Bette Midler to Play Mae West for HBO; Harvey Fierstein Pens Script

By Adam Hetrick
December 10, 2013

Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominee Bette Midler will portray buxom entertainer Mae West in a new film for HBO to be written by Tony winner Harvey Fiersten, according to Deadline.com.



Midler, who currently stars in I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers at the Geffen Playhouse, will executive produce and star in the film about the iconic blonde entertainer. Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Hairspray, La Cage aux Folles), whose new play Casa Valentina will premiere on Broadway in 2014, is penning the screenplay based on West's autobiography, "Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It."

The film will follow West's rise to stardom on stage with her risque plays and her battles with obscenity charges, as well as her later success in Hollywood.

William Friedkin and Jerry Weintraub will also executive produce the film.

Midler has earned three Grammys, four Golden Globes, three Emmys, a Tony Award, and sold 30 million records worldwide in a career that spans more than four decades. She has played film roles in "The Rose," "Down and Out in Beverly Hills," "Ruthless People," "Beaches" and "The First Wives Club," among many others. Midler made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Fiddler on the Roof. Other stage performances include Tony Award-winning Clams on the Half Shell; Experience the Divine, for which she holds the all-time record for a six-week engagement at Radio City Music Hall, The Divine Miss Millennium Tour; Kiss My Brass; and The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. Outside the spotlight, she is the founder of the New York Restoration Project (nyrp.org), a non-profit organization that revitalizes abandoned and neglected public spaces across New York City.