Bette Davis Biography

Born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on the 5 of April 1908 in Lowell, Massachusetts. Bette Davis would become one of the most revered actresses of this century. Never considered glamourous, but icy, she played many a roles of women who were spirited, spiteful and down right nasty. She was nominated for 10 Oscars in her career and won two for her performances in Jezebel (1939) and Dangerous (1935).

Her parents divorced when she was young. In her first year of high school she gave up dance for acting. After a little time in John Murray Anderson’s acting school she was in the off-Broadway “The Earth Between” (1923). Her Broadway debut in 1929 was in “Broken Dishes”. Late in 1930, on a six-month Universal contract, she arrived in Hollywood. The studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star.

In 1932 she signed a seven-year deal with Warners. The period between her Oscar wins, she fought unsuccessfully to break her contract.

She received eight additional Oscar nominations including one for the role of Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950), the role with which she remains most identified. A genuine box-office star in the 1930s and 1940s, all her films from 1953 to 1962 lost money; until What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) brought a new phase of stardom.

In 1979 she won a Best Actress Emmy for Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979) (TV) and in 1982 she moved from Connecticut to L.A. to be in the 1982-3 TV series “Hotel” (1983)but illness led to her replacement by Anne Baxter.

She had three children, one of whom was severely retarded. Her daughter B.D. wrote a 1985 scandal/bio “My Mother’s Keeper”. In 1977 the American Film Institute gave her its Lifetime Achievement Award

Culled from the IMDB Biography of Bette Davis.