Bette Davis (Author of The Lonely Life)Ruth Elizabeth Bette Davis was a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress of film, television and theatre. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic 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, though her greatest successes were 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 cinemas most celebrated leading actresses, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative, and her 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.
Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was the first actor to receive 10 Academy Award nominations and the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of decline, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 film, television and theater roles to her credit.
In 1999, Davis was placed second, behind Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institutes list of the greatest female stars of all time.
Bette Davis was one of Hollywood's greatest actresses. In her sixty-year career in films she won two Best Actress Academy Awards and was a finalist for eight others. She was called Bette as a child and kept the name throughout her career. After her parents divorced in , she and her sister, Barbara, moved frequently throughout New England with their mother, who was pursuing a photography career. Both girls attended boarding school in the Berkshires and went to high school in Newton, Massachusetts. Bette started acting in plays and taking drama classes while she was in school. She graduated from Cushing Academy, in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, with an idea that she might try acting.
Sign in. Her parents divorced when she was , And the real-life conflict between the women didn't end after their shared unsuccessful production of Hush
Bette Davis, who won two Academy Awards and cut a swath through Hollywood trailing cigarette smoke and delivering drop-dead barbs, died of breast cancer Friday night at the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. She was 81 years old and lived in West Hollywood, Calif. Miss Davis was en route to her home from the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain, where she had been honored for her acting career. She arrived in Paris on Tuesday and was to fly to Los Angeles, but was taken instead to the hospital, on the outskirts of Paris. Her lawyer, Harold Schiff, said she had undergone a mastectomy in With her huge and expressive eyes, her flamboyant mannerisms and her distinctive speaking style, she left an indelible mark on her audiences in a wide variety of roles.