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Bette Midler wins first competitive Tony Award, refuses to let the music play her off – WATCH

By Will Stroude

Bette Midler made sure her first competitive Tony Award win got the attention it deserved with a show-stealing acceptance speech at last night’s awards show in New York (June 11).

The stars of the stage turned out in force at theatre’s biggest night of the year as the 71-year-old crowned ‘Best Actress’ for her turn in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!.

The legendary entertainer previously won a special award for her contribution to Broadway way back in 1974, but Sunday night’s accolade marked the first competitive Tony Award of her six decade-long career – and like and like any true diva, The Divine Miss M made sure she made the most of her moment in the spotlight.

Taking to the stage, Bette began a long, riotous acceptance speech in which she thanked Tony voters – “many of whom I have dated” – and flat-out refused to let the orchestra play her off at the end of her allotted time.

The ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ singer continued to reel off a seemingly endless list of people she had to thank as the music started up, before eventually telling the orchestra to “Shut that crap off!” as the audience erupted into laughter.

The iconic lines didn’t stop there either, as Midler ended her (lengthy) press room appearance afterwards with the iconic line: “Bette Midler for president!”

She closed by yelling “BETTE MIDLER FOR PRESIDENT” I can’t go on

Despite the seemingly endless thank-yous, however, there was one important group of people that Midler forgot to thanks: her fellow cast mates.

In all the pandemonium tonight I neglected to thank the brilliant ensemble of “Hello Dolly”, whom I adore,” the singer tweeted after the show, adding: “Please forgive me kids! I’m old!”

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