how much I gave up when I went into the movies. I suppose it’s because I got cut down so early that it took me all of these years to get back on my feet.”  (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Hollywood And Movies: “My take on the world is so peculiar and so odd that Hollywood writers and directors didn’t know what to do with me. And there were too many of them to bang all their heads together to try and change them” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Her Stage Work As Opposed To Movies: “But on stage, I don’t have to bang heads together (like directors in Hollywood). Up there on stage it’s a complete expression of who I am. Every nut and bolt on the stage is mine. Every costume, every hairdo, every song, every note of music is mine. It is an exact expression of what I want.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Motherhood: “Every mother wants to be remembered and I want my daughter to remember me. I read to her and play with her every chance I get. She doesn’t like me to sing to her, but she loves it when I do pratfalls. She adores the ‘Hocus Pocus’ character, and I do it for her at least once a day. She is such a source of joy to me. Having a child is the best thing I ever did” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

Bette On The Illusion People Have Of Her: “People are always surprised or disappointed to find out I’m not that person (outrageous, brassy, trashy). But I could never be that crazy. I wasn’t brought up that way. No one could survive a life like that. Besides, I couldn’t handle the hangovers.”  (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

Bette Midler On The Real Bette Midler: “No, this is the real me. I am a very shy person. Despite what you’ve heard, I do not like to impose myself on people. I don’t like to elbow my way through a crowd. I would rather stand back than fight. I am a timid soul, and that’s probably part of my problem in Hollywood.” (Beaver County Times - Apr 9, 1997)

On Her Career And Retiring: “How long is a career supposed to be? I’ve been at it for 35 years. When do you get to retire? I had promised myself that I would retire at 55. I wouldn’t mind. I have all these other interests. I love nature. I love public policy, I love fashion. I love all this other crap.”  (Beaver County Times - Dec 2, 1998)

On Putting Together Kiss My Brass: “The shows are fun, but the rehearsal is very, very tough. There are a lot ot elements, a lot of personalities. Only a couple of people have toured with me before. There’s been a big turnover.  It’s a struggle, and you have to get used to new people. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out. Nothing personal. Just business. ” (Bartow Press - Jan 7, 2004)

To The Audience At Divine Madness Filming While Sick: “I’m sorry, I have bronchitis. I feel very foggy. No, I’m not taking pills. Please be real humanitarian about this.” (Beaver County Times - Feb 24, 1980)

Divine Madness: “Welcome to another foul evening with the Divine Miss M!” (Beaver County Times - Feb 24, 1980)

Bette Midler On Being Nominated Against Rosemary Clooney For Her Tribute Album: “I’m mortified. I’d really like Rosemary to win that Grammy. I can’t believe I’m up against her. I’m going to look into withdrawing. I just think it’s bad form if I won. You know, she never won a Grammy.” (Rome News-Tribune - Jan 20, 2004)

Bette Midler On Playing Vegas: “They give you a lot of toys to play with. They give you the lifts and you can fly people in, you can fly them out. There’s all this wing space and hydraulics and stuff, and the dressing rooms are staggering.” (Eugene Register-Guard - May 4, 2007)

Lily Tomlin On Whether There Were Feuds With Bette On The Set Of Big Business: “I’m very fond of Bette and I felt that we were very cute together. I thought that if we could be to the ultimate what we both are, it could be super.” (The Victoria Advocate - Jun 13, 1988)

Bette Midler On Her Songwriting: “My songs always come out off the wall. They’re rarely straight ahead love songs. They’re mostly whimsical, child-like songs. I guess that’s what my view of the world is. Innocent with a touch of dementia. I’d like to grow up one of these days. I’d like to kick off this childhood. I want to be able to deal with the world.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Her Self: “I like being childlike. I don’t like being childish. One eventually has to take responsibility for one’s life, one’s career. That’s what I’m trying to do.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Becoming Her Own Manager After Aaron Russo: “It’s a lot of work, but I’m a workaholic. It’s great not having a manager. It might not always be. For the time being it is wonderful. When it isn’t pleasant any more I’ll find someone else.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Thighs And Whispers: “It is pretty jolly. It’s got a good deal of disco music on it. The form lends itself to a lot of theatricality and big arrangements and Arif Mardin is a brilliant arranger. There are songs on it that caught my ear a few months ago, some ballads, mostly rhythm and blues ballads. There’s James Taylor’s song, ‘Millworker.’  There’s the 1930’s song, ‘Big Noise From Winnetka.’ Arif had Bob Haggart, who was one of the writers of that song, play bass. It turned out great.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On ‘Big Noise From Winnetka:’ “I used to do songs of that period a lot. They kept shoving me into that, and I didn’t want to go. Now I’m back to loving songs of the period again. I was getting stuck in this nostalgia act business, and I didn’t want to do that. I’m well out of worrying about it now. I figure as long as it’s good music, who cares?” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Thighs And Whispers: “I think this is a good album; the best I’ve made in a long time. I’m happy with the way it sounds and the way I sound. I love the charts. It’s very light-hearted and giddy. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with a record.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Songs For The New Depression: “When I got to the third album, I was in a pretty bad way. I was fairly depressed about the whole thing. I went off in a different direction. I think I’m back on the right track now.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Songs For The New Depression: “Actually that album had some wonderful songs on it. It was a gentle, whimsical, rather than camp album. I didn’t want to be screaming and high camp on it, so I calmed myself down a bit on the third album. I thought everybody would understand what I was doing. Unfortunately, I was terrifically mistaken.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Her Camp Image: “I’ve kind of made peace with my camp image. It bothered me for a long time. I didn’t want to get cornered in a market called camp, so I fought against it.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Her Camp Image: “But now I see that camp has a certain value to it. There are camp things on “Thighs And Whispers.” Camp doesn’t embarrass me now. If people like it, well, we should all enjoy ourselves.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On The Rose: “Originally it was a fictionalized biography of Janis Joplin and I wasn’t interested. I didn’t think I could impersonate Janis, and I didn’t think there was anybody else around who could. Still, I liked the idea of singing rock n’ roll and the idea of the range of emotions the character was allowed to play. They kept redrafting the script and it got less and less Janis and I thought it got better. My manager at the time said I should do it.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Making More Movies After The Rose: “I think I’m going to start making a lot of albums and never make another film.” (The Free Lance-Star - Sep 22, 1979)

On Endorsing Political Candidates: “When stars take political stands, it’s really dumb. They’re so cavalier,  Most of them really don’t have both sides of the stories. Causes are not the same as politics. I would do…I have done…benefits for causes.” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Dec 5, 1979)

On Barbra Streisand: “I think she’s prettier than me. Have you seen her in person? She is a very beautiful person, beautiful skin and hair. I’d never dump on Barbra Streisand. Never!” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Dec 5, 1979)

On Her Hopes For An Oscar Nom For The Rose: “I can’t even think of it. Besides, you know who I think is going to win? Miss Piggy!” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Dec 5, 1979)

On Being A Teenager: “I knew I was going to act. I wasn’t good at anything else in school. But I was good when I stood up and spoke in front of people. I did speech festivals, drama duets, and storytelling. ” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

On Being A Teenager: “I was a washout at math, history, and geography. I still don’t know what the Philippines are. I’m sorry I didn’t let a little more into my life than the theater because a wide range of knowledge really helps you in parts. (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

On Jinxed: “I was not the prima donna that I was made out to be, that I was responsible and that I could do the work. I think people finally know what to offer me, what will suit me. These last three pictures have shown that comedy is my strongest suit. If you want broad, get Bette.” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

On Toning Down Her Broadness: “It’s hard for me. I’ve been a mugger all my life. You’ve got to reach that last row. “ (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

On Her Swearing And Motherhood: “I hope to do less swearing in the future. I don’t think it’s good to raise children in that atmosphere. Who wants a foul-mouthed kid? I wasn’t foul-mouthed until I was 24 years old. But when I was a kid we got our mouths washed out with soap if you said’darn.’ Or ‘drop dead,’  that was the worst thing you could say about anybody. Then you’d really get kicked.” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

On How Motherhood Has Changed Her: “I’m busier and much more tired. The time I had to myself before I had the baby I no longer have. I’m much more harassed. I do have help. Because if I didn’t I would be quite sick. I never knew that it was such hard work. My mother raised four children and when I think of what she went through it boggles my mind.” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

How She Hid Her Pregnancy On Outrageous Fortune: “My trusty old, designed Bob Mackie pants, that I’ve been wearing since the beginning of time, literally, and an oversize cable-knit sweater that was eminently expandable.” (The Milwaukee Sentinel - Jan 23, 1987)

Shelley Long On Bette Midler; “It could be fine. It so depends on the script. It really does, on the concept, on the execution of the script. We were really flying by the seat of our pants a lot on that script. It was a wonderful story and wonderful characters but there was a lot of work that needed to happen a long the way. We all came together for the first one which I’m grateful for. But whether or not it will happen again, I don’t know.” (Spokane Chronicle - Nov 26, 1987)

Bette Midler In Concert: “I remember when the skies were clean and sex was dirty. Now the skies are dirty and sex is clean. You have to wear gloves and a Hefty bag.” (Experience The Divine, 1994)

Bette Midler On Her Best Asset: “My smile is definitely my best feature.” (Plain Dealer,  February 9, 1977)

Bette Midler On politics: “I’m what you might call a Conservative Liberal. I like peace, and don’t like violence. I like to be left alone and not called names. I sympathize with all sorts of radical things, but when it comes to violence, you know, picking up the brick and throwing it, I call a taxi” (Gay Today, 1970)

Bette Midler On gay liberation: “I dig it. Open your mouths, for Christ’s sake. Don’t you get tired of being stepped on?” (Gay Today, 1970)

Bette Midler On bigotry:  “I don’t like bigotry in any form. I don’t like gay men who are violently anti-straight, and I don’t like straight people who are violently anti-gay. Any kind of prejudice frightens me.” (Gay Today, 1970)

Bette Midler On Escape: “Escape is necessary sometimes, but always escape heavy. Don’t escape into bullshit, get stoned and listen to Santana. Come to the baths—the whole world’s a bath.”  (Gay Today, 1970)

Bette Midler On Gay Audiences: ”As an audience, gay men are spectacular. They’re very warm, very responsive. They are the most marvelous audience I’ve ever had because they’re not ashamed to show how they feel about you. They applaud like hell, they scream and carry on, stamp their feet and laugh. I love it. It’s going to be very hard for me when I get back before a straight audience.  (Gay Today, 1970)