Bette Midler

Bette Midler built a successful stage, screen and recording career on the basis of her self-styled "Divine Miss M" character - a sassy, hip-wagging classic "broad" archetype. She was quick with the comebacks, took no guff and had a tendency to burst into tunes from the Great American Songbook. Her initial stage fame and string of nostalgia-tinged hit albums in the 1970s eventually led to big screen success, with dramas like the pseudo Janis Joplin biopic "The Rose" (1980) and three-hankie chick flick "Beaches" (1990). She also lent appropriately outrageous variations of Miss M to comedies including "Ruthless People" (1986), "Down and Out in Beverly Hills" (1986) and "The First Wives Club" (1996). In an era where stage, screen and recording crossover success was rare, only Liza Minnelli rivaled Midler when it came to endless concert tour schedules and triumph in all genres. More than 30 years into her career, the entertainer was still scoring hits with such albums as 1998's Bathhouse Betty and the televised special of her acclaimed Caesar's Palace act "Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On" (HBO, 2010). As a film star, live performer and winner of Grammy, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, Midler was an entertainment icon of the highest order.