Bette Davis on Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Bette was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on April 5, 1908 as Ruth Elizabeth Davis. Bette always craved attention and wanted to be an actress, this caused her problems getting into the Eva Le Gallienne’s Manhattan Civic Repertory. She was accepted into John Murray Anderson’s Dramatic School, where she excelled.
Bette’s appeared in an off Broadway production in 1923 and made her Broadway debut in 1929, in Broken Dishes and Solid South. Universal Studios hired Bette in 1930, when she arrived at the Hollywood Train Station, she was left behind because the person sent to pick her up didn’t see a person that they felt looked like a movie star. Bette didn’t impress them at Universal with her first movie, The Bad Sister(1931). Bette signed a seven-year deal with Warner Brothers in 1932. She was a hit, in her second movie, The Man Who Played God (1932). Warner loaned Bette to RKO for the movie Of Human Bondage (1934) which was a big hit. She won Oscars for her next two movies Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938). Bette fought to break her contract with Warner Brothers, because she felt they weren’t giving her good roles, when she returned, she got all the roles she wanted, except for the role as Scarlet O’Hara in Gone With The Wind (1939). Bette’s life was in turmoil just like her dealings with the movie industries, she had four unhappy marriages and was rumored to have numerous affairs. In the 40s her film success was on the decline and her contract with Warner Brothers ended. Bette made a comeback when she stepped in and starred in All About Eve (1950) and won an Oscar nomination for it. She also won an Oscar nomination for her role in the campy, Whatever Happened To Betty Jane (1962). Bette starred in several TV movies and won and Best Actress Emmy for her TV movie, Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979).
Bette’s daughter B.D. wrote a book about her mother titled “My Mother's Keeper”, which was compared to “Mommy Dearest”. Bette wrote two books, the first during her recovery from a stroke titled “This N That”, the second “Bette Davis, The Lonely Life”. Bette passed away in France on, October 6, 1989.
Bette Davis Movies on TCM, Wednesdays in May:
Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2005)
All This And Heaven Too (1940) BW
With Charles Boyer, Barbara O’Neil, and Directed by Anatole Litvak.
Another Man’s Poison (1951) BW
With Anthony Steel, Barbara Murray, and Directed by Irving Rapper.
Cabin In The Cotten, The (1932) BW
With Richard Barthelmess, Dorothy Jordon, and Directed by Michael Curtiz.
Catered Affair, The (1956) BW
Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, and Directed by Richard Brooks.
Dangerous (1935) BW
With Franchot Tone, Margaret Lindsay, and Directed by Alfred E. Green.
Dark Victory (1939) BW
With George Brent, Humphrey Bogart and Directed by Edmund Goulding.
Front Page Woman (1935) BW
With George Brent, Roscoe Karns, and Directed by Michael Curtiz.
Girl From 10th Avenue, The (1935) BW
With Ian Hunter, Colin Clive, and Directed by Alfred E. Green.
Great Lie, The (1941) BW
With Mary Astor, George Brent, and Directed by Edmund Goulding.
In This Our Life (1942) BW
With Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, and Directed by John Huston.
Jezebel (1938) BW
Henry Fonda, Fay Bainter, and Directed by William Wyler.
Juarez (1939) C
With Paul Muni, Brian Aheme, and Directed by William Dieterle.
Letter, The (1940) BW
Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, and Directed by William Wyler.
Little Foxes, The (1941) BW
Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, and Directed by William Wyler.
Marked Woman (1937) BW
With Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane and Directed by Lloyd Bacon.
Mr. Skeffington (1944) BW
With Claude Rains, Walter Abel, and Directed by Vincent Sherman.
Now Voyager (1942) BW
With Paul Henreld, Claude Rains, and Directed by Irving Rapper.
Of Human Bondage (1934) BW
With Leslie Howard, Frances Dee and Directed by William A. Wellman.
Old Acquaintance (1943) BW
With Miriam Hopkins, Gig Young, and Directed by Vincent Sherman.
Old Maid, The (1939) BW
With Miriam Hopkins, Jane Bryan, and Directed by Edmund Goulding.
Pocketful of Miracles (1961) C
With Glenn Ford, Hope Lange, and Directed by Frank Capra.
Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The (1939) C
With Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, and Directed by Michael Curtiz.
Sisters, The (1937) BW
With Errol Flynn, Anita Louise, and Directed by Anatole Litvak.
So Big (1932) BW
With Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, and Directed by William A. Wellman.
That Certain Woman (1937) BW
With Henry Fonda, Ian Hunter, and Directed by Edmund Goulding
Watch On the Rhine (1943) BW
With Paul Lukas, Lucile Watson, and Directed by Herman Shumlin.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) BW
With Joan Crawford, Victor Bono, and Directed by Robert Aldrich
Turner Classic Movies - TCM (offsite link)
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