Screencap of Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson in 1993's Hocus Pocus, December 1, 2017 - YouTube/Florin Ciurte
CAIRO – 1 December 2017: December 1 is the birthday of the enchanting singer and actress Bette Midler, whose Grammy-award winning music has sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide, while her film roles have earned her Oscar nominations.
Born in Hawaii on 1945, Midler grew up poor alongside three other siblings, and found joy in the nature around her. Midler studied drama at the University of Hawaii, and got her very first start in movies as an extra on 1965’s “Hawaii”. Soon after, she moved to New York City to get her start in show business, with her earliest stints being a singer at a nightclub. She also had a role on Broadway’s popular “Fiddler on the Roof”.
With 1972, Midler saw the release of her first album, "The Divine Miss M", followed by her self-titled album "Bette Midler". Both of these topped the charts and quickly saw Midler rise into fame. For the rest of the decade, she failed to replicate that exact success though, but it didn’t stop her.
Her breakthrough acting role came in 1979, where she starred in the lead role for “The Rose”, a tragic story about a self-destructive female rock star, who despite her wild fame finds herself crushed by the pressures of the business, especially under the cruel thumb of her greedy manager. The film was nominated for four Oscar awards, with Midler being nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and she would later win two Golden Globe awards for her performance.
Her next film, “Jinxed”, flopped unfortunately, though Midler quickly rebounded with the 1986’s comedy “Down and Out in Beverly Hills” and also in that year’s “Ruthless People”, co-starring alongside
Midler’s talent for comedy came naturally, though she also proved herself to be quite the dramatic actor as well in 1988’s “Beaches”. The soundtrack to the movie included her famous cover of “Wind Beneath My Wings”, which earned her a third Grammy Award and reached the Billboard’s Top 100.
The 90s proved to be another good decade for Midler. She earned her second nomination with the 1991’s “For the Boys”. The decade also saw the release of one of Midler’s more beloved roles, in Disney Channel Original “Hocus Pocus” (1993). Midler plays Winifred Sanderson, the head of a clan of three evil witches who return from the dead on Halloween night in the town of Salem, and must be stopped by two teens, a young girl and an immortal cat before sunrise.
With the 2000s, Midler starred in 2004’s “The Stepford Wives” alongside Nicole Kidman, and released a Christmas album in 2006, which earned her another Grammy Award nomination. She then ran a two-year show at Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace titled “Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On”, which started on Feburary 2008. By 2012, Midler had earned the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
More recently, Midler sung at the 2014 Academy Awards and released an album that year titled “It’s the Girls!” Back to Broadway, Midler starred in the 2017’s remake of the 1964 play “Hello, Dolly!”, for which she earned a Tony Award.