Image of Bette Davis

Bette Davis

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film, television and theater. 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 her roles in 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 cinema's most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative, and 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 won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, 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 films, television and theater roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second, after Katharine Hepburn, on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of all time.

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Apr 5, 1908 In Lowell, Massachusetts, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Bad Sister 1931-03-29
Latest Project:
Movie Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn 2015-08-18
Known For
Movie Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn Herself (archive footage) 2015-08-18
Movie Listen to Me Marlon Herself (archive footage) 2015-07-29
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... 2014-02-01
Movie Marlon Brando: An Actor Named Desire Self - Actress (archive footage) 2014-09-20
Movie The Travels of Kinuyo Tanaka Herself (archive footage) 2009-10-17
Movie Why Be Good?: Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema 2007-05-23
Movie Stardust: The Bette Davis Story Herself (archive footage) 2006-05-03
Movie The Adventures of Errol Flynn Queen Elizabeth (archive footage) 2005-04-05
Movie Complicated Women Herself (archive footage) 2003-05-06
Movie Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies Herself (archive footage) 2001-10-07
Movie Frank Capra's American Dream 1997-01-01
Movie The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender Herself (archive footage) 1997-11-01
Movie All About Bette 1994-07-17
Movie Wicked Stepmother Miranda Pierpoint 1989-02-03
Movie The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind (archive footage) 1988-10-01
Movie The Whales of August Libby Strong 1987-10-14
Movie Hammer: The Studio That Dripped Blood (archive footage) 1987-01-01
Movie As Summers Die Hannah Loftin 1986-05-18
Movie Murder with Mirrors Carrie Louise Serrocold 1985-02-20
Movie Terror in the Aisles Baby Jane Hudson (archive footage) (uncredited) 1984-10-26
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Herself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie Right of Way Miniature Dwyer 1983-11-21
Movie Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (in "Deception") (archive footage) 1982-05-21
Movie Little Gloria... Happy at Last Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt 1982-10-24
Movie Family Reunion Elizabeth Winfield 1981-10-11
Movie White Mama Adele Malone 1980-03-05
Movie The Watcher in the Woods Mrs. Aylwood 1980-04-17
Movie Skyward Billie Dupree 1980-11-20
Movie Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter Lucy Mason 1979-05-13
Movie Death on the Nile: Making of Featurette Marie van Schuyler 1978-01-01
Series The Dark Secret of Harvest Home Widow Fortune 1978-01-23
Movie Death on the Nile Marie Van Schuyler 1978-09-29
Movie Return from Witch Mountain Letha 1978-03-10
Movie The Disappearance of Aimee Minnie Kennedy 1976-11-17
Movie Scream, Pretty Peggy Mrs. Elliott 1973-11-24
Movie Madame Sin Madame Sin 1972-01-15
Movie The Scopone Game 'A vecchia 1972-10-08
Movie The Judge and Jake Wyler Judge Meredith 1972-12-02
Movie Bunny O'Hare Bunny O'Hare 1971-10-18
Movie Connecting Rooms Wanda Fleming 1970-05-01
Movie The Anniversary Mrs. Taggart 1968-02-07
Movie The Nanny Nanny 1965-10-07
Movie Hollywood My Home Town 1965-12-31
Movie Dead Ringer Margaret DeLorca / Edith Phillips 1964-02-19
Movie Where Love Has Gone Mrs. Gerald Hayden 1964-11-02
Movie The Empty Canvas Dino's Mother 1963-12-04
Movie Pocketful of Miracles Apple Annie 1961-12-18
Movie John Paul Jones Empress Catherine the Great 1959-06-16
Movie The Scapegoat Countess 1959-08-06
Movie The Catered Affair Mrs. Agnes Hurley 1956-06-14
Movie Storm Center Alicia Hull 1956-07-31
Movie The Virgin Queen Queen Elizabeth I 1955-07-22
Movie Phone Call from a Stranger Marie Hoke 1952-02-01
Movie The Star Margaret Elliot 1952-12-11
Movie Payment on Demand Joyce Ramsey (nee Jackson) 1951-02-03
Movie Another Man's Poison Janet Frobisher 1951-11-20
Movie Beyond the Forest Rosa Moline 1949-10-21
Movie Winter Meeting Susan Grieve 1948-04-07
Movie June Bride Linda Gilman 1948-10-29
Movie A Stolen Life Kate Bosworth / Patricia Bosworth 1946-05-01
Movie Deception Christine Radcliffe 1946-10-26
Movie The Corn Is Green Miss Lilly Christabel Moffat 1945-03-29
Movie Mr. Skeffington Fanny Trellis 1944-05-25
Movie Hollywood Canteen Herself 1944-12-15
Movie Thank Your Lucky Stars Herself 1943-09-25
Movie Show-Business at War Self 1943-05-21
Movie Watch on the Rhine Sara Müller 1943-08-27
Movie Breakdowns of 1942 Self 1942-01-01
Movie The Man Who Came to Dinner Maggie Cutler 1942-01-01
Movie In This Our Life Stanley Timberlake Kingsmill 1942-05-08
Movie Now, Voyager Charlotte Vale 1942-10-22
Movie Shining Victory Nurse (uncredited) 1941-05-30
Movie The Great Lie Maggie Patterson Van Allen 1941-04-05
Movie The Little Foxes Regina Hubbard Giddens 1941-08-29
Movie The Bride Came C.O.D. Joan Winfield 1941-07-12
Movie Breakdowns of 1941 Herself (archive footage) (uncredited) 1941-11-14
Movie Cavalcade of the Academy Awards Herself 1940-07-31
Movie All This, and Heaven Too Henriette Deluzy-Desportes 1940-07-13
Movie The Letter Leslie Crosbie 1940-11-21
Movie Dark Victory Judith Traherne 1939-04-20
Movie Juarez Empress Carlotta von Hapsburg 1939-06-10
Movie The Old Maid Charlotte Lovell 1939-08-16
Movie The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Queen Elizabeth 1939-11-11
Movie Jezebel Julie Marsden 1938-03-26
Movie Breakdowns of 1938 Herself 1938-02-07
Movie The Sisters Louise Elliott Medlin 1938-10-14
Movie Marked Woman Mary Dwight Strauber 1937-04-10
Movie Breakdowns of 1937 Herself 1937-01-23
Movie A Day at Santa Anita Bette Davis (uncredited) 1937-05-27
Movie Kid Galahad Louise 'Fluff' Phillips 1937-05-29
Movie That Certain Woman Mary Donnell/Mme Al Haines 1937-08-30
Movie It's Love I'm After Joyce Arden 1937-10-08
Movie The Petrified Forest Gabby Maple 1936-02-08
Movie The Golden Arrow Daisy Appleby 1936-05-23
Movie Satan Met a Lady Valerie Purvis 1936-07-22
Movie Breakdowns of 1936 Herself 1936-12-30
Movie The Girl from 10th Avenue Miriam A. Brady 1935-06-01
Movie Front Page Woman Ellen Garfield 1935-07-11
Movie Bordertown Mrs. Marie Roark 1935-01-23
Movie Special Agent Julie Gardner 1935-09-14
Movie A Dream Comes True Herself (uncredited) 1935-12-31
Movie Dangerous Joyce Heath 1935-12-25
Movie Fashions of 1934 Lynn Mason 1934-02-14
Movie The Big Shakedown Norma Nelson 1934-01-06
Movie Jimmy the Gent Joan Martin 1934-03-09
Movie Fog Over Frisco Arlene Bradford 1934-06-02
Movie Of Human Bondage Mildred Rogers 1934-07-20
Movie Housewife Patricia Berkeley 1934-08-11
Movie Parachute Jumper Patricia 'Alabama' Brent 1933-01-28
Movie Just Around the Corner Ginger 1933-01-17
Movie Ex-Lady Helen Bauer 1933-05-15
Movie The Working Man Jenny Hartland alias Jane Grey 1933-04-20
Movie Bureau of Missing Persons Norma Roberts 1933-09-16
Movie The Man Who Played God Grace Blair 1932-02-19
Movie The Menace Peggy Lowell 1932-01-29
Movie Hell's House Peggy Gardner 1932-01-30
Movie So Big! Miss Dallas O'Mara 1932-04-30
Movie The Rich Are Always with Us Malbro 1932-05-21
Movie The Cabin in the Cotton Madge Norwood 1932-09-26
Movie Three on a Match Ruth Wescott 1932-10-29
Movie The Dark Horse Kay Russell 1932-06-16
Movie The Bad Sister Laura Madison 1931-03-29
Movie Seed Margaret Carter 1931-05-14
Movie Waterloo Bridge Janet Cronin 1931-09-04
Movie Way Back Home Mary Lucy Duffy 1931-11-13
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