Bette Midler (born December 1, 1945) is a singer, actress and comedienne. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, she majored in drama at the University of Hawaii, but got her start singing in gay bath houses in New York City where, among others, she became friends with Barry Manilow, who was her piano accompanist. He produced her first major album, The Divine Miss M (also the name by which she is know to her fans.)
Midler appeared in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway, but it was her singing that made her a star. She was tapped for the pseudobiographical role of the drug-addled rock music star in The Rose, modeled after Janis Joplin. In her first film role, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
In 1986, director Paul Mazursky cast her in Down and Out in Beverly Hills, beginning a successful comedic acting career. She appeared in such other popular comedies as Ruthless People, Outrageous Fortune and Big Business.