Bette Davis Biography

Birthday: 1908-04-05
Place of Birth: Lowell, Massachusetts
Height: 5' 3" (1.60 m)
Wiki Biography: Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother, Ruthie. Bette demanded attention from birth, which led to her pursuing a career in acting. After graduation from Cushing Academy she was refused admittance to Eva Le Gallienne's Manhattan Civic Repertory because she was considered insincere and frivolous. She enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School and was the star pupil. She was in the off-Broadway play "The Earth Between" (1923), and her Broadway debut in 1929 was in "Broken Dishes". She also appeared in "Solid South". Late in 1930, she was hired by Universal. When she arrived in Hollywood, the studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star. An official at Universal complained she had "as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville" and her performance in The Bad Sister (1931) didn't impress. In 1932 she signed a seven-year deal with Warner Brothers Pictures. She became a star after her appearance in The Man Who Played God (1932). Warners loaned her to RKO in 1934 for Of Human Bondage (1934), in which she was a smash. She had a significant number of write-in votes for the Best Actress Oscar, but didn't win. She finally DID win for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938)). She constantly fought with Warners and tried to get out of her contract because she felt she wasn't receiving the top roles an Oscar-winning actress deserved, and eventually sued the studio. Returning after losing her lawsuit, her roles improved dramatically. The only role she didn't get that she wanted was Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Warners wouldn't loan her to David O. Selznick unless he hired Errol Flynn to play Rhett Butler, which both Selznick and Davis thought was a terrible choice. It was rumored she had numerous affairs, among them George Brent and William Wyler, and she was married four times, three of which ended in divorce. She admitted her career always came first. She made many successful films in the 1940s, but each picture was weaker than the last and by the time her Warner Brothers contract had ended in 1949, she had been reduced to appearing in such films as the unintentionally hilarious Beyond the Forest (1949). She made a huge comeback in 1950 when she replaced an ill Claudette Colbert in, and received an Oscar nomination for, All About Eve (1950). She worked in films through the 1950s, but her career eventually came to a standstill, and in 1961 she placed a now famous Job Wanted ad in the trade papers. She received an Oscar nomination for her role as a demented former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), which brought her a new degree of stardom in both movies and television through the 1960s and 1970s. In 1977 she received the AFI's Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1979 she won a Best Actress Emmy for Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979) (TV). In 1977-78 she moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles and filmed a pilot for the series "Hotel" (1983), which she called Brothel. She refused to do the TV series and suffered a stroke during this time. Her daughter Barbara Merrill wrote a 1985 "Mommie Dearest"-type book, "My Mother's Keeper". She worked in the later 1980s in films and TV, even though a stroke had impaired her appearance and mobility. She wrote a book "This 'N That" during her recovery from the stroke. Her last book was "Bette Davis, The Lonely Life", issued in paperback in 1990. It included an update from 1962 to 1989. She wrote the last chapter in San Sebastian, Spain. When she passed away of cancer on October 6, 1989, in France, many of her fans refused to believe she was gone.

Bette DavisPhotos & Pictures

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TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
All About Eve Margo 1950 Drama
Dangerous Joyce Heath 2007 Drama
... Sings... Fay Wilson 2012 Music
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Bad Sister Laura Madison 1931 Drama
Way Back Home 1931 Drama
The Man Who Played God 1932 Drama, Romance
The Cabin in the Cotton 1932 Drama
Three on a Match Ruth Wescott 1932 Crime, Drama, Romance
20,000 Years in Sing Sing Fay Wilson 1932 Crime, Drama
Ex-Lady Helen Bauer 1933
The Working Man 1933 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Bureau of Missing Persons 1933 Comedy, Crime, Drama
The Big Shakedown 1934
Fog Over Frisco 1934 Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Of Human Bondage Mildred Rogers 1934 Drama, Romance
Front Page Woman Ellen Garfield 1935
Dangerous Joyce Heath 1935
The Girl from 10th Avenue 1935 Drama
The Petrified Forest Gabrielle Maple 1936 Comedy, 0
The Golden Arrow 1936 Comedy
Satan Met a Lady Valerie Purvis 1936 Comedy, Drama, Mystery
It's Love I'm After Joyce Arden 1937
Kid Galahad 1937 Biography
That Certain Woman 1937 0
Marked Woman Mary Dwight Strauber 1937 Crime, Drama, Music
Jezebel Julie 1938
Dark Victory Judith Traherne 1939 0
Juarez Empress Carlota von Habsburg 1939 0, Biography
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Elizabeth I 1939
The Old Maid Charlotte Lovell 1939 Drama
The Letter Leslie Crosbie 1940 Comedy
All This and Heaven Too 1940 Drama, Romance
The Bride Came C.O.D. 1941
The Great Lie Maggie Van Allen 1941
The Little Foxes Regina Giddens 1941 Drama, Romance
Now, Voyager Charlotte Vale 1942 0
In This Our Life 1942 0
The Man Who Came to Dinner Maggie Cutler 1942 0
Watch on the Rhine Sara Muller 1943 Drama
Thank Your Lucky Stars Bette Davis 1943 Comedy, Musical
Old Acquaintance 1943 Drama
Mr. Skeffington 1944 Drama, Romance
Hollywood Canteen Bette Davis 1944 Comedy, Musical, Romance
The Corn is Green Miss Lilly Moffat 1945 Drama
Winter Meeting Susan Grieve 1948
June Bride 1948 Comedy
Beyond the Forest Rosa Moline 1949 Game Show
All About Eve Margo 1951 Drama
Payment on Demand 1951 Drama
Another Man's Poison Janet Frobisher 1952
Phone Call from a Stranger 1952 Drama
The Virgin Queen Elizabeth I 1955
Storm Center Alicia Hull 1956
Pocketful of Miracles Apple Annie 1961 Comedy, Drama
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Baby Jane Hudson 1962 Reality Tv, Game Show
Where Love Has Gone 1964 Drama
The Anniversary Mrs. Taggart 1968
Madame Sin 1972 0
The Judge and Jake Wyler 1972 Drama
Scream, Pretty Peggy 1973 Drama, Horror, Mystery
Burnt Offerings 1976 Reality Tv
The Disappearance of Aimee 1976 Drama
Return from Witch Mountain 1978 Sport, 0, 0
Death on the Nile Mrs. Van Schuyler 1978 Crime, Drama, Mystery
Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter 1979 Drama
White Mama 1980 Drama
A Piano for Mrs. Cimino 1982 Drama
The Watcher in the Woods Mrs. Aylwood 1982 Family, Horror, Mystery
Murder with Mirrors Carrie Louise Serrocold 1985 Crime, Mystery
As Summers Die 1986 Drama
The Whales of August 1987
Right of Way 1988 Drama
Wicked Stepmother Miranda Pierpoint 1989 Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
The Scapegoat 2012 0
The Dark Horse 2014