[136], The United States Postal Service honored Davis with a commemorative postage stamp in 2008, marking the 100th anniversary of her birth. Bette Davis, Actress: All About Eve. She sold $2 million worth of bonds in two days, as well as a picture of herself in Jezebel for $250,000. In 1980, she was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, for running the Hollywood Canteen. Daughter Barbara (credited as B.D. The Lonely Life: An Autobiography Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images. Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) was Robert Aldrich's follow-up to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. [23][better source needed] Their marriage was scrutinized by the press; his $100 a week earnings ($1,885 in 2020 dollars) compared unfavorably with Davis' reported $1,000 a week income ($18,850). She had a daughter, B.D., with her third husband, William Grant Sherry. She was replaced by Olivia de Havilland. [98] There were stories that Davis and Crawford would purposely annoy each other on set. Minor shelf and handling wear, overall a clean solid copy with minimal signs of use. He remarked, "If anybody wants to put me into perpetual servitude on the basis of that remuneration, I shall prepare to consider it." Often referred to as “The First Lady of the American Screen,” Bette Davis created a new kind of screen heroine. The televised event included comments from several of Davis' colleagues, including William Wyler, who joked that given the chance, Davis would still like to re-film a scene from The Letter to which Davis nodded. She negotiated a deal that would pay her 10 percent of the worldwide gross profits in addition to her salary. The Lonely Life: An Autobiography by Bette Davis EPUB Originally published in 1962, The Lonely Life is legendary silver screen actress Bette Davis' lively and riveting account of her life, loves, and marriages - updated with an afterword she wrote just before her death. Her appearances were popular; Lindsay Anderson observed that the public enjoyed seeing her behaving "so bitchy": "I always disliked that because she was encouraged to behave badly. [122], As she entered old age, Davis was acknowledged for her achievements. The script was rewritten to place more emphasis on Barbara Carrera's character, and the reworked version was released after Davis' death. [140] Her record has only been matched by one other performer, Greer Garson, who also earned five consecutive nominations in the Best Actress category (1941–1945), including three years when both these actresses were nominated. [34] For the rest of her life, Davis maintained that she gave the statue its familiar name of "Oscar" because its posterior resembled that of her husband, whose middle name was Oscar,[35][36] although, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially makes reference to another story.[37]. Binding is firm, with clean pages. Davis testified before an inquest that she knew of no event that might have caused the injury. Inspired by New York’s Stage Door Canteen, Bette transformed a once-abandoned nightclub into an inspiring entertainment facility. She was noted for playing unsympathetic, sardonic characters, and was famous for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical films, suspense horror, and occasional comedies, although her greater successes were in romantic dramas. Joan Crawford played her role in Possessed, and was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress. Davis also received her only BAFTA nomination for this performance. [89] Margot was diagnosed as severely brain-damaged due to an injury sustained during or shortly after her birth, and was placed in an institution around the age of 3. She appeared in three other box-office hits in 1939: The Old Maid with Miriam Hopkins, Juarez with Paul Muni, and The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex with Errol Flynn. Too weak to make the long journey back to the U.S., she traveled to France, where she died on October 6, 1989, at 11:35 PM, at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine. [51], In January 1941, Davis became the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but antagonized the committee members with her brash manner and radical proposals. In 1997, the executors of her estate, Merrill and Kathryn Sermak, her former assistant, established The Bette Davis Foundation, which awards college scholarships to promising actors and actresses. Exhibitors protested her star billing as they considered it would negatively impact the box office performance and, despite the appearance of Ford, the film failed at the box office. The next year, her performance as a down-and-out actress in Dangerous (1935) did land Davis her first Best Actress nomination, and she won the award. John Springer, who had arranged her speaking tours of the early 1970s, wrote that despite the accomplishments of many of her contemporaries, Davis was "the star of the thirties and into the forties", achieving notability for the variety of her characterizations and her ability to assert herself, even when her material was mediocre. [95], In 1961, Davis opened in the Broadway production The Night of the Iguana to mostly mediocre reviews, and left the production after four months due to "chronic illness". actress". According to a 1993 biography of Bette Davis, she and Merrill began arguing frequently, with Davis later recalling episodes of alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Her portrayal of a strong-willed 1850s southern belle in Jezebel (1938) won her a second Academy Award for Best Actress and was the first of five consecutive years in which she received a Best Actress nomination. [102] Where Love Has Gone (1964) was a romantic drama based on a Harold Robbins novel. Bette also said Joan was a good, professional actress, but cared a lot about the way she looked, and her vanity. Though some of her actions and opinions may seem very non-PC to 21st century readers, her attitudes about being valued as a woman with a career and children were ahead of their time. In 1937, she tried to free herself from her contract with Warner Brothers Studio; although she lost the legal case, it marked the start of more than a decade as one of the most celebrated leading ladies of U.S. cinema. [63] The critic E. Arnot Robertson observed: Only Bette Davis...could have combated so successfully the obvious intention of the adaptors of the play to make frustrated sex the mainspring of the chief character's interest in the young miner. After appearing on Broadway in New York, the 22-year old Davis moved to Hollywood in 1930. Oh, I thought I would die. [100], In 1962, Davis appeared as Celia Miller on the TV western The Virginian in the episode titled "The Accomplice.". Davis was known for her forceful and intense style of acting. Sperling, Millner, and Warner, pp. Davis performed a novelty song, "They're Either Too Young or Too Old", which became a hit record after the film's release. Narrated by Suzanne Toren. In 1938, Nelson obtained evidence that Davis was engaged in a sexual relationship with Howard Hughes, and subsequently filed for divorce, citing Davis' "cruel and inhuman manner". Davis later explained her actions with the observation "When I was most unhappy, I lashed out rather than whined." [citation needed], Davis's first marriage was to Harmon Oscar Nelson on August 18, 1932 in Yuma, Arizona. The Hollywood Canteen is one of them." Davis' grandson was impressed that she was the subject of a hit song and Davis considered it a compliment, writing to both Carnes and the songwriters, and accepting the gift of gold and platinum records from Carnes, and hanging them on her wall. Jack Warner sued her, and she was forced to honor her contract. Carroll & Graf Publishers. The lonely life : an autobiography Item Preview remove-circle Share or Embed This Item. [54], At John Garfield's suggestion of opening a servicemen's club in Hollywood, Davis – with the aid of Warner, Cary Grant, and Jule Styne – transformed an old nightclub into the Hollywood Canteen, which opened on October 3, 1942. She gives the curious feeling of being charged with power which can find no ordinary outlet. The criterion for her choice of film would appear to be that nothing must compete with the full display of each facet of the Davis art. Of the 25 actresses listed, Davis was ranked at number two, behind Katharine Hepburn. In 1983, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award. Among them, she became the first person to earn five consecutive Academy Award nominations for acting, all in the Best Actress category (1938–1942). In 1926, a then 18-year-old Davis saw a production of Henrik Ibsen's The Wild Duck with Blanche Yurka and Peg Entwistle. It was filmed as Caged (1950), and the lead roles were played by Eleanor Parker (who was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress) and Agnes Moorehead. An autopsy revealed that his fall had been caused by a skull fracture he had suffered two weeks earlier. After filming was completed, their public comments against each other allowed the tension to develop into a lifelong feud. [90] Davis and Merrill began arguing frequently, and B.D. Originally published in 1962, The Lonely Life is legendary silver screen actress Bette Davis's lively and riveting account of her life, loves, and marriages--now in ebook for the first time, and updated with an afterword she wrote just before her death. Her forthright manner, idiosyncratic speech, and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona that has been often imitated. [15] After performing in Philadelphia, Washington, and Boston, she made her Broadway debut in 1929 in Broken Dishes and followed it with Solid South. It became one of the better known of her "women's pictures". Olivia de Havilland mounted a similar case in 1943, and won. She was known as an actress that could play a variety of difficult and powerful roles, and because of this she set a new standard for women on the big screen. Over five successive nights, a different female star discussed her career, and answered questions from the audience; Myrna Loy, Rosalind Russell, Lana Turner, Sylvia Sidney, and Joan Crawford were the other participants. She was syllable-perfect. Hello Select your address All Hello, Sign in. [96], She accepted her next role, in the Grand Guignol horror film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? "[17] A second test was arranged for Davis, for the 1931 film A House Divided. Merrill) played a small role in the film, and when Davis and she visited the Cannes Film Festival to promote it, she met Jeremy Hyman, an executive for Seven Arts Productions. Only bad films are good enough for her. Get 50% off this audiobook at the AudiobooksNow online audio book store and download or stream … Born Ruth Elizabeth Davis in 1908, the legendary movie star was a tireless perfectionist and workaholic with little patience for those who did not share her vision. later recalled episodes of alcohol abuse and domestic violence. After the film was completed, her request to be released from her contract was honored. By 1942, she was the highest paid woman in America. Cart All. I would rather watch Miss Davis than any number of competent pictures. [64], Her next film, A Stolen Life (1946), was the only film that Davis made with her own production company, BD Productions. At the last stage of her career, her most successful films were Death on the Nile (1978) and The Whales of August (1987). The film received poor reviews, and was described by Bosley Crowther as "a distressingly empty piece";[66] but, with a profit of $2.5 million, it was one of her biggest box office successes. [94] Outside of acting and politics, Davis was an active and practicing Episcopalian. Her actress – vain, scared, a woman who goes too far in her reactions and emotions – makes the whole thing come alive. "Hollywood 1939–1989, Today's Stars Meet the Screen Legends". Meryl Streep received the first Bette Davis Lifetime Achievement Award at Boston University in 1998. After one year, and six unsuccessful films, Laemmle elected not to renew her contract. / hope once more / London! [7] In the fall of 1921, Ruth Davis moved to New York City, using her children's tuition money to enroll in the Clarence White School of Photography, with an apartment on 144th Street at Broadway, then she worked as a portrait photographer. [74] To add to her disappointment, she was not confident in the abilities of her leading man – James Davis in his first major screen role. Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on 5 April 1908, in Lowell, a city in the state of Massachusetts in the United States of America. She could be combative and confrontational with studio executives and film directors, as well as with her co-stars, expecting the same high standard of performance and commitment from them as she expected from herself. During the early 1940s, several of Davis' film choices were influenced by the war, such as Watch on the Rhine (1943), by Lillian Hellman, and Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), a lighthearted all-star musical cavalcade, with each of the featured stars donating their fees to the Hollywood Canteen. Her parents divorced when she was 10. Her next film was Deception (1946), the first of her films to lose money. In Life, Davis became an honouree of the role of Margo Channing in all about Eve saved them losing... 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