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Bette Midler to Play the Role She Was Meant to Play, in HBO Project Deadline

Bette Midler will play the role many fans and observers have been saying for decades the singer was meant to play. Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com that HBO Films is developing a project based on screen legend Mae West, with Midler to star and executive produce.

“The project is the brainchild of William Friedkin ('The Exorcist'), who will direct and executive produce. Broadway heavyweight Harvey Fierstein, who recently penned the book for Tony-winning musical ‘Kinky Boots,’ is writing the script,” Andreeva writes.

“Mae West” is based on the actress’ autobiography, “Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It,” and will track her rise to fame after she appeared in a Broadway show called “Sex” and battled obscenity charges, the story says.

Andreeva writes: “Instead of taking the road of a wide-eyed Hollywood ingenue, West forged her own path, writing and starring in her own risque plays, including her breakthrough ‘Sex,’ which had her prosecuted and sentenced to 10 days in prison for ‘corrupting the morals of youth.’”

West was a “late arrival” to Hollywood, signing her first movie deal at the age of 39, but became one of the highest-grossing stars of the 1930s.

“Midler’s career path resembles that of West -- she too made a name for herself onstage in New York (she made her Broadway debut in the chorus of ‘Fiddler On The Roof’) before segueing to features in her 30s for a successful movie career, which has earned her two Oscar nominations,” Andreeva notes.

bette midler.pngBette Midler