Never a yawn, multi-talented Bette Midler (1945-), born on this day, was named after Bette Davis. She grew up in Aiea, Oahu, and graduated from Leeward's Radford High School.
"If only I'd known that one day my differentness would be an asset, then my early life would have been much easier," she admitted about the challenges of growing up Jewish and radical in Hawaii.
In 1972, she released her first record, The Divine Miss M, then won acclaim for her role in 1979's The Rose.
She compared her persona to Sophie Tucker: "People always love abroad--someone with a sense of humor, someone with a fairly wicked tongue,someone who can belt out a song, someone who takes no guff."
In 1992, at Johnny Carson's request, Bette appeared on his last show, gave him a red carnation lei, and brought viewers to tears with her unforgettable rendition of One For My Baby (And One More For the Road).
As an "advocate for all things sustainable," the one-of-a-kind Ms. Midler spearheaded The New York Restoration Project in 1995 to help clean parks, restore abandoned public places, and create community gardens. In 2009, she personally match every donations to the charity up to $100 thousand.
"I've made a lot of people happy in my life," she said. "My husband says that I say, 'Martin, what do I do?' And he says, 'You deal in joy… What you do is make people happy...be kind to yourself, because you've… brought a lot of joy into the world."
More BETTE MIDLER Quotations
Cherish what makes you unique.