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Books On Bette (The Bios)

The Divine Miss M! Bette Midler
Rob Baker (1975)

From The Inside Jacket:



The experts said Bette Midler couldn't make it. Her material was too wild and weird. Her fans were too "special."

Bette Midler could not keep on being herself and still be the superstar that every ounce of her tremendous drive and volcanic talent needed.

Bette Midler set out to prove all the experts wrong . . . no matter how many sacred show biz cows she had to slay. . . no matter how high a personal price she might have to pay. . .

BETTE MIDLER: a little lady with a great big heart-and even more nerve

The Divine Bette Midler
James Spada (1984)

You want a pineapple-canning-factory-to-Carnegie Hall life story? Here's your best Bette.

It's al ready been rendered outdated by Midler's recent marriage to commodities broker Martin von Hasel berg, but the book offers vivid glimpses of Bette as she sings, writes, acts, flashes for the occasional audience and minces everything but her words ("There's nothing worse than an ill-tempered little snake with a brain," she once said of a critic).

Spada, a veteran celeb biographer, interviewed Midler's friends and her co-workers for this account of the rises and falls of the sassy diva in spring-o-lator pumps. And there are pictures of Midler in and on various stages: on tour in diapers, signing books in a nice-girl outfit, curled up at home-where she swears she's a prude.

Given the eccentricities of Midler's own books-A View From A Broad and The Saga of Baby Divine-this not-at-all-bad paperback can stand as defini tive until the real thing comes along. (Collier, $11.95) -Margot Dougherty, People

Bette Midler: Outrageously Divine
Mark Bego (1987)

From the Back Cover:

Now the rocky true story that tells everything about the moxie-packed "trash-with-flash" redhead - her love life, awesome talent, irrepressible energies, award - winning performances, monumental successes, and wrenching heartbreaks. It's all here ina fascinating book that brings to life the dynamic Bette who wouldn't let anything stand between her and her dreams.

From Newsweek:

"Burleseue? Parody? Camp? Yes - But only on the surface. For whether in song or patter, what galvanized the audience's tumultuous cheers and laughter was Bette's ability to reveal an unmistakable vulnerability; a heart - stopping innocence that has been the not-so-secret weapon of every great entertainer from Fanny Brice to Judy Garland and Janis Joplin."

Bette Midler
Ace Collins (1989)

From The Inside Jacket:

Every so often an entertainer bursts onto the American scene who defies precise definition. By sheer abundance of talent. raw energy. and an undying thirst for new professional experiences. Bette Midler has emerged as one of America's most dynamic performers at work today. From Hollywood to Broadway and every honky-tonk in between. Bette Midler has worked her way to the top by mastering everything she has attempted - she is show business personified.

But Bette Midler does not so much defy description as escape its confines. In fact, Midler defies any one description: singer, actress, comedienne - she's a racy. lively. updated version of Sarah Bernhardt.

Collins' portrayal of Midler shows her to be as comfortable on a New York stage as she is behind a Hollywood camera. Collins goes beyond mere show biz gossip and develops a portrait of a person as complex as she is talented. The story begins from the Midler family's days in Hawaii, where as outsiders they found it tough going and life was often difficult.

From there emerges a touching portrait of Midler in "New York struggling to make a living while coping with the tragic death of her sister. The portrait closes with Midler at full throttlv, a genuine superstar of the cinema, with films like "Down and Out in Beverly Hills", "Ruthless People", "Outrageous Fortune", and "Big Business" giving her a huge adoring audience.

Bette Midler is the compelling portrait of a woman who has fought for everything she has gained, but refused to stop at any one point along the way.

An Intimate Biography of Bette Midler
George Mair (1994)

From The Inside Jacket:

The author of Oprah Winfrey: The Real Story offers the first full-scale biography of an American superstar, Bette Midler. At once insecure woman and outrageous, captivating entertainer, Bette's talents combine a soulful voice, the raucous wit of Mae West, and the comedic skill of Lucille Ball.

George Mair tells how Bette, at twenty, went from a pineapple factory worker in Hawaii to a role in the Broadway hit Fiddler on the Roof in less than a year.

Bette blossomed into the Divine Miss M, the diva once described as one of the "raunchiest and funniest live acts going." Her movies range from the portrayal of the doomed Janis Joplin - esque character in The Rose to comedies like Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Ruthless People. Her many hit singles include The Rose, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Wind Beneath My Wings, and From a Distance.

But there is another Bette Midler out of the spotlight: insecure, uncertain, vulnerable, often overweight, never at ease with herself, and frightened of relationships with men and money. Bette reveals the cruel relationships and family tragedies - Bette begged for her father's approval and was denied; a brother was born handicapped; and a sister was crushed to death in a freak accident.

The book details the role played by Aaron Russo, who helped make her a success, in spite of - or because of - their tumultuous relationship of sex, hate, money, and love. Her relationship with Barry Manilow is also revealed - they initially disliked each other, later becoming dependent on one another for their musical success.

Bette examines the continuing appeal and loyalty between the star and a vast audience of gay men. And, finally, it describes the great joy she's found in her unlikely marriage to Martin von Haselberg, a semi-mysterious German performance artist.

Bette Midler's instinct and guts vaulted her from obscurity to the top of the entertainment business. She's gone from a not-very-pretty, not- very-lucky teenager to one of the most sought-after stars in the world today.

The Bette Midler Scrapbook
Allison J. Waldman (1997)

From The Back Cover:

"The Bette Midler Scrapbook" is an intimate portrait of the bold and brassy star of stage, screen, and television. Revealing photos document her tumultuous personal and professional life. Pictures of friends, family, lovers, and fellow entertainers adorn these pages in a tribute to one of Hollywood's true superstars.

Called " the Divine Miss M," Bette Midler's multi-talented artistry is legendary. She is an outrageous, captivating performer who combines a unique soulful singing voice with the raucous wit of Mae West and the comedic acting skill of Lucille Ball. From the time she first captivated audiences as one of Tevye's daughters in the original Broadway production of "Fiddler on the Roof" to her most recent triumph in the film "The First Wives Club," Bette has always had audiences coming back for more. Her numerous recordings have often gone gold or platinum while her wildly entertaining concerts have sold out around the world, including a record breaking stint at Radio City Music Hall. In between enthralling concert audiences, she has starred in many Hollywood films including "The Rose," "Ruthless People," "Beaches," and "Get Shorty". She has won two Emmys, four Grammys, a Tony, four Golden Globes, and several American Comedy Awards. She is an entertainer who has always appealed to a widely varied audience, from her first big break at the gay Continental Baths in New York to her triumphant "Diva Las Vegas" gig at the family - oriented MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"The Bette Midler Scrapbook" offers the best of Bette: her music, her acting, her concerts, her awards, and her world; all liberally illustrated with photos and memorabilia of this dynamic diva's career and personal life. Meet her husband, Martin von Hasselberg, her daughter Sophie, her friends Barry Manilow and Johnny Carson, and all the wonderful people who make up Bette's world. The Bette Midler Scrapbook is a must for every fan who wants a comprehensive and fascinating retrospective of the life and career of this stellar performer.

Still Divine
Mark Bego (2002)

From The Inside Jacket:

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1945, as a member of the only Jewish family in a Polynesian neighborhood, Bette Midler moved to New York in the 1960s to try her luck in show-biz. She soon developed a hugely popular nightclub act that included show tunes, pop hits, and comedy.

She entered the Billboard Top Ten in 1972 with her cover of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," and snapped up an Oscar nomination and a Grammy for her contributions to the 1979 film The Rose. Since then, she has starred in movies such as Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune, Big Business, Get Shorty, Beaches, The First Wives Club, and For the Boys, for which she earned a second Academy Award nomination.

Besides gold albums and sold-out shows, she has recorded hits like "Do You Want To Dance?" "Beast of Burden," "Miss Otis Regrets," "When a Man Loves a Woman," "One for My Baby," "From a Distance," and the number-one "Wind beneath My Wings."

The most comprehensive biography available, Bette Midler brings the dynamic redhead to vivid life. Grounding his research in dozens of firsthand interviews with Midler's friends and associates (including Barry Manilow), New York Times best- selling celebrity biographer and pop culture critic Mark Bego herein explores Midler's consistently gutsy-and often headline-grabbing-personal and professional choices.

Never content to rely on past successes, Midler has been involved with musical theater (the smash Divine Madness); charity work (U.S.A. for Africa); conservation (founder of the New York Restoration Project); stand-up (the record Mud WilI Be Flung Tonight); television (her short-lived sitcom); and even film production (her very successful company All Girl Productions).

From her beginnings as a chorus member in Broadway's Fiddler on the Roof through her very eventful life during the early years of the twenty-first century, Bette Midler is an indispensable portrait of the Divine Miss M - in public and private.

From Publisher's Weekly:

Growing up a self-proclaimed "ugly, fat little Jewish girl with problems," Bette Midler traded in her job at a Hawaiian pineapple processing plant for a trip to the Big Apple where, in the early 1970s, she re-created herself as the Divine Miss M, a brassy, bawdy cabaret act performing in a gay bathhouse. By the end of the decade, she had an Oscar nomination (for The Rose) to go with her two Grammys, two Golden Globes and Tony award. After a rough start (her 1982 movie Jinxed was prophetically titled; it was followed by a breakdown and a slump in record sales), the '80s found her excelling at writing a children's book (The Saga of Baby Divine, 1983), wedding Martin von Haselberg (1984), revitalizing her film career with a string of Disney hits (including Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Ruthless People and Beaches) and motherhood. Bego has churned out more than 40 star bios in the last 25 years (Cher: If You Believe in 2001 and Madonna: Blonde Ambition in 2000), and he's in top form with this fast-paced, affectionate and incredibly detailed biography of the diminutive belter. Midler fans will also appreciate the exhaustive filmography, discography, concert tours, Web sites, memorable quotes from her films and episode guide to her failed sitcom, Bette. 24 pages of photos.