Yes, Bette Midler was in “Hawaii”


You ask. We answer. Again.

Our story in the March/April issue on the 50th anniversary of James Michener’s “Hawaii” prompted an e-mail from reader Carole Anderson in Madison, Wis. 

Anderson enjoyed both the book and the 1966 movie version, but was puzzled when we said the flick was Bette Midler’s film debut.

Anderson couldn’t find Midler either in the film or credits.

Raised in Honolulu, Midler was just 20 when she was cast as an extra during the film’s 1965 shoot on Oahu and Kauai. Midler’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it uncredited role was as a seasick passenger on the brig Thetis.

Her “Hawaii” savings in hand, Midler soon left the University of Hawaii-Manoa and moved to New York in 1965 to begin a stage career.

Check out our Michener article. It’s well worth a read.

Categories: Culture