- NAME: Bette Davis
- OCCUPATION: Actress, Pin-up
- BIRTH DATE: April 05, 1908
- DEATH DATE: October 06, 1989
- EDUCATION: Cushing Academy, John Murray Anderson/Robert Milton School of Theatre and Dance
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Lowell, Massachusetts
- PLACE OF DEATH: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
- Originally: Ruth Elizabeth Davis
- AKA: Ruth Elizabeth Davis
- Nickname: "The Fifth Warner Brother"
- Nickname: "First Lady of the American Screen"
Best Known For
Bette Davis is remembered as one of Hollywood's legendary leading ladies, famous for her larger-than-life persona and for her nearly 100 film appearances.
Bette Davis had some trying experiences wtih her father Harlow Davis. Her mother, on the other hand, was very attentive and supportive.
Bette Davis became one of the biggest stars during the transition from silent films to "talkies."
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American actress Bette Davis was born on April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts. After a brief theater career, she became one of the biggest stars in the Hollywood studio system, appearing in nearly 100 films before her death in 1989. Davis is still considered an icon for her performances in such films as All Above Eve and Dark Victory, as well as for her larger-than-life persona both on and off the silver screen.
"Did I ever try to be low-key? Never, never, never! I fought that from the beginning. I think that acting should be larger than life."
"To look back is to relax one's vigil."
"If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent."
Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on April 5, 1908, in Lowell Massachusetts, to Ruth (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis. When she was 7 years old, her father divorced her mother, who was left to raise Bette and younger daughter Barbara on her own.
As a teen, Davis began acting in school productions at the Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. After a stint in summer stock theater in Rochester, New York, Davis moved to New York City, where she attended the John Murray Anderson/Robert Milton School of Theatre and Dance. Lucille Ball was one of her classmates.
Davis began to audition for theater parts in New York, and in 1929 she made her stage début at Greenwich Village's Provincetown Playhouse in The Earth Between. Later that year, at the age of 21, she made her first Broadway appearance in the comedy Broken Dishes.
A screen test landed Davis a contract with Hollywood's Universal Pictures, where she was assigned a small role in the film Bad Sister (1931), followed by similar minor parts in a few more movies. She moved to Warner Brothers in 1932, after gaining notice in that studio's production of The Man Who Played God. Following this breakthrough, Davis would go on to make 14 films over the next three years.
In 1934, Warner Brothers loaned Davis to RKO Pictures for Of Human Bondage, a drama based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. Davis received her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as the vulgar, cold-hearted waitress Mildred. Throughout the rest of her career, she would portray many other strong-willed, even unlikable, women who defied society's rules.
Davis won her first Academy Award in 1935, for her role as a troubled young actress in Dangerous. She then appeared in The Petrified Forest with male stars Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart in 1937. After a rocky period at Warner Brothers, during which time she was suspended for turning down roles, sued the studio and spent some time in England, she returned to Hollywood, and was offered a higher salary and better choice of roles.
Davis received her second Oscar for her performance as a rebellion Southern belle in 1938's Jezebel. A number of critical and box-office successes followed: She played a heiress coming to terms with mortal illness in Dark Victory and Elizabeth I in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (both released in 1939), and went on to deliver several well-received performances in films of the 1940s, including The Little Foxes; the comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner; the American drama Now, Voyager; and the drama The Corn is Green.
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