Bette Davis

Actor, Film actor

1908 – 1989

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Who was Bette Davis?

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas.

After appearing in Broadway plays, Davis moved to Hollywood in 1930, but her early films for Universal Studios were unsuccessful. She joined Warner Bros. in 1932 and established her career with several critically acclaimed performances. In 1937, she attempted to free herself from her contract and although she lost a well-publicized legal case, it marked the beginning of the most successful period of her career. Until the late 1940s, she was one of American cinema's most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative, and confrontations with studio executives, film directors and costars were often reported. Her forthright manner, clipped vocal style and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona which has often been imitated and satirized.

Famous Quotes:

  • The real actor has a direct line to the collective heart.
  • This became a credo of mine: attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
  • We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.
  • I'd marry again if I found a man who had 15 million and would sign over half of it to me before the marriage and guarantee he'd be dead within a year.
  • The act of sex, gratifying as it may be, is God's joke on humanity. It is man's last desperate stand at superintendency.
  • Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone -- but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.
  • My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.
  • Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
  • I'll play with it first and tell you what it is later.
  • To fulfill a dream to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.

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Born
Apr 5, 1908
Lowell
Also known as
  • Ruth Elizabeth Davis
  • The Fifth Warner Brother
  • The First Lady of Film
  • Miss Bette Davis
  • Betty
  • Betty Davis
  • Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis
  • The First Lady of the American Screen
  • Ruth Davis
  • Fred
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Protestantism
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • Cushing Academy
Lived in
  • Massachusetts
Died
Oct 6, 1989
Neuilly-sur-Seine
Resting place
Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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