Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Midler began her professional career in several Off-Off-Broadway plays, prior to her engagements in Fiddler on the Roof and Salvation on Broadway in the late 1960s. She came to prominence in 1970 when she began singing in the Continental Baths, a local gay bathhouse where she managed to build up a core following.
Since 1970, Midler has released 14 studio albums as a solo artist. Throughout her career, many of her songs became hits on the record charts, including her renditions of "The Rose", "Wind Beneath My Wings", "Do You Want to Dance", "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", and "From a Distance". In 2008, she signed a contract with Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to perform a show titled Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On, which ended in 2010.
Midler made her motion picture debut in 1979 with The Rose, which earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She has since starred in a number of hit films, which include: Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Outrageous Fortune, Beaches, The First Wives Club, Hocus Pocus, and The Stepford Wives. She also starred in For the Boys and Gypsy, and won two additional Golden Globe Awards for these films.
In a career spanning almost half a century, Midler has won three Grammy Awards, four Golden Globes, three Emmy Awards, and two Tony Awards. She has sold over 30 million records worldwide, and has received four Gold, three Platinum, and three Multiplatinum albums by RIAA.
Midler is currently appearing on Broadway in a revival of Hello, Dolly!, which began preview performances on March 15, 2017 and premiered at the Shubert Theatre on April 20, 2017. It was her first leading role in a Broadway musical. On June 11, 2017, Midler received the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the title role in Hello, Dolly!