Born December 1, 1945 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Fred Midler and Ruth Schindel, Bette (aka The Divine Miss M, Trash with Flash, Sleaze with Ease) majored in Theatre at the University of Hawaii. Her first professional acting role was a minor part in Hawaii as a missionary wife. Savor the irony.
She moved to New York, and in 1967, took on the lead female role of Tzeitel in the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, after having sung in the chorus for a time. After the Fiddler gig, she started singing at the Continental Baths, singing to sweaty gay men in towels. Her campy outfits and sultry songs have defined her career, for the most part.
She's married to Martin von Haselberg, and has one daughter, Sophie, who was born in 1986.