Is Beaches based on a true story? How an iconic popstar inspired the Bette Midler film

2 July 2021, 16:58

Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey starred in 1988's Beaches
Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey starred in 1988's Beaches. Picture: Buena Vista

By Tom Eames

Beaches became a cult favourite after its release in 1988, with the Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey film topping many people's biggest tearjerker lists.

The melodramatic drama about a life-long female friendship touched the hearts of many, with a story that a lot of people could relate to.

The film's plot follows two women on their own journey, from a childhood friendship to reuniting as adults at different stages of their lives.

CC Bloom (Bette Milder) and Hillary Whitney (Hershey) meet on the beach as children, quickly become pen pals, and later reconnect in person as adults.

Read more: The Story of... 'Wind Beneath My Wings'

Along the way, the women have various issues with relationships, fallings out, children and careers, before a devastating illness befalls Hillary.

BEACHES (1988) - Official Trailer

But is Beaches based on a true story?

Not quite, but it did have an interesting inspiration.

The film is based on an original novel by Iris Rainer Dart, published in 1985. And CC Bloom was loosely inspired by a certain popstar.

Dart wrote for The Sonny and Cher Show back in the 1970s, and working with Cher inspired her to create a "no holds barred outrageous person."

Cher & Bette Midler - Trashy Ladies Medley (Live on The Cher Show, 1975)

This character later evolved into CC Bloom, played by Bette Midler, who is a good friend of Cher and had performed together in the past.

So, if it wasn't for Cher, we wouldn't have Beaches!