Bette Davis - Rotten Tomatoes

Bette Davis

Highest Rated:   100% Dead Ringer (1964)
Lowest Rated:   0% The Star (1952)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
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
63% 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
43% 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
80% Death on the Nile
  • Marie Van Schuyler
1978
44% 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
No Score Yet The Anniversary
  • Mrs. Taggart
1968
91% 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
80% 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
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

Quotes from Bette Davis' Characters