- 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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By the time she severed ties with Warner Brothers in 1949, Davis was one of its largest talents.
In 1950, Davis gave one of her most indelible performances in the show-business drama All About Eve, starring as Margo Channing, a theater actress who fends off the insecurities of approaching middle age (and the scheming of a manipulative protégé) with sarcastic wit and more than a few cocktails. In one of her many memorable lines, she quipped,
"Fasten your seatbelts: it's going to be a bumpy night."
Davis depicted Elizabeth I again in The Virgin Queen (1955) and appeared in Tennessee Williams's The Night of the Iguana on Broadway in 1961. Some of her other work during this time was more lurid, however. In the horror movie (and camp classic) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), she co-starred with Joan Crawford as a former child star caring for her disabled sister. She was featured in another horror film in 1964, Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte, and then played an eye-patch-wearing matriarch in the melodrama The Anniversary in 1968.
Despite health problems in her late years, including a fight against breast cancer, Davis continued acting. She appeared in the horror movie Burnt Offerings (1976) and was part of the all-star ensemble cast of the Agatha Christie mystery Death on the Nile (1979). One of her final film roles was that of a blind woman in The Whales of August (1987), appearing opposite Lillian Gish. She also appeared on television, winning an Emmy Award for 1979's Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter.
Davis received many awards later in life, including the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1977 and the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 1987.
Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, at the age of 81. At the time of her death, she was on her way home from a film festival in Spain, where she had just been honored for her work in film.
Davis married four times. Her first marriage, to bandleader Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr., ended in divorce; her second husband, businessman Arthur Farnsworth, died in 1943. With third husband William Grant Sherry, Davis had a daughter named Barbara. While married to Gary Merrill, her co-star in All About Eve, she adopted two children, Margot and Michael; the marriage ended in divorce.
Davis published two autobiographies during her lifetime: The Lonely Life (1962) and This 'n' That (1987).
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