Bette Midler Explains Why She’s Still A Star

Bette-MidlerIt’s been a quarter of a century (!) since she starred in the tearjerker Beaches, yet Bette Midler is still an entertainer of the first order. While many stars flash and quickly burn, some like the Divine Ms. M are with us to stay. The indefatigable Midler, who is appearing as outrageous Hollywood agent Sue Mengers on Broadway in the solo comedy I’ll Eat You Last, thinks she knows the reason for her longevity.

“I think that the main thing that I have going for me that a lot of people never got the memo on, is that I did my own work,” Midler tells NPR. “I made my own work, I made my own shows, I put them together in a way that made people want to see them. And I wasn’t dependent on other people calling and saying, ‘We want you for this.’ And I mean, I think in the real world there, once you get to a certain age, it starts to shrink, you know. The number of roles starts to shrink.”

The entertainer, who became a favorite with gay audiences while performing an act in New York’s Continental Baths in the early 1970s, also credits taking control of her career and having often created her own projects.

“I think that that’s what saved me, because being in the public eye — love the public, but gotta say — you know it’s not these indelible events in their lives,” Midler offers. “They fade over time, and so if you don’t come back and refresh their memories … they move on, you know? And so I’ve always been able to go back to them to say, ‘Remember me? Hi! I’m back! Nice to see you! Gee, you got so tall!’ So that’s been my saving grace.”

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #bettemidler #broadway #continentalbaths stories and more


  • Dionte

    She’s one of my favorite actresses of all time.

  • Charli Girl

    I. STILL adore her,I KNEW I was gay when I first laid eyes on that baby doll!,, Hee Hee

  • dvlaries

    I was too young for the Continental Baths, but she won me from the beginning with “Do You Wanna Dance.” When I first heard it on the radio, but never heard of Midler, my thought was ‘where the hell did Columbia find tape of Joplin doing that…? Seven years later, going into the theater, I had no worry “The Rose” would disappoint me.
    I might have more records on Atlantic by Aretha, but not by many. You’ve got us till our dying days, Bette.

  • redcarpet

    I grew up listening to her on the radio going to school. Why my mom was surprised when I came out to her, i do not know.

  • Merv

    I still haven’t forgiven her for dissing same-sex marriage on Larry King.

  • balehead

    Maybe she has changed that?….don’t wish death on me..

  • Dixie Rect

    Saw her in Vegas and it was awesome, and will be seeing her on Broadway. Gotta go see the legends when they perform!

  • DarkZephyr

    @Merv: Bette Midler has since said of same sex marriage “I think its fabulous”.

  • DarkZephyr

    @balehead: She has.

Comments are closed.