Bette Davis

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bette Davis, 1987

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (born April 5, 1908 in Lowell , Massachusetts , United States , † October 6, 1989 in Neuilly-sur-Seine , France ) was an American stage and film actress .

Bette Davis started her career in the theater before moving to Hollywood in 1930 and starring in over a hundred films by 1989 . She was best known for depicting complex characters. At the height of her career, Davis played predominantly in film dramas, the plot of which mostly revolves around the tragic fate of the female main character. She was, however, in historical films and in the late phase of her career in film productions whose strong Grand Guignol elements sometimes the border to horror film to see roamed. Davis' hallmarks were her large, expressive eyes, her direct manner and her ubiquitous cigarettes.

Bette Davis won two Academy Awards for Best Actress and was nominated eight more times for the award in this category. She always fought vehemently against the restrictions of the studio system and for good roles and more say in the selection of film roles. In 1936 she sued her film studio, Warner Brothers , in a sensational process, albeit unsuccessfully . Bette Davis was the first woman to preside over the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . During the Second World War she founded the Hollywood Canteen with other actors .

As the first film actress, Bette Davis was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Film Institute (AFI) in 1977 . In a 1999 AFI poll, she was ranked second among the greatest female film stars . Despite various illnesses, she was a public figure until her death and often appeared on American talk shows due to her popularity with audiences .

In 1983 Davis' daughter B. D. Hyman wrote about her negative childhood memories in the highly controversial reveal book My Mother's Keeper .

life and work

Childhood and early career

Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts to Ruth ("Ruthie") Favor and attorney Harlow Morrell Davis. Her sister Barbara ("Bobby") was born on October 25, 1909. The family was of Protestant denomination and had English, French and Welsh roots. In 1915, Davis's parents separated. In the same year, the two children began school at Crestalban School in Lanesborough , Massachusetts.

In 1921 Ruth Favor moved with her daughters to New York City , where she worked as a professional portrait photographer to support the family. It was at this time that Davis first expressed a desire to become an actress. She was particularly inspired by Rudolph Valentino in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and Mary Pickford in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), she also changed her name to “Bette” based on Honoré de Balzac's La Cousine Bette . In 1924 Ruth Favor Davis sent her daughters to the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies , a denominational boarding school for girls. A semester later, the girls switched to the Cushing Academy , a boarding school in Ashburnham , Massachusetts.

In 1926 Davis saw a theater production of Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck starring Peg Entwistle at the Repertory Theater in Boston . Years later, she said of the performance, “Before the performance, I wanted to be an actress. After that, I had to be an actress ... just like Peg Entwistle. ”Davis attended an audition for inclusion in Eva Le Gallienne's Manhattan Civic Repertory . However, Le Gallienne found that Davis' attitude to the theater was not serious enough and declined to accept it. Davis was later accepted at the John Murray Anderson School of Theater , also through her mother's commitment . Davis was initially allowed to attend school without pay, with the promise to repay the money at a later date. Davis received dance lessons from Martha Graham at the school .

Davis later dropped out of Murray Anderson School early despite receiving a scholarship to study at the Provincetown Playhouse for director James Light. The production was postponed again and again and she had to look around for a new engagement temporarily. She auditioned for George Cukor's repertory theater company. Although not enthusiastic, he gave Davis her first paid theatrical role as a revue dancer in the play Broadway . A short time later, the female lead actress Rose Lerner injured herself in a performance and Davis was allowed to take over the part.

Cukor and Davis had a strained relationship during their collaboration. Davis seldom left his criticism and advice regarding her work uncommented. Finally he fired her. After the following summer, work began at the Provincetown Playhouse Theater in New York City for the play The Earth Between by Eugene O'Neill . Towards the end of the season, Bette Davis was selected to play Hedwig in Ibsen's Die Wildente . The Washington Post praised her for her “excellent” performance and dedicated a short portrait to her as a theatrical “new discovery”. Following her engagement there Davis made her Broadway debut in 1929 as the rebellious daughter of Donald Meek in the comedy Broken Dishes , followed by the satire Solid South . During a performance, a talent scout from Universal Studios was present and invited them to test shots for the planned film adaptation of the play Strictly Dishonorable in Hollywood.

From stage to film 1931

Bette Davis as Laura Madison in The Bad Sister (1931)

Davis didn't get the role in Strictly Dishonorable (1931) and she couldn't be recommended for the film A House Divided (1931). Davis, however, was used to test other applicants. In a 1971 interview with Dick Cavett , she recalled: “I was the […] most shameful virgin who ever lived on earth. They put me on a couch and I tested fifteen men […] They all had to lie down on top of me and give me a passionate kiss. Oh, I thought I had to die. "

Davis finally made her film debut in the remake The Bad Sister (1931), which was not a great success. Carl Laemmle , the then head of Universal Studios, did not want to renew her contract, but the cameraman Karl Freund certified that Davis had "lovely eyes", and so she got another contract extension. Davis' next role in My Children - My Happiness (1931) was too small to attract attention, and small supporting roles in Waterloo Bridge (1931) and Way Back Home (1932) did not help her break through in the film business. She then worked on a loan-out at Columbia Pictures for The Menace (1932) and at Capital Films for Hell's House (1932).

After nine months and six less successful films, Laemmle decided not to renew her contract. Davis' Hollywood career seemed over, but influential actor George Arliss chose her for the female lead in The Man Who Played God (1932). The film earned Davis her first serious Hollywood recognition. The Saturday Evening Post wrote of her performance that she was not only beautiful, but literally bubbling with grace, and compared her to Constance Bennett and Olive Borden . The Warner Brothers studios then gave her a contract with a term of 26 weeks with the option of an extension to five years. In 1932 Davis married band leader Harmon Nelson for the first time.

Another loan-out gave Davis the opportunity in 1934 to take on the role of antihero Mildred Rogers in the RKO radio production Of Human Bondage . Mildred, a lower-class waitress, exploits her crippled lover, played by Leslie Howard , financially and sexually, and leaves him several times for other men. The studio struggled to find a suitable actress for the role after, among others, the intended Ann Harding refused to participate. Davis got the role and managed to convince the director to let her play the character as realistically as possible. In the end, Bette Davis received some anthemic reviews. Life magazine ruled her performance: "Probably the best representation ever shown by a US actress on the big screen." Davis expected that the positive reviews would encourage the Warner Brothers to offer her better roles. The hope was dashed, however, and Jack Warner refused, among other things, to rent them for the film It Happened in One Night (1934). For Bette Davis only roles in low-cost standard films such as Housewife or supporting roles alongside established male stars such as Paul Muni in City on the Border were planned.

When Davis was n't nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Of Human Bondage , it sparked widespread protests. Due to the uproar in the run-up to the award ceremony, it was the only time in the history of the Academy Awards that a candidate was elected who was not originally officially nominated. In the end, Claudette Colbert won the award for It happened in one night . After the award ceremony, a change in the voting process was agreed. Since then, the nominations are no longer determined by a small committee, but are selected by all relevant representatives of the industry.

In 1935 Davis played a failed actress in the film Dangerous and again received very good reviews. The New York Times even referred to her as “one of our most interesting film actresses.” Davis won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal, but she commented on it as belated recognition for her performance in Of Human Bondage . Since then she has always stated that she nicknamed the Academy Award "Oscar". According to her, the statue looks exactly like her husband, whose middle name was Oscar. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences repeatedly denied this claim.

One of the few high-quality films of this time was the role of an idealistic waitress in The Petrified Forest , the film adaptation of the play of the same name by Robert E. Sherwood . Davis gave a highly acclaimed performance alongside Leslie Howard. However, the biggest impression was made by Humphrey Bogart as a gangster with no moral ideas. Bette Davis became increasingly frustrated with the poor quality of the roles on offer. After her subsequent films The Golden Arrow and Satan and the Lady were not a financial or artistic success, the actress decided to take a far-reaching step to give her career a new direction.

Litigation with Warner Brothers

Davis believed that a series of mediocre films would ruin her career. Therefore, in 1936, she accepted an offer to work in two films by the British filmmaker Ludovico Toeplitz, although she knew that she was in breach of her studio contract with Warner Brothers . Jack Warner stopped her involvement with an injunction. The studio then tried to settle the matter out of court, but the deal failed due to Davis' refusal. The trial began in London on October 14, 1936.

Davis' main charges were that she was not given a say in the selection and implementation of her roles and she had to make too many films in a short period of time. She also criticized the poor working conditions at Warner Brothers, working hours were not adhered to and the inexpensive films had to be shot in parallel and in the shortest possible time. Davis also objected to the fact that suspension automatically extended the contract for the period of leave. In addition, she was not allowed to perform in public without the approval of the studio and did not have the right to cancel appointments prescribed by the studio. At the beginning of the trial, the attorney representing Warner Brothers read in his opening speech that the court had to come to the conclusion that Davis was a disobedient young woman who simply wanted more money. Davis received little support from the British press, who, according to a statement by Warner Brothers attorney, was on a weekly salary of $ 1,350. She portrayed her as an overpaid and ungrateful actress. The competent judge at the High Court of Justice ultimately pronounced the judgment in Warner's favor. Davis then returned to Hollywood to resume her career, heavily indebted to court costs.

Success with Warner Brothers from 1937

Bette Davis as Julie in the movie Jezebel (1938)

Davis resumed work on the film Murder in the Nightclub , which was first released in 1937. In the gangster drama, which was inspired by the story of Lucky Luciano , she played a prostitute who is actively involved in breaking up a criminal ring. The film ran into significant problems with the censors because of its open portrayal of prostitution and organized crime. Bette Davis was again highly acclaimed by the critics for her performance. After the studio's previous female top star, Kay Francis , no longer got any good roles after a bitter legal battle, many projects originally intended for Francis now went to Bette Davis, such as Three Sisters from Montana or Victims of a Great Love .

Davis began an affair with director William Wyler while filming the 1938 film drama Jezebel . She later described him several times as the love of her life. The film was very successful and the portrayal of the spoiled southern beauty earned Davis her second Academy Award. This left room for the press to speculate that she might be slated for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in the film adaptation of Gone With the Wind . However, producer David O. Selznick wanted to hire a lesser-known actress and preferred Vivien Leigh .

Jezebel marked the beginning of Davis' most successful career phase. In the following years she was represented several times on the Quigley list of the ten most commercially successful stars in the United States. On the other hand, her husband's poor success led to a marital crisis. When in 1938 he was certain that his wife had cheated on him several times, he divorced. Davis was accordingly the victim of a great love during her next film , which was distributed in early 1939 and tells the fate of a woman who only has one year left to live and who still has a few happy days, emotionally very upset and considering getting out. The producer Hal B. Wallis was finally able to convince her to direct her emotional desperation on her acting in front of the camera. The film was one of the most successful productions of the year and Davis received another Academy Award nomination. Vivien Leigh won the award for the role of Scarlett O'Hara. In later years, Davis confessed that she had played her favorite role in Sacrifice Of A Great Love .

During 1939, Bette Davis appeared in three other commercially successful films. In The Old Maid , she played a young woman at the side of Miriam Hopkins who has to let her cousin raise her child. The period film Juarez presented her as the tragic Charlotte of Belgium . In her first color film Favorite of a Queen , she was seen as Elizabeth I alongside Errol Flynn . The film Hell, Where's Your Victory (1940) became her most financially successful film to date, while The Secret of Malampur (1940) was named "one of the best films of the year" by The Hollywood Reporter . In his private life , Davis met New England innkeeper Arthur "Farney" Farnsworth. The two married on December 31, 1940.

In January 1941, Davis became the first female chairman of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. However, she annoyed the committee members with her brisk demeanor and radical proposals for changes. After a few months she resigned from her position. Her successor, Jean Hersholt, proved to be more assertive and put into practice many of the ideas she had suggested during her tenure. At the time, Davis was the Warner Brothers' most successful female star and had first access to all leading roles. In 1941, Davis accepted an offer from producer Samuel Goldwyn to act as part of a loan-out in the William Wyler film adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes . Davis received another Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of an unscrupulous wife, but lost to Joan Fontaine on suspicion .

Second World War

After the attack on Pearl Harbor , Davis spent the first few months of 1942 selling war bonds . In two days, she sold $ 2 million in bonds, as well as a picture of herself in Jezebel for $ 250,000. Davis tried to get involved in many ways during wartime. Among other things, she appeared as the only white cast member in an acting group alongside Hattie McDaniel , Lena Horne and Ethel Waters to entertain the Afro-American soldiers in the US Army . At John Garfield's suggestion to open a soldiers' club in Hollywood, Davis, with the help of colleagues, converted an old nightclub into the Hollywood Canteen . Hollywood's greatest stars performed there to entertain American soldiers. She later said of her engagement: “There are only a few accomplishments in my life that I am sincerely proud of. The Hollywood Canteen is one of them. "

Bette Davis had one of her greatest financial and artistic successes with Journey from the Past in 1942. Warner Brothers originally played the role of the downtrodden daughter from the best family who begins a new life through love for a married man Studio contract working actress Irene Dunne provided. But Davis ultimately convinced Jack Warner to give her the role. For the fifth time in a row, Davis was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, but lost to Greer Garson in Mrs. Miniver .

At her own request, in 1943, Bette Davis played Paul Lukas's wife in Die Wacht am Rhein , the film adaptation of a piece of propaganda by Lillian Hellman , in which she very clearly points to the difficult conditions in contemporary Germany. The screenwriter Dashiell Hammett expanded the part of the wife, which was only created as a supporting role in the play, but in the end the actress was still dissatisfied with the result and the shooting was not very pleasant. In addition, Davis was also seen in two contemporary revue films, the proceeds of which were used for charitable purposes. In Thank Your Lucky Stars from 1943, Davis sings and dances during her solo number They're Either Too Young or Too Old . In it, the actress celebrates the shortage of men in society, as the able-bodied men were drafted in the course of the Second World War. In Hollywood Canteen , Bette Davis also appeared as herself and explained in the course of the plot the task of the institution she co-founded in the context of troop support.

After Norma Shearer and Margaret Sullavan , among others, refused to play only the second leading female role alongside Bette Davis, Davis and Miriam Hopkins met again in In Friendship Linked. The melodrama tells the tense friendship of two women, which is subjected to a tough test after one of them becomes a successful book author and conflicts arise over the love of a man. The actual rivalry between Davis and Hopkins was so strong that the originally engaged director Edmund Goulding left at his own request after filming began and Vincent Sherman brought production to an end.

On August 23, 1943, Davis' second husband, Arthur Farnsworth, collapsed on the street and died in hospital two days later. Davis was then offered to postpone filming her next film, The Life of Mrs. Skeffington (1943), but only asked for a week's delay. While filming, her moods were unpredictable and she was in constant dispute with director Vincent Sherman and copywriter Julius J. Epstein . She received very mixed reviews for her eccentrically exaggerated appearance in the film, but also received another Academy Award nomination.

Slowly waning success from 1945

Since the middle of the decade, Bette Davis has faced increasing competition for good roles from other actresses, after the studio had signed contracts for a certain number of films with Barbara Stanwyck and Rosalind Russell in addition to Joan Crawford . Crawford won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 1945, when a heart beats , while Davis received no nominations for The Green Grain . Ethel Barrymore successfully played the role of an idealistic senior teacher who devotedly fights the educational emergency in a Welsh mining town . Bette Davis had to put up with the accusation of the renowned film critic James Agee , among others, of being the wrong cast and of remaining below her potential as an actor. The Green Grain was the only film Davis made in 1945. In the same year Davis married the artist William Grant Sherry.

The Big Lie (1946) was Davis' next film and the first one she directed with her own production company, B. D. Productions . Davis had Catherine Turney write the script for it, and she chose her own co-stars. The film was not well received by the critics, but The Big Lie was still wellreceived in the cinemas. Her subsequent film Deceptive Passion (1946) was her first film since a Queen's Favorite from 1939 to show a loss.

Pregnant Davis retired into private life until the birth of her daughter Barbara Davis Sherry (later known as B. D. Hyman). Upon her return, she was offered the leading female role in African Queen (1951). When she found out that the film was to be shot in Africa, she declined. Katharine Hepburn later took on the role . Davis also refused to star in Women Without Men alongside Joan Crawford . The project was realized in 1950 with Eleanor Parker under the title Women's Prison . The plans to star in the film adaptation of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome at the side of Joan Crawford and Gary Cooper failed because of Davis' refusal. She suggested studio boss Jack Warner in return, unsuccessfully, a biography of Mary Todd Lincoln . In 1947, Davis was the highest paid woman in the country with an income of $ 328,000.

Her first film after the birth of her daughter was Winter Meeting , which was released in 1948. Davis subsequently regretted her involvement in the film. She had doubts about the acting talent of her colleague Jim Davis and she disliked the fact that some of the scenes that had been planned with her were not realized. As one reviewer said, "Of all the terrible dilemmas that Ms. Davis has faced [...] this is probably the worst." The film ended up causing Warner Brothers to lose over a million dollars. The comedy The Bride of the Month , which she starred alongside Robert Montgomery , was also unsuccessful at the box office. The reviews were mixed and Davis was certified to not have the necessary lightness as an actor to be able to play comedies credibly.

In addition to the financial failure of her last two films, Bette Davis also had to realize that Jane Wyman and Doris Day would become the studio's most popular female stars. The reasons for the rapid decline of her career were diverse and also met other actresses of her generation such as Barbara Stanwyck and Katharine Hepburn. At the beginning of the decade, Bette Davis was considered the “doyenne of romantic melodrama” alongside Greer Garson , but Olivia de Havilland and Ingrid Bergman took over this position in the following years . Also Joan Fontaine and Susan Hayward played now successfully in films about dramatic fate of women who were previously reserved for Davis.

The studio nonetheless continued to have faith in Bette Davis' box office traction and in 1949 the two sides signed a lucrative deal for four more films. The first was The Sting of Evil (1949). However, the actress was very dissatisfied with the script and director King Vidor and only continued to play after Warner assured her that she would be released from her contract once production was over. Her career seemed over, so the Los Angeles Examiner wrote of her latest Warner film, "An unworthy finale to a brilliant career."

Start of an independent career

Bette Davis and Gary Merrill in the movie All About Eva (1950)

In 1949, Davis and her then-husband Sherry fell out. At that time she received hardly any film offers until Darryl F. Zanuck urgently needed a replacement for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eva (1950) because Claudette Colbert was injured. The tragicomedy was the most successful film at the 1951 Academy Awards with 14 nominations and six awards and brought Davis an unexpected comeback. She won Best Actress Awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for her performance . Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz later said of working with Davis: “It was way more than great. She was fantastic ”. Her most famous film quote comes from the film Alles über Eva : “Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night.” (Eng .: Please buckle up, gentlemen. I think it's going to be a stormy night.)

On July 3, 1950, the divorce from William Sherry was complete. 25 days later, Davis married fellow actor Gary Merrill from All About Eve . With Sherry's permission, Merrill was then able to adopt Davis' daughter B. D. They also adopted a girl named Margot. In 1952 a boy named Michael was adopted.

In Great Britain, Merrill and Davis were again in front of the camera for the film Gift for the Other (1951). The critics rated the film negatively and the American press predicted Davis' renewed career end - despite her renewed Academy Award nomination for The Star (1952). So she was engaged for the Broadway revue Two's Company by Jules Dassin . However, due to a lack of training and experience, she did not convince on stage. In addition, Davis became seriously ill. In the course of the 1950s, she made only a few films that were not very successful. The London critic Richard Winninger judged her: "Ms. Davis, who has more say than most other stars, seems to have succumbed to selfishness [...] Only bad films are good enough for her." Her daughter Margot, however, was damaged of the brain that she likely contracted during or shortly after she was born. Davis and Merrill put Margot in a specialized institution. Family life at that time was characterized by quarrels, violence and alcohol. In 1960 they got divorced.

In 1961, Davis accepted an offer to play the homeless Apple Annie in Frank Capra's film The Bottom Ten Thousand (a 1933 remake of Lady for a Day ). A Broadway role alongside Margaret Leighton and Patrick O'Neal in The Night of the Iguana , she then played only a short time, because again there were disputes with other actors. She was no longer allowed to participate in the later film adaptation of the material.

Another success from 1962

Davis achieved another great commercial and artistic success through her participation in What really happened to Baby Jane? (1962). It was her only film that she made with competitor Joan Crawford. In order for the project to be realized at all, both leading actresses initially waived part of their fee, but in return negotiated a percentage of the profit. Davis received her tenth and final Academy Award nomination for Best Actress and her only nomination for the British Film Academy Award for her portrayal of former child star Baby Jane Hudson tormenting her wheelchair-bound sister Blanche .

In the detective film The Black Circle (1964), Davis played twin sisters. At the time, the film was complex and required special camera technology. She found her next engagement in the drama Where love leads (1964). Again arguments with her film partner, this time Susan Hayward , made shooting difficult . Davis' last major hit in the 1960s marked Robert Aldrich's Baby Jane sequel, Lullaby for a Corpse (1964). Aldrich started production again with Joan Crawford as Davis' opponent. Crawford fell ill and was replaced by Olivia de Havilland at Davis' suggestion . The film was a notable success that received numerous Oscar nominations.

In 1964, Bette Davis also starred in a pilot for Aaron Spelling's new sitcom The Decorator . However, the film never aired and the project ended. Later in the 1960s she appeared in several British productions: Was It Really Murder? (1965), The Poison Syringe (1968) and The Passage Room (1970). Success was limited and her career stalled again.

Late career since the 1970s

Bette Davis with Elizabeth Taylor (1981)
Bette Davis with Ronald Reagan (1987)

In 1972 Davis took on leading roles in two pilot films for possible television series, first in In the Fangs of Madame Sin with Robert Wagner and then in The Judge and Jake Wyler with Joan Van Ark . However, no series emerged from either film.

Two years later, Davis made her comeback on Broadway in a modernized version of The Grain Is Green . Despite bad reviews, the play was very well attended. For Davis, who was 66 at the time, the exertions of constant stage appearances were too high. She retired from production due to a back injury.

After a year off filming, Davis returned to the big screen in 1976. She took on supporting roles in the films Country House of Dead Souls with Karen Black and The Disappearance of Aimee with Faye Dunaway . Again there was a dispute with those involved. Davis mainly criticized the lack of respect for her person and the lack of professional behavior on the set .

For television, Davis got many role offers at the time, so she could decide for herself which she would accept and which not. She was seen in the television series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) and in the Agatha Christie film Death on the Nile (1978). She received an Emmy Award for her portrayal in Homecoming of a Stranger (1979) and other nominations for her achievements in White Mama (1980) and Little Gloria - Poor Rich Girl (1982). Davis also appeared in two Disney films. Other television films with her were The Lady (1981) with her grandson J. Ashley Hyman, A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (1982) and At the End of the Road (1983) with James Stewart .

Last years of life

After Davis shot the pilot for the television series Hotel in 1983 , she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Later in the hospital, a stroke paralyzed her right face and left arm, and her ability to speak was severely impaired. She then began lengthy physiotherapy . After some recovery from her paralysis, she returned home but broke her hip in a fall.

The relationship between Davis and her daughter B. D. Hyman deteriorated during this time, because Hyman wanted to lead her mother to the Christian revival movement . Davis traveled to the UK after recovering to star in the 1985 Agatha Christie film The Double Bottomed Murder and learned on her return that Hyman was planning to publish a biography.

The book was later called My Mother's Keeper and describes in chronological order the events of a difficult mother-daughter relationship, written by a daughter who suffered from her mother's imperious nature and drunkenness. Several friends and supporters of Bette Davis described the experiences described as incorrect and Mike Wallace had a 60-minute interview with B. D. Hyman that had been recorded a few years earlier repeated . There she says that she has adopted many of Davis' mothering skills for herself and that she also applies them to the upbringing of her own children. Even Davis's ex-husband Merrill said in a CNN interview that Hyman's motives were "cruelty and greed."

Davis 'second autobiography, This' N That , closes with an open letter to her daughter. In it she assumes that Hyman has "a great lack of loyalty and gratitude for the extremely privileged life that I think I have given you". The letter ends with an allusion to her daughter's book: “When it comes to money and my memories are correct, I've been your protector all through the years. And I'll add that my name made your book about me a success. ”Davis never spoke to her daughter for the rest of her life and immediately disinherited her.

Davis then starred in the television film All Summers Die (1986) and in Lindsay Anderson's Wale in August (1987), where she played the blind sister of Lillian Gish . The film received mostly appreciative reviews. Her last role was that of Miranda Pierpoint in Larry Cohen's Dance of the Witches (1989). However, her state of health did not allow the film to be completed, instead the role of Barbara Carrera was given more space in the film. Dance of the Witches was not published until after Davis' death.

Davis collapsed during the 1989 American Cinema Awards. She had to realize that the cancer had come back. Nevertheless, she traveled to Spain to receive an award at the Festival Internacional de Cine de Donostia-San Sebastián . Her health deteriorated rapidly during her stay. Since she was physically unable to travel home to the United States, she went to France , where she died on October 6, 1989 in the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine. She was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park next to her mother Ruth and sister Bobby. Her grave inscription reads "She did it the hard way" (Eng .: She took the hard way). Joseph L. Mankiewicz suggested this line to her shortly after the filming of Alles über Eva was finished .

Bette Davis Foundation

In 1997, Davis's executor Michael Merrill, her son, and former assistant Kathryn Sermak founded the Bette Davis Foundation , which provides college scholarships to young actors and actresses. Each year since 1999, the Foundation has honored an acting student at Boston University College of Fine Arts with the Bette Davis Prize and a scholarship. The most famous award-winner to date is Ginnifer Goodwin , who received the award in 2001 and starred in the six-time Oscar-nominated film Walk the Line in 2005 .

The Bette Davis Foundation presents the Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award at irregular intervals . Meryl Streep received the award in 1999, Prince Edward in 2002 and Susan Sarandon in 2008 . On the occasion of Davis' 100th birthday, Lauren Bacall received the Bette Davis Medal of Honor . In 2014, Geena Davis received the Lifetime Achievement Award .

Effect and reception

outer appearance

Outwardly, Davis did not correspond to the image of a classic film actress of her time. Everything in her face seemed a little too big. Her eyes, in particular, had a high recognition value. She stood out clearly from the popular ideals of beauty of the time, which were personified by stars like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich . When she arrived in Hollywood in 1930, a studio employee did not recognize her as an actress at the train station and drove back to the studio without having picked her up. Davis was not taken seriously during the making of her first film either. Production director Carl Laemmle Jr. is said to have said that she had "about as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville ".

It was important for Davis to stand out for her acting skills rather than her looks, and so she once said, "I always didn't care what I looked like as long as I looked like my character." She proved in portraying some of her movie characters repeated courage to be ugly. For her portrayal of baby Jane Hudson, for example, she put on make-up because she was convinced that no one would dare to make her make-up sufficiently ugly. She had her hair and eyebrows shaved off when the script required it for the film A Queen's Favorite , and once commented on her death scene in Of Human Bondage by saying, “The final stages of tuberculosis, poverty and neglect are not pretty and I intend to look convincing. "

Role choice

Even more than her appearance, Davis was noticed by her unconventional choice of roles. While she played typical naive girls at the beginning of her career, her talent as a character actress was recognized after her portrayal of Mildred in Of Human Bondage . This gave her a unique selling point, as most actresses at the time turned down roles from unsympathetic, morally questionable characters because they feared damage to their image. Davis played strong-willed, ambitious, sometimes neurotic and sometimes power- and money-hungry characters. She embodied a prostitute in Murder in the Night Club , a lying murderess in The Secret of Malampur and a calculating blackmailer and murderess in The Little Foxes . On a movie poster for The Sting of Evil she was advertised with the words: "Nobody is as good as Bette Davis when she is angry."

It was also characteristic that Davis often played characters who were older than herself, for example in The Green Grain or a Queen's Favorite . In the latter, she played the sixty-year-old Elisabeth I, although she was only 31 years old at the beginning of the shooting. When the roles were not offered in the 1960s, she dared to take the step to the horror genre and thus became a pioneer for many other aging Hollywood stars. Again it was the representations of particularly malicious or mentally ill characters that brought her new recognition in Hollywood.

Looking back on her career, Davis also has to put up with the accusation that some of her roles were not chosen optimally. So she turned down offers for later successful films, such as Solange ein Herz Beats and African Queen . Instead, she starred in films that were panned by critics or disregarded by the public - such as Deceptive Passion and Winter Meeting - although, as one of the most influential actresses in Hollywood at the time, she could have turned it down.

Means of expression

Davis' most powerful means of expression were her large, protruding eyes, which were emphasized in many films through makeup and camera angles. For many film connoisseurs, she is still considered the "queen of the evil eye". Also, cigarettes played a big role in her films, so she often portrayed smoking characters. In films like Everything about Eva or Reversed Happiness , she practically celebrates smoking. Your most famous smoking scene, which was often re-enacted and parodied in the following years , comes from the film Journey from the Past . Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes in it at the same time, holding them both between his lips for a short time before passing one on to Davis. To her biographer Charlotte Chandler, Davis stated: “Cigarettes were very important to my characters [...] the cigarette was my character prop. [...] I used them to demonstrate anger, to make an argument or to underline a reaction, to express nervousness. "

Davis always tried to make her characters look particularly authentic. In 1935 E. Annot Robertson wrote in the Picture Post : “I think Bette Davis would probably have been burned as a witch if she had lived two or three hundred years earlier. It gives you the strange feeling of being charged with a force that has no ordinary exit. ”Her playing was particularly impressive because of its physicality; Hysterical attacks and strong emotional outbursts were not uncommon. The film historian Gene Ringgold said of her acting: “There are two types of actors, those who create ideal projection surfaces for the audience through technical skills. And others who overwhelm the viewer by the sheer power of their personality. Bette Davis was one of the latter, but did not rely on her charisma alone; she learned the craft little by little. Intelligence, hard work, discipline, fearlessness, ambition - these are the messages of her long career. "

Audience and following

The majority of Davis' over a hundred films have been produced for predominantly female audiences. Especially during the 1930s and during the war, melodramas were in demand that made the audience forget everyday life. Davis became a role model for many women through her self-confident appearance in her films. An exception was, for example, the contemporary boxing film Kid Galahad - with hard fists , here she was able to make a name for herself with the male audience.

With her appearances in horror films in the 1960s and 1970s, Davis caught the attention of genre lovers in particular. She was also an icon on the American gay scene. It was often imitated by travesty artists known in the United States such as Charles Pierce or Tracey Lee. She gained new fame, especially among the younger generation, through Kim Carnes ' world hit Bette Davis Eyes . The title became number one in the charts in a total of 31 countries in 1981.

From the 1970s on, talk shows and stage presentations in which Davis appeared to introduce one of her books or to tell about her life also attracted a lot of attention. Among other things, her appearance at the New York stage presentation Great Ladies of the American Cinema was so successful that she then went on tour to Australia and Europe with the Bette Davis program in person and film . The audience appreciated her direct and honest manner. Davis had a considerable following outside of the United States through her many trips abroad. Her daughter 's book, My Mother's Keeper , didn't detract from her popularity either.

Image, reputation and escapades

After her legal battle with Warner Brothers in 1936 at the latest, Davis had a reputation in Hollywood for being demanding about the production conditions of her films. She often found scripts to be bad and directors and other actors to be untalented. Her arguments with Miriam Hopkins , Susan Hayward , Jim Davis , Faye Dunaway and others are well known. Even with William Wyler , the man she most adored, she quarreled so violently during the filming of The Little Foxes that there was no further collaboration between the two afterwards. During the filming of The Toxic Injection , Davis even had the director Alvin Rakoff replaced after a few days of shooting.

Grave of Bette Davis in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills

The media has speculated over the years about rivalries between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford . According to Davis, it should at least be done while filming What Really Happened To Baby Jane? did not lead to any open conflicts. In her book, This' N That , she said: “Feud is a Hollywood word. Did Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ever argue while filming What Really Happened To Baby Jane? No!".

However, Bette Davis was also able to be very gracious and selfless towards her co-stars. During the work on Reversed Happiness from 1941, Davis personally ensured that the role of Mary Astor , who was initially only intended to disturb the happiness between Bette Davis and George Brent as a stereotypical other woman , was expanded and made more interesting. In the end, Mary Astor won the Oscar for best supporting actress and explicitly thanked two people during the ceremony - Bette Davis and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky . Bette Davis was a lifelong friend of several colleagues from the film industry, such as Olivia de Havilland, Geraldine Fitzgerald , George Brent, Anne Baxter and Natalie Wood .



TV appearances (selection)

  • 1952, 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1965: What's My Line? (American version of What am I?; each as a mystery guest )
  • 1956: The 20 th Century-Fox Hour (TV series, guest appearance season 1 episode 10)
  • 1956: Person to Person (talk show)
  • 1957: Schlitz Playhouse of Stars (TV series, guest appearance season 6, episode 26)
  • 1957: The Ford Television Theater (TV series, guest appearance season 5, episode 30)
  • 1957: Telephone Time (TV series, guest appearance season 2 episode 31)
  • 1957–1958: General Electric Theater (TV series, guest appearances season 5 episode 24 and season 6 episode 27)
  • 1958: Studio 57 (TV series, guest appearance season 4 episode 20)
  • 1958: Suspicion (TV series, guest appearance season 1 episode 28)
  • 1958: The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (Variety Show)
  • 1959: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series, guest appearance season 4 episode 16)
  • 1959: The DuPont Show with June Allyson (TV series, guest appearance season 1 episode 2)
  • 1959 and 1961: Wagon Train (TV series, guest appearances season 2 episode 18, season 3 episode 5 and season 5 episode 12)
  • 1962: The People at Shiloh Ranch (The Virginian) (TV series, guest appearance season 1 episode 13)
  • 1962, 1972, 1983, 1986 and 1988: The Tonight Show ( NBC late night show )
  • 1963: Perry Mason (TV series, guest appearance season 6, episode 16)
  • 1964: The Andy Williams Show (Variety Show)
  • 1965: The Decorator (unreleased pilot)
  • 1966: Smoking Colts (Gunsmoke) (TV series, guest appearance season 12, episode 3)
  • 1970: Her appearance, Al Mundy (It Takes a Thief) (TV series, guest appearance season 3 episode 17)
  • 1970 and 1971: The Dick Cavett Show ( ABC Late Night Show)
  • 1972: In the Clutches of Madame Sin (Madame Sin) (pilot)
  • 1972: The Judge and Jake Wyler (pilot)
  • 1973: Scream, Pretty Peggy (TV movie)
  • 1973: The Dean Martin Show (Variety Show)
  • 1973: ABC's Wide World of Entertainment (host of the episode Warner Bros. Movies: A 50 Year Salute )
  • 1974: Hello Mother, Goodbye! (TV movie)
  • 1976: The Disappearance of Aimee (TV movie)
  • 1976: VIP swing (talk show)
  • 1977: Dinah! (Talk show)
  • 1978: The Dark Secret Of Harvest Home ( miniseries )
  • 1979 Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (TV movie)
  • 1980: White Mama (TV movie)
  • 1980: Julie Takes the Sky (Skyward) (TV movie)
  • 1981: Die Lady (Family Reunion) (TV movie)
  • 1982: A Piano for Mrs. Cimino (A Piano for Mrs. Cimino) (TV movie)
  • 1982: Little Gloria ... Happy at Last (TV movie)
  • 1983: At the end of the road (Right of Way) (TV movie)
  • 1983: Hotel (pilot for the later television series)
  • 1985: murder with a false bottom (Murder with Mirrors) (TV movie)
  • 1986: As Summers Die (TV movie)
  • 1988: Larry King Live (talk show)

Theater appearances (selection)

Performances by Bette Davis on New York Broadway :

  • 1929: The Earth Between (Provincetown Playhouse; role: Floy Jennings)
  • 1929: Ritz Theater (Ritz Theater; role: Elaine Bumpsted)
  • 1930: Solid South ( Lyceum Theater ; role: Bam)
  • 1952: Two's Company ( Alvin Theater ; musical revue)
  • 1960: The World of Carl Sandburg (Henry Miller's Theater)
  • 1961: The Night of the Iguana (Royale Theater; role: Maxine Faulk)

Radio appearances (selection)

From the mid-1930s, Bette Davis, like many other Hollywood actors, appeared in radio broadcasts as a spokesperson for various radio play productions, sometimes adapting her previously made films.

  • March 30, 1936: Bought And Paid For (Lux Radio Theater)
  • May 17, 1937: Another Language (Lux Radio Theater; together with Fred MacMurray )
  • February 28, 1938: Forsaking All Others (Lux Radio Theater; together with Joel McCrea )
  • January 8, 1940: Dark Victory (Lux Radio Theater; with Spencer Tracy )
  • January 14, 1940: This Lonely Heart (Screen Guild Theater)
  • March 10, 1940: Ballerina, Slightly with Accent (Screen Guild Theater; with William Powell )
  • April 21, 1941: The Letter (Lux Radio Theater; together with Herbert Marshall and James Stephenson )
  • December 15, 1941: All This and Heaven Too (Lux Radio Theater; together with Charles Boyer )
  • March 6, 1944: The Letter (Lux Radio Theater; together with Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall)
  • January 10, 1944: Watch on the Rhine (Screen Guild Theater; together with Paul Lukas )
  • August 6, 1945: The Little Foxes (Screen Guild Theater)
  • October 1, 1945: Mr. Skeffington (Lux Radio Theater)
  • February 11, 1946: Now. Voyager (Lux Radio Theater; together with Gregory Peck )
  • August 25, 1947: A Stolen Life (Lux Radio Theater; together with Glenn Ford )
  • August 29, 1949: June Bride (Lux Radio Theater; with James Stewart )
  • September 3, 1951: Payment on Demand (Lux Radio Theater; together with Barry Sullivan )
  • October 1, 1951: All About Eve (Lux Radio Theater; with Gary Merrill and Anne Baxter )


Acting awards


In 1962, Davis was the first person to win ten Academy Award nominations for best actress or best actor. Meryl Streep , Katharine Hepburn , Jack Nicholson and Laurence Olivier were only able to achieve or exceed this at a later point in time. She was the first actress to be nominated for an Oscar five years in a row (1939-1943), which after her only Greer Garson managed in the period from 1942 to 1946. After Bette Davis' death, Steven Spielberg bought her two trophies for $ 207,000 and $ 578,000, respectively, and then returned them to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences .

Emmy Award

Golden Globe Award

British Film Academy Award

CableACE Award

Cannes International Film Festival

Laurel Award

New York Film Critics Circle Award

Nymph d'Or

Saturn Award

Venice International Film Festival

Honorary awards

Bette Davis' Footprints - Grauman's Chinese Theater

Bette Davis has received numerous awards for her special achievements in the course of her career. She received her first ever actress award in 1932 as Star of Tomorrow as one of the most promising future stars along with Joan Blondell and Ginger Rogers . In 1941 and 1963, Davis received the Golden Apple Award , a prize given to actors who have shown themselves to be particularly cooperative in working with the press. On November 6, 1950, Davis was allowed to immortalize herself with her hand and footprints in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater .

Davis was first honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1974 for her life's work . In 1977 Davis became the first woman to receive the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award . In 1982, Davis was honored with the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the United States Department of Defense's highest civilian honor. The medal recognized her extensive work on the Hollywood Canteen project during World War II. In the period that followed, prices for Davis' work increased. She received the Award of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board (1982), the Crystal Award (1983), the Life Achievement Award from the American Theater Arts (1983) and the César d'honneur (1986). In 1987 Davis was named a member of the Legion of Honor by the French government for her services to film, and in the same year she was also awarded the Kennedy Prize . Davis was the last year of his life to receive the Life Achievement Award at the American Cinema Awards and the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival .

Bette Davis holds two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6225 Hollywood Blvd. and 6233 Hollywood Blvd.). In 1999 she voted the American Film Institute second in the top 25 Hollywood actresses of the 20th century, behind Katharine Hepburn .

The United States Postal Service honored Davis with a special stamp in 2008 on the occasion of her 100th birthday . The brand features a picture of Davis in her role as Margo Channing from All About Eva .



  • Bette Davis: The Lonely Life: An Autobiography , GP Putnam's Sons, New York 1962
  • Bette Davis and Michael Herskowitz: This' N That , GP Putnam's Sons, New York 1987, ISBN 978-0-399-13246-9 .


  • Roger Baker: Bette Davis. A Tribute 1908-1989. (Hardcover) Gallery Books 1990, ISBN 978-0-8317-0800-9 .
  • Charlotte Chandler: Bette Davis. The personal biography. LangenMüller, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7844-3137-6 .
  • Charlotte Chandler: The Girl Who Walked Home Alone. Bette Davis, a Personal Biography. (Hardcover) Simon & Schuster 2006, ISBN 978-0-7432-6208-8 .
  • Shaun Considine: Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud. (Hardcover) EP Dutton 1989 / Paperback October 2000 and Time Warner Paperbacks 2004, ISBN 978-0-7515-4187-8 .
  • Boze Hadleigh: Bette Davis Speaks. (Paperback) Barricade Books Inc., US 2005, ISBN 978-0-7862-0835-7 .
  • B. D. Hyman: My Mother's Keeper. (Hardcover) William Morrow & Co 1987, ISBN 978-0-688-04798-6 .
  • Barbara Leaming: Bette Davis. A biography. (Paperback) Cooper Square Press 2003, ISBN 978-0-8154-1286-1 .
  • Roy Moseley: Bette Davis: An Intimate Memoir. (Hardcover) Donald I Fine 1990, ISBN 978-1-55611-218-8 .
  • Laura Moser: Bette Davis (Life & Times). (Paperback) Haus Publishing Limited 2005, ISBN 978-1-904341-48-2 .
  • Christopher Nickens: Bette Davis. (Paperback) Columbus Books Ltd 1985, ISBN 978-0-86287-256-4 .
  • Lawrence J. Quirk : The Passionate Life of Bette Davis. (Hardcover) Robson Books Ltd 1990, ISBN 978-0-688-08427-1 .
  • Randall Riese: All About Bette. Her Life from AZ. (Hardcover) Contemporary Books Inc 1993, ISBN 978-0-8092-4111-8 .
  • Jeffrey Robinson: Bette Davis. Her Film and Stage Career. The Definitive Study of Her Film Career. (Paperback), Proteus Publishing Company 1985, ISBN 978-0-86276-022-9 .
  • Ed Sikov: Dark Victory. The Life of Bette Davis. (Paperback) Henry Holt & Company 2007, ISBN 978-0-8050-8863-2 .
  • James Spada: Bette Davis. More Than a Woman. (Paperback) Time Warner Paperbacks 2005, ISBN 978-0-7515-0940-3 .
  • Richard Steins, Gene Brown. Bette Davis: Movie Star. Blackbirch Press 1990, ISBN 978-1-56711-028-9
  • Whitney Stine: No Guts, No Glory. Conversations with Bette Davis. (Hardcover) Virgin Books 1990, ISBN 978-1-85227-343-9 .
  • Whitney Stine: I'd Love to Kiss You. Conversations With Bette Davis. (Hardcover) Pocket Books 1990, ISBN 978-0-671-61152-1 .
  • Jerry Vermilye: Bette Davis. Your films, your life. (Paperback) Heyne Verlag 1988 (second, revised edition).
  • Alexander Walker: Bette Davis. A celebration. (Applause Legends), (Paperback) Applause Books 1998, ISBN 978-1-55783-337-2 .

Film documentaries

  • The American Film Institute Salute to Bette Davis . TV documentary, USA 1977, 90 minutes
  • Bette Davis - A Basically Benevolent Volcano (Original title: Bette Davis - A Basically Benevolent Volcano ). TV documentary, GBR / USA 1983, 60 minutes
  • All About Bette . TV documentary by Susan F. Walker and David Ansen, USA 1994, 48 minutes
  • Bette Davis: Bigger than life . TV documentary by Sabine Carbon , Germany 2017, 52 minutes

Web links

Commons : Bette Davis  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Sikov: Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis. 2007, pp. 14-15.
  2. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 42.
  3. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 44.
  4. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, p. 19.
  5. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 48.
  6. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 51-52.
  7. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 54-55.
  8. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 56-57.
  9. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 59.
  10. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 67-68.
  11. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 69-70.
  12. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 73.
  13. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 75.
  14. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 77.
  15. ^ A New "Find." . In: The Washington Post , May 5, 1929, p. A3.
  16. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 84.
  17. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 88.
  18. a b Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 93.
  19. Bette Davis talks about kissing scenes. Retrieved July 11, 2011 . (Video, English)
  20. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 92.
  21. Stine: Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. 1974, p. 10.
  22. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 101.
  23. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, p. 143
  24. Vermilye: Bette Davis Your Films - Your Life. 1988, pp. 48-49.
  25. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 136.
  26. ^ Wiley: Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards. 1987, p. 55.
  27. ^ Ringgold: The Films of Bette Davis. 1966, p. 65.
  28. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 144.
  29. ↑ Origin of the name of the Academy Award. In: Fischer Weltalmanach. Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  30. Vermilye: Bette Davis Your Films - Your Life. 1998, p. 59.
  31. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 150.
  32. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 176-177.
  33. Vermilye: Bette Davis Your Films - Your Life. 1988, p. 30
  34. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 174-175.
  35. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 151.
  36. Murder in the Night Club in the Lexicon of International FilmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used
  37. Scott O'Brien: Kay Francis: I Can't Wait to Be Forgotten. Her Life on Stage and Film . BearManor Media, 2006, pp. 136 ff. Lynn Kear, John Rossman: Kay Francis: A Passionate Life and Career . McFarland, 2006, Chapter 10 ff.
  38. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 160-161.
  39. Haver: David O. Selznick's Hollywood. 1980, p. 243.
  40. Spada: More Than a Women. 1993, pp. 200-204.
  41. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 173-174.
  42. ^ Ringgold: The Films of Bette Davis. 1966, p. 105.
  43. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 190-194.
  44. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 248-250.
  45. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 262-263.
  46. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, p. 268.
  47. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 207-208.
  48. Bette Davis quote (homepage). (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on October 14, 2013 ; Retrieved December 11, 2013 .
  49. Vermilye: Bette Davis Your Films - Your Life. 1988, pp. 103-104; Ringgold: The Films of Bette Davis. 1966, p. 120.
  50. Watch on the Rhine in the English language Wikipedia
  51. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 209.
  52. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 274-280,
  53. Spada: More Than A Woman. 1993, pp. 287-288.
  54. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 215-217.
  55. Considine: Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud. 1989, p. 184
  56. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 223.
  57. Vermilye: Bette Davis Your Films - Your Life. 1988, p. 118
  58. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, pp. 339-340; with interesting comparisons on the performance of B. Davis' films at the box office compared to G. Garson.
  59. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, p. 341.
  60. Considine: Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud. 2000, p. 225.
  61. Stine: Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis. 1974, p. 197.
  62. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, pp. 351-353,
  63. Considine: Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud. 1989, p. 228.
  64. Schickel: You Must Remember This - The Warner Bros. Story. 2008, pp. 184-187
  65. ^ Thomas Schatz: Boom and Bust-American Cinema in the 1940s , 1997; on the extensive changes in public taste immediately after the war, with special mention of B. Davis starting on p. 354. The author makes an interesting parallel between Garson and Davis, both of which rapidly lost popularity after 1945.
  66. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 228.
  67. ^ Ringgold: The Films of Bette Davis. 1966, p. 143.
  68. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 232-235.
  69. Staggs: All About 'All About Eve'. 2000, p. 80.
  70. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 251-252.
  71. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 261.
  72. ^ Carr: More Fabulous Faces: The Evolution and Metamorphosis of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Dolores del Rio, Carole Lombard and Myrna Loy. 1979, p. 193.
  73. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 260–264 and pp. 271–273.
  74. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, p. 456.
  75. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 284-286.
  76. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 290-291.
  77. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 293.
  78. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 294-295.
  79. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, pp. 531-533.
  80. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 302-304.
  81. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 319-321.
  82. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, p. 587 and p. 590.
  83. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 329-330.
  84. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 331-332.
  85. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, p. 644.
  86. Davis: This' N That. 1987, pp. 197-198.
  87. ^ Bette Davis Foundation. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 21, 2011 ; Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  88. Lauren Bacall Honors Bette Davis at BU. Retrieved July 11, 2011 . (English)
  89. ^ Boston University and the Bette Davis Foundation to honor Academy Award Winner Geena Davis. Retrieved August 15, 2014 .
  90. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 90-91.
  91. ^ "DieStandard" article from April 7, 2008. Accessed July 11, 2011 .
  92. Spada: More Than a Woman. 1993, p. 147.
  93. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 125-126.
  94. FAZ article from April 5, 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  95. Bette Davis: The Woman Who Left 100 Films. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved July 11, 2011 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  96. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 186-187.
  97. Focus article from April 5, 2008. Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  98. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 204.
  99. ^ Ringgold: The Films of Bette Davis. 1966, p. 65.
  100. The eyes of a great babe . In: Berliner Zeitung , April 5, 2008
  101. Bette Davis biography. In: Who's Who. Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  102. Charles Pierce as Bette Davis (photo gallery). Retrieved July 11, 2011 .
  103. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, pp. 318-319.
  104. Chandler: Bette Davis - The personal biography. 2008, p. 309.
  105. Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on June 28, 2007 ; Retrieved July 11, 2011 . (English)
  107. ^ Profile of Bette Davis in the Internet Broadway Database (accessed April 5, 2013).
  108. Overview of the Radio Lux Theater broadcasts. Retrieved July 21, 2011 .
  109. Overview of the Screen Guild Theater programs. Retrieved July 21, 2011 .
  110. Real Classics: Oscar Dangerous. Retrieved July 11, 2011 . (English)
  111. Spielberg buys Bette Davis' Oscars. Retrieved July 11, 2011 . (English)
  112. ^ Prize winners at (English; accessed April 5, 2013).
  113. Bette Davis' Awards. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on July 5, 2011 ; Retrieved July 11, 2011 . Bette Davis' Homepage
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on July 30, 2011 in this version .