Bette Davis

Highest Rated: 100% Dead Ringer (1964)
Lowest Rated: 0% The Star (1952)
Birthday: Apr 5, 1908
Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
The daughter of a Massachusetts lawyer, American actress Bette Davis matured with a desire to become an actress upon her graduation from Cushing Academy, but was turned away from Eva LeGallienne's Manhattan Civic Repertory in New York. Undaunted, Davis enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School, where everyone (including classmate Lucille Ball) regarded her as the star pupil. After a 1928 summer season with director George Cukor's stock company in Rochester, NY (where she worked with future co-star -- and rival -- Miriam Hopkins), Davis went on to Broadway, starring in Broken Dishes and Solid South before Hollywood called. Dazzling on-stage, Davis was signed to a contract by Universal in 1930. After an unimpressive debut in Bad Sister in 1931, however, Davis was out of work, but picked up by Warner Bros. soon thereafter. Davis applied herself with white-hot intensity to becoming a star with that company, and after a major role in the 1932 George Arliss vehicle The Man Who Played God, a star she became. Still, the films at Warner Bros. were uneven, and it wasn't until the studio loaned out Davis to play the bravura role of Mildred in RKO's Of Human Bondage (1934) that the critics began to take notice. An Oscar nomination seemed inevitable for her performance in Bondage, but Davis was let down by Warner Bros., which didn't like the fact that her best appearance had been in a rival's movie, and it failed to get behind her Oscar campaign (although there was a significant write-in vote for the actress). But, in 1935, Davis excelled as a self-destructive actress in the otherwise turgid film Dangerous, and an Oscar was finally hers. And when Warner Bros. subsequently failed to give Davis the top roles she felt she then merited, the actress went on strike and headed for England. She lost a legal battle with the studio and came back, but it acknowledged her grit and talent by increasing her salary and giving her much better roles. In 1939 alone, Davis starred in Dark Victory, Juarez, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, and The Old Maid. But she didn't get the plum role of the season -- Scarlet O'Hara in Gone With the Wind -- because Warner Bros. wouldn't loan her to David O. Selznick unless Errol Flynn was chosen to play Rhett Butler (a piece of casting both Selznick and Davis violently opposed). But Davis had already had her turn at playing a Southern belle in Jezebel (1938), which won her second a Oscar. As her star status increased in the 1940s, Davis found that it would have to be at the expense of her private life -- she would be married and divorced four times, admitting toward the end of her life that her career came first, last, and always. A fling at being her own producer in 1946 was disappointing, and her contract with Warner Bros. petered out in 1949 with a string of unsuccessful films. Davis made a spectacular comeback in 1950 when she replaced an ailing Claudette Colbert in the role of Margot Channing in the Oscar-winning All About Eve. Though suffering from a bone disease that required part of her jaw to be removed, Davis continued to work in films throughout the '50s; but, in 1961, things came to a standstill, forcing the actress to take out a famous job-wanted ad in the trade papers. In 1962, Davis began the next phase of her career when she accepted the role of a whacked-out former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? This led to a string of gothic horror films that did little to advance Davis' reputation, but kept her in the public eye. It was also in 1962 that Davis penned her thoughtful and honest autobiography The Lonely Life. Working in movies, TV, on-stage and on one-woman lecture tours into the '70s, Davis may have been older but no less feisty and combative; her outspokenness may have unnerved some of her co-stars, but made her an ideal interview subject for young film historians and fans. In 1977, Davis received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, an honor us

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
67% Never Apologize: A Personal Visit With Lindsay Anderson Actor 2007
No Score Yet All About Bette Actor 1993
No Score Yet Christmas Throughout the Years Actor 1991
No Score Yet Memories of Hollywood Actor 1990
No Score Yet Wicked Stepmother Miranda 1989
No Score Yet Hollywood's Golden Era: Leading Ladies Actor 1989
No Score Yet World's Greatest Movie Challenge Actor 1989
56% The Whales of August Libby Strong 1987
No Score Yet As Summers Die Hannah Loftin 1986
No Score Yet Murder with Mirrors Carrie Louise Serrocold 1985
No Score Yet Little Gloria...Happy at Last Alice Vanderbilt 1984
No Score Yet Right of Way Mini Dwyer 1983
No Score Yet A Piano for Mrs. Cimino Esther McDonald Cimino 1982
No Score Yet The AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Frank Capra Actor 1982
No Score Yet Little Gloria: Happy at Last Actor 1982
No Score Yet Family Reunion Elizabeth Winfield 1981
45% The Watcher in the Woods Mrs. Aylwood 1981
No Score Yet White Mama Adele Malone 1980
No Score Yet Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter Lucy Mason 1979
82% Death on the Nile Marie Van Schuyler 1978
50% Return from Witch Mountain Letha 1978
No Score Yet The Disappearance of Aimee Minnie Kennedy 1976
33% Burnt Offerings Aunt Elizabeth 1976
No Score Yet Lo Scopone scientifico (The Scientific Cardplayer) (The Scopone Game) Millionairess 1972
No Score Yet Madame Sin Madame Sin 1972
No Score Yet Bunny O'Hare Bunny O'Hare 1971
No Score Yet Connecting Rooms Wanda Fleming 1971
80% The Anniversary Mrs. Taggart 1968
92% The Nanny Nanny 1965
81% Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte Charlotte 1964
No Score Yet Where Love Has Gone Mrs. Gerald Hayden 1964
100% Dead Ringer Edith/Margaret 1964
No Score Yet La noia (The Empty Canvas) Dino's mother 1963
92% What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Baby Jane Hudson 1962
63% Pocketful of Miracles Apple Annie 1961
No Score Yet The Scapegoat Countess de Gue 1959
No Score Yet John Paul Jones Empress Catherine the Great 1959
No Score Yet Storm Center Alicia Hull 1956
17% The Catered Affair Mrs. Agnes Hurley 1956
No Score Yet The Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth I 1955
0% The Star Margaret Elliot 1952
No Score Yet Phone Call From a Stranger Marie Hoke 1952
No Score Yet Another Man's Poison Janet Frobisher 1951
No Score Yet Payment on Demand Joyce Ramsey (nee Jackson) 1951
100% All About Eve Margo Channing 1950
No Score Yet Beyond the Forest Rosa Moline 1949
No Score Yet June Bride Linda Gilman 1948
No Score Yet Winter Meeting Susan Grieve 1948
No Score Yet Deception Christine Radcliffe 1946
No Score Yet A Stolen Life Kate/Pat Bosworth Producer 1946
No Score Yet The Corn Is Green Miss Lilly Moffat 1945
50% Mr. Skeffington Fanny Trellis 1944
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen Herself 1944
No Score Yet Old Acquaintance Katherine Marlowe 1943
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars Specialty 1943
80% Watch on the Rhine Sara Muller 1943
91% Now, Voyager Charlotte Vale 1942
No Score Yet In This Our Life Stanley Timberlake 1942
83% The Man Who Came to Dinner Maggie Cutler 1942
100% The Little Foxes Regina Giddens 1941
No Score Yet The Great Lie Maggie Van Allen 1941
No Score Yet The Bride Came C.O.D. Joan Winfield 1941
No Score Yet Shining Victory Nurse (walk-on) 1941
100% The Letter Leslie Crosbie 1940
83% All This, and Heaven Too Henriette Desportes 1940
71% The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Queen Elizabeth 1939
No Score Yet The Old Maid Charlotte Lovell 1939
No Score Yet Juarez Carlotta von Habsburg 1939
86% Dark Victory Judith Traherne 1939
No Score Yet Land of Liberty Actor 1939
No Score Yet The Sisters Louise Elliott 1938
94% Jezebel Julie Marsden 1938
No Score Yet It's Love I'm After Joyce Arden 1937
No Score Yet That Certain Woman Mary Donnell, aka Mrs. Al Haines 1937
No Score Yet Kid Galahad Louise 'Fluff' Phillips 1937
100% Marked Woman Mary Dwight (Stranger) 1937
No Score Yet Satan Met a Lady Valerie Purvis 1936
No Score Yet The Golden Arrow Daisy Appleby 1936
100% The Petrified Forest Gabrielle Maple 1936
No Score Yet Special Agent Julie Carston 1935
80% Front Page Woman Ellen Garfield 1935
No Score Yet The Girl from 10th Avenue Miriam A. Brady 1935
No Score Yet Bordertown Marie Roark 1935
No Score Yet Dangerous Joyce Heath 1935
No Score Yet Housewife Patricia Berkeley 1934
78% Of Human Bondage Mildred Rogers 1934
No Score Yet Fog Over Frisco Arlene Bradford 1934
No Score Yet Jimmy the Gent Miss Joan Martin 1934
No Score Yet Fashions of 1934 Lynn Mason 1934
No Score Yet The Big Shakedown Norma Nelson 1934
No Score Yet The Working Man Jenny 1933
No Score Yet Ex-Lady Helen Bauer 1933
No Score Yet Bureau of Missing Persons Norma Roberts 1933
No Score Yet 20,000 Years in Sing Sing Fay Wilson 1932
No Score Yet Three on a Match Ruth Westcott 1932
No Score Yet Cabin in the Cotton Madge Norwood 1932
No Score Yet The Dark Horse Kay Russell 1932
No Score Yet The Rich Are Always with Us Malbro 1932
No Score Yet So Big Dallas O'Mara 1932
No Score Yet The Man Who Played God Grace Blair 1932
No Score Yet Hell's House Peggy Gardner 1932
No Score Yet Way Back Home Mary Lucy Duffy 1931
No Score Yet Waterloo Bridge Janet Cronin 1931
No Score Yet Seed Actor 1931

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet It Takes a Thief
1968-1970
Former Queen of Thieves
  • 1970
No Score Yet Gunsmoke
1955-1975
  • 1966
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
Miss Fox
  • 1959

QUOTES FROM Bette Davis CHARACTERS