The Hocus Pocus star's only child is also an actress
Bette Midler's daughter, Sophie von Haselberg, followed in her acting footsteps.
Midler wed artist Martin von Haselberg on Dec. 16, 1984, and two years later, they expanded their family with the birth of Sophie, who was born on Nov. 14, 1986, in Los Angeles.
Growing up, she respected her mother's work but opted to major in sociology with a focus on East Asian studies at Yale University. That said, by the time she was ready to graduate, she realized that she wanted to pursue acting on her terms, and no one was more surprised than Midler.
"It's the first time she's ever mentioned the business but God bless her … You know, everyone has to follow their own bliss," she told The Insider in April 2008.
Speaking with Vanity Fair in May 2017, Sophie revealed why she had a change of heart. "I wanted to carve my own path!" she said. "I never wanted to be compared to my mom, but I've since accepted it as something completely unavoidable."
Sophie is best known for her roles in House of Cards, Pose and American Horror Story.
From her career in Hollywood to her sweetest moments with her mom, here's everything to know about Bette Midler's daughter, Sophie von Hasselberg.
Sophie attended the Nightingale-Bamford School for Girls in New York City, the private high school that inspired Gossip Girl's fictional Constance Billard. Afterward, she was accepted into Yale University, where she earned a B.A. in sociology and East Asian studies in May 2008.
Throughout her college career, Sophie explored different industries, including the publishing world after she landed an internship at Vanity Fair the summer before her senior year.
The California native also studied abroad in China during her undergrad and later returned to the country to work at an advertising agency, where she focused on her Mandarin skills.
"I was so, so taken with living there, getting to use my Mandarin every day, surrounded by the extreme hustle and bustle of Chinese cities, this constant feeling of exploration and adventure," she told Suzee Behind the Scenes in September 2016. "It was absolutely one of the most formative experiences of my life."
Initially, Midler did not want Sophie to pursue a career in acting.
"My mom, in particular, was averse to me going into show business," Sophie shared with Suzee Behind the Scenes in September 2016. "So I was constantly forcing myself to explore new paths. At various points in my life I thought I was going to be an astrophysicist, an architect, an editor … The list goes on."
Despite her mom's hesitancy, Sophie "always knew" she would go into acting, as she told the New York Post in October 2014. However, she first pursued other careers to try to find her own path. “You know you will always be compared to your parent," Sophie explained of why she initially resisted following her mom's footsteps.
After her time in China, she returned to Yale in 2011 to study at their drama school, later graduating with a Master of Fine Arts in 2014. This was followed by her theatrical debut in the Off-Broadway play Billy and Ray in New York City that same year.
Although Midler is a household name, recognized for starring in various genres of films and theatrical productions throughout her nearly 60-year-long career, Sophie didn't watch her mother's work when she was a child.
She told Interview magazine in June 2017 that it was because Midler didn't bring her projects home with her.
"She was not a person who was standing around always talking about what she was working on and how excited she was for me to see it," Sophie recalled. "It got to a certain point where I think she realized I'd hardly seen any of her movies, and she was like, 'Okay, maybe we should show you one or two just so you have a sense of what I do.' "
As an adult, she has seen most of her mother's films. Sophie described seeing her on the big screen as an "emotional experience."
"I remember watching Beaches and The Rose, and just being such a mess after," she told the outlet.
In June 2020, Sophie wed her boyfriend, Harry J. N. Guinness, in an intimate ceremony with only 11 people in attendance, including their parents. Her mother took care of the flowers while her father handled the dinner menu, she told Today in October 2021.
"What made the whol -
e thing so special was just that we did everything ourselves," Sophie said of the big day.
Sophie first shared the news of her wedding on Instagram alongside a sweet photo from the nuptials, which showed the newlyweds indulging in some cake.
"It's great to have cake smeared on your face by someone you love! And hot DAMN do I love this man!" she captioned the picture.
Speaking with Manila Bulletin, Midler revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted more than just the size of their wedding.
"It was a pandemic wedding, a very small wedding, and her husband, her new husband, hasn't had a haircut in three months," The Politicianstar said of her daughter's preparation for the ceremony. "So she looked online on how to cut hair and she gave him a pretty good haircut."
Sophie's first credited acting role was an extra as a "party girl" in the 1991 rom-com Frankie and Johnny, featuring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer as the leads.
After making her Off-Broadway debut, she starred in Woody Allen's Irrational Man as the character April in 2015. Sophie went on to work on other movies like the historical drama Ask For Jane, the financial thriller Equity and Hallmark's holiday flick Broadcasting Christmas.
On the small screen, Sophie's breakout television role was as Tanya Benson in two episodes of House of Cards in 2017. She has since been in American Horror Story, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story and Pose.
In addition to her screen acting career, Sophie also performs in live theater. After Billy & Ray, she was cast in What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank in 2022.
She's also dabbled in work behind the camera. In 2017, her short film YOYO premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, marking her first project as a producer.
Although Midler was initially resistant to her daughter going into acting, she's been nothing but supportive of her career. While speaking to PEOPLE in February 2023, Midler praised Sophie's appearance in the 2022 thriller Give Me Pity!, describing her performance as "fantastic."
Sophie co-created and co-hosted the podcast Having a Night with Ariana Venturi for four years. The audio project celebrated the lost art of the dinner party, with the pair cooking up dishes while interviewing culinary talent and other celebrities, including NFL star Patrick Mahomes.
After launching the podcast at the start of 2019, Sophie contributed to dozens of weekly episodes, one of which was dedicated to her surprise nuptials. The co-hosts concluded their show in August 2023 with a finale episode.
That said, they teased that it could return in a different way.
"We're hoping to take Having A Night in some more *live*, *theatrical* directions," the duo said in the description of their last podcast episode. "So if you have any ideas of theaters or anything you'd like to see live and in the flesh... Let us know!"
As an only child, Sophie has always had a particularly close relationship with her parents. In fact, she told the New York Post in 2014 that the three of them still had dinner together every Sunday.
When it came time to introduce her future husband to her mom and dad, Sophie felt added pressure.
"I mean, obviously to me, she's always just gonna be my mom," she recalled to Today. "Like, of course I'm very, very aware of her standing in culture, but she is also my mom and I think because I'm an only child, bringing someone home means so much more because of that."
However, Midler was immediately supportive of her daughter's relationship.
"They are very joyful together. So it gives me a lot of happiness, tremendous happiness," she told PEOPLE after Sophie's wedding. And though she and her daughter are still extremely close, the iconic actress is taking more of a hands-off-approach these days.
"I think the best thing to do if you are a mother-in-law is to back off and let them have their lives and realize that you are not living their life and you don’t have all the answers and it’s up to them to find their own life and the answers," Midler said.
Sophie has come to terms with the "nepo baby" label.
"I can't help who my parents are. I was born and they were who they were, and that's that,” she told PEOPLE in February 2024. "I also can't help how much I love acting."