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What's your favorite Bette Davis biography?

I recently downloaded Dark Victory by Ed Sikov, but haven't started it yet. Has anyone read it?

by Anonymousreply 12503/04/2014

When I was but a gayling, and had just realized which way the wind was blowing, I went out and bought a boxed set of Judy Garland albums, thinking that I'd need to know this stuff if I was going to be gay. Or, as I thought of it then, "a homosexual." To be in the club, as it were.

What is this fascination with Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland (who really was sensational, it turns out, but not a deity), and other strong women who remind us of our more terrifying relatives?

No, I'm not new here. I know the fascination exists, but I don't share it, and don't get it.

by Anonymousreply 109/13/2012

Then why the fuck are you cluttering the thread with your nonsense, R1?

by Anonymousreply 209/13/2012

James Spada wrote the best biography IMHO

I'm a fan of his work

by Anonymousreply 309/13/2012

Anything but that vindictive piece written by her daughter, B.D. Hyman.

by Anonymousreply 409/13/2012

Sorry to tamper with the intellectual purity of a Bette Davis thread, R2. I know how important it must be to you.

by Anonymousreply 509/13/2012

I liked the Barbara Leaming biography.

by Anonymousreply 609/13/2012

Fuck off, R5, you tedious creature.

by Anonymousreply 709/13/2012

R6, I read Leaming's Katharine Hepburn bio years ago and really liked it. I'll have to check this one out, too.

by Anonymousreply 809/13/2012

Oh, and I'd never go near the book that freeper fundie piece of trash B.D. Hyman wrote.

by Anonymousreply 909/13/2012

Bette Davis' Hyman.

Excellent name for a lesbian rock band.

by Anonymousreply 1009/13/2012

James Spada's 'More Than A Woman' is a great biography, as is Ed Sikov's. Bette's later years were no fucking picnic, and both bios go into detail about how sad Bette was in the last years of her life.

If Bette Davis were a young actress in Hollywood today she wouldn't get arrested because of the way she looked.

by Anonymousreply 1109/13/2012

[quote]Bette's later years were no fucking picnic, and both bios go into detail about how sad Bette was in the last years of her life.

I know that her daughter's book broke her heart, and you can tell she's unhappy just watching all the interviews she gave during the last few years of her life.

Hopefully she at least got some satisfaction knowing how adored she was by her fans.

by Anonymousreply 1209/13/2012

The one where the parakeet and I walk away.

by Anonymousreply 1309/13/2012

Is Whitney Stine's [italic]Mother Goddam[/italic] any good?

by Anonymousreply 1409/13/2012

I'm partial to undiluted Bette - her own "This 'N That" and "The Lonely Life", Boze Hadleigh's "Bette Davis Speaks", and Whitney Stine's "Mother Goddam" which has the words of Bette Davis in RED, just as if she were Jesus Christ and that book were the Bible!!!

"Bette & Joan" the dual bio is pure trash and speculation, but hard to put down. Also add my rec to "More Than a Woman."

by Anonymousreply 1509/13/2012

[quote]Whitney Stine's "Mother Goddam" which has the words of Bette Davis in RED, just as if she were Jesus Christ and that book were the Bible!!!

That is awesome.

by Anonymousreply 1609/13/2012

I love Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud. Yes, it's trash, but I love it anyway.

by Anonymousreply 1709/13/2012

Mother Goddamn is great and you get Bette's comments on Stine's text. And, yes, in the hardback edition, her comments are printed in red. Quel hoot!

More Than A Woman, by James Spada, is probably the best from a strict biographical point of view and he certainly takes her cunt daughter to task.

I hate to say it but B. D.'s My Mother's Keeper is hilarious if you keep in mind that veers between the exaggerated and the fictional. Hyman was just stupid. She could have written this as a very dark comedy--a roman à clef with all the names changed and people would have overlooked her fictional accounts. Hell, if it had been done that way, I suspect Bette would have been clamoring to play herself in the film version.

Instead, what Hyman wrote came across as mean-spirited and ungrateful. She wasn't, after all, Christina Crawford--Bette's only sin was spoiling her bitch daughter. It turned into Frankenstein and his monster.

by Anonymousreply 1809/13/2012

R18, didn't Hyman write another book after My Mother's Keeper called Narrow Is the Way or some such baloney? I seem to remember she promoted it on the 700 Club.

by Anonymousreply 1909/13/2012

Her life was actually sort of dull. Drinking, hysterical outbursts, affairs with odd sorts, and always, always Mother.

Does this sound familiar to you?

by Anonymousreply 2009/13/2012

BD Hyman now looks just like her mother as Baby Jane. Serves the bitch right.

BD, by all accounts, was a spoiled princess and was in no way subjected to the abuse that Christina Crawford got from Joan. When BD was still a teenager, she married a lazy shiftless loafer and Bette basically supported them financially for the next 20 years. BD wrote her trashy book after Bette had her strokes and cancer and wasn't expected to live long - BD feared the gravy train was coming to an end so she wrote the book in a hurry to get some money. She's a total cunt.

by Anonymousreply 2109/13/2012

James Spada (More Than A Woman) actually disputed many allegations BD made in her book.

I might be wrong, but I think Spada's book is the only one where the Davis family cooperated in his research.

by Anonymousreply 2209/13/2012

Yes, R19, she did. I read it, too. (From the library--I didn't pay for the shit.)

Unfortunately, it was the usual born-again stuff and not at all amusing.

The first book was funny because of the descriptions of Bette (allegedly) misunderstanding every situation, overreacting and becoming overwrought.

by Anonymousreply 2309/13/2012

I like DARK VICTORY the best.

by Anonymousreply 2409/13/2012

Davis's family has never cooperated with any biographer.

by Anonymousreply 2509/13/2012

According to the footnotes in the James Spada book (More Than a Woman), her son Michael Merrill declined to be interviewed. However he referred the author to Ruth Bailey (Bette's niece) and Bette's cousin, Sally Favour.

Both those ladies were interviewed for his book and quoted extensively. In addition Michael Merrill mother-in-law is interviewed for the book as well.

Michael also allowed the author to quote extensively from unpublished manuscripts from the Bette Davis archives at Boston University.

by Anonymousreply 2609/13/2012

What's the story on the Barbara Leaming bio? Is it too dull and dry? What's it called?

by Anonymousreply 2709/13/2012

Michael Merrill does not control the material at Boston University.

by Anonymousreply 2809/14/2012

So Bette Davis' son has never commented much on his mother? Or ever? Was he adopted?

Actually, is he still with us?

by Anonymousreply 2909/14/2012

The family did cooperate with with James Spada R28

If you dispute that, take it up with Spada.

by Anonymousreply 3009/14/2012

[quote] Michael Merrill does not control the material at Boston University.

If you dispute this fact, take it up with James Spada.

by Anonymousreply 3109/14/2012

r29, Bette's son Michael was adopted, and he's been interviewed several times. The TCM doc that was done a few years ago had him in it. The one who has never been interviewed is Bette's female personal assistant (forget her name) that she had in her later years.

by Anonymousreply 3209/14/2012

Does anyone know if that Bette Davis TCM documentary is avialble on line? Is it narrated by Meryl I remembering that correctly?

Somehow I don't remember Michael Merrill being interviewed in it.

by Anonymousreply 3309/15/2012

Here's the Davis documentary by TCM, it was very good.

by Anonymousreply 3409/15/2012

Oh thank you for that, R34! I love how they interviewed the widows of Bette's ex-husbands, who clearly had axes to grind.

And Celeste Holm is such a bitch!

by Anonymousreply 3509/15/2012

James Wood is a cunt, too.

by Anonymousreply 3609/15/2012

Entertaining article by the director of her last film in the mag "Film Comment".

by Anonymousreply 3709/16/2012

'The Girl Who Walked Home Alone' by Charlotte Chandler.

by Anonymousreply 3812/16/2012

Bette with her daughter Barbara (B.D.Hyman...)

by Anonymousreply 3912/16/2012

Bette with her daughter and...Alain Delon!

by Anonymousreply 4012/16/2012

Bette with daughter again

by Anonymousreply 4112/16/2012

Innocent years...Bette and daughter

by Anonymousreply 4212/16/2012

Bette with her adopted son Michael and with her natural daughter B.D.Hyman

by Anonymousreply 4312/16/2012

For Bette the people who really loved the most in her life was her mother and her daughter B.D. It was a painful shock for Bette that her daughter wrote that book about her (My Mother's Keeper) and she considered that as betrayal. Bette before that happened, believed that even all the relationships in her life fell apart, she would still have her daughter on her side. It didn't turn out this way.

Personally, i think that Bette should find the courage and talk with her daughter about the book and she shouldn't be so proud and stubborn and a drama queen. She shouldn't view her child as an enemy, just because she wrote a book in which she criticized her as mother. Bette should discuss it with her daughter and she shouldn't close the door behind her.

by Anonymousreply 4412/16/2012

[quote]Bette should discuss it with her daughter and she shouldn't close the door behind her.

Funny, R44, just the other day I was telling Bette that very thing. She's as stubborn as ever, though!

by Anonymousreply 4512/16/2012


Bette was intelligent enough but she wasn't tender or resilient enough in her personal life.

Anyway, Bette is one of my favourite actresses. I'm really in awe of her acting and her movies. It is just sad that she didn't make it up with her beloved daughter before she died. Really sad. Oh Bette, Bette!

by Anonymousreply 4612/16/2012

She wanted all things to come her way

by Anonymousreply 4712/16/2012


by Anonymousreply 4812/16/2012

She was always very interesting though... Very, very, very interesting!

by Anonymousreply 4912/16/2012

Bette Davis


by Anonymousreply 5012/16/2012

She is beautiful here.

by Anonymousreply 5112/16/2012

Who killed the thread 'Why Bette Davis couldn't follow up All About Eve with any success?'

It's a just a pity that someone just decides to kill a thread just like that. You have no respect for people's opinion and we sent a lot of interesting photos for that thread.

You are cruel and careless.

by Anonymousreply 5201/08/2013

Bette's laugh...

by Anonymousreply 5301/17/2013

Bette with a doggie

by Anonymousreply 5401/17/2013

With Edward G Robinson

by Anonymousreply 5501/17/2013

Casual Bette

by Anonymousreply 5601/17/2013

Bad Olivia, despondent Bette

Can you believe it?


by Anonymousreply 5701/17/2013

I have sent this in the previous Bette Davis thread but now that it is gone i send it again in here.

by Anonymousreply 5801/17/2013

Bette must have been the Anne Hathaway of her day.

by Anonymousreply 5901/17/2013

R59 Anne Hathaway looks like a pale sheep in front of Bette

Bette Davis breaks the official champagne bottle on the 49th Liberty ship to slide down the ways of the California Shipbuilding Corp. at Terminal Island, the SS Hinton R. Helper. July, 1942

by Anonymousreply 6001/17/2013

I can only hope that by the time she died, Bette realized how loved and respected she was by audiences all over the world and that her film work would be well-remembered and live on through DVDs, TCM and college film festivals (do they still have them?).

by Anonymousreply 6101/17/2013

PORTRAIT OF JOAN, of course!

by Anonymousreply 6201/17/2013

I likemy Bette undiluted too, so I like to find the You Tube interviews with Dick Cavett & Johnny Carson. Holy mother of fuck! I love her.

by Anonymousreply 6301/17/2013

Stop flooding your charming site with Joan Crawford threads. How could one possibly fall so low! Stop talking about Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck, they both were nightmares and not the charming ones.

Pick up me. As you can see i had a friendship with Olivia de Havilland. Why you all are so impressed by Crawford and Stanwyck? That is so unflattering for your site. Bad taste you have! If you don't adore my work and my persona, then you deserve to be trashed. I hate people with bad taste. I absolutely loathe that!

by Anonymousreply 6402/07/2013

Bette, that was charming

by Anonymousreply 6502/07/2013

Was Bette that short or was BD that tall? BD towers over her in some pics. Was Daddy Hyman a big guy?

It's seems kind of funny that Olivia and Bette were such good friends and yet Errol Flynn did not like Bette and described Olivia as incredible in bed. I bet Mr. Flynn was discussed at length after a few cocktails.

by Anonymousreply 6602/07/2013

R66, yes it is true that when Bette worked with Errol Flynn in 'Elizabeth and Essex' she wasn't thrilled at all with him as an actor. She didn't think he was good at all.

However later, Olivia de Havilland recalled being present at a 1970s screening of 'The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex' attended by Bette. 'As Bette watched', de Havilland said 'she leaned farther and farther forward in her seat, obviously fascinated. When the film ended, i remember she said softly, 'Damn! He's good. No. He's not good. He's marvelous! I was wrong all the time.'

by Anonymousreply 6702/07/2013

Christopher Lee recalled what it was like working with Bette:

'Return from the Witch Mountain was a Disney movie. When i was told it was an opportunity to work with her, of course i didn't worry unduly about the script or the story. I said 'Yes' because she's the finest actress i can recall in American or world cinema.

'During the course of the filming, we got on wonderfully well. She chain-smoked, and she coughed quite a lot. Nothing seemed to get her down. When we weren't actually rehearsing or working, all of which she took intensely seriously, just as i did, i would sit in her caravan (trailer), and she would tell me innumerable stories, mostly about her family, actually about her grandchildren, B.D.'s two sons of whom she was obviously extremely fond.'

'She was a very strong woman. She would never settle for second best. She always gave a hundred percent to everything she did, irrespective of what it was. She was encouraging, amusing, and we had a lot of laughs. She would tell me stories about some of her previous films, of her leading men and women. There were two she did not get on with, to put it mildly, Miriam Hopkins and Joan Crawford. You only had to say Crawford, and she would start to soar toward the ceiling. She really could levitate! They did not get on, you might say. I didn't ask why. You just don't do that sort of thing. But i always knew how to get her going. It was kind of a game. All i had to do was mention Hopkins or Crawford and she would start erupting.'

'There was no conflict on Return from the Witch Mountain. She was very nice to the two children. She was marvelous with me. She was nice to the director. I never saw her lose her cool. Never. I never saw her put her foot down, but you were always very, very conscious of whom you were working with, of whom you were playing a scene with. She may have been in her seventies, but that didn't make any difference. She would be quite quiet until somebody said 'Turn over'. I mean, you'd rehearse a scene, and then she gave it absolutely the full treatment.'

She had a wonderful sense of humour, with this harsh, cackling laughing that she had, as you know, between drags on a cigarette. People ask me 'Who was the greatest actress you ever worked with?' There's no question, and that's by a mile. I've worked with some very good ones. Bette played this part in our Disney movie as if she were doing an Academy Award Film.'

by Anonymousreply 6802/07/2013

The above was from 'The Girl Who Walked Home Alone:Bette Davis (A Personal Biography)' written by Charlotte Chandler. Excellent biography and it is a dependable source because the writer was asked from Bette Davis herself to write her biography. She met Bette and she heard Bette talking about her life and sharing her views. However, Charlotte Chandler, didn't got restricted by Bette's account of her life, but she also interviewed people who had worked, knew or met Bette Davis.

by Anonymousreply 6902/07/2013

*didn't get restricted, *known in R69 (sorry for the typos)

Bette Davis also spoke to Christopher Lee about the actors she loved working with:

'She told me that the actor she most admired, and whom she revered, really, was George Arliss. How wonderful he was, how he started her career, and how much she respected and admired him. She was devoted to George Brent, and very, very, fond of Paul Henreid. And they were the two people she would hold up as an example of what a real professional actor should do.'

by Anonymousreply 7002/07/2013

Dick Cavett's interview with Bette Davis from the early 70's on DVD is a great. You get to see her in action, hear her raucous laugh and get some stories, probably not all trustworthy but who tells the truth all the time.

by Anonymousreply 7102/07/2013

You can watch Bette's interview with Dick Cavett on Youtube, and I really recommend it if you haven't seen it. She was so sharp, witty and funny. A very intelligent woman who could laugh at herself. It's probably the best celebrity interview I have ever seen.

by Anonymousreply 7202/07/2013

B.D. was never as pretty as Bette when she was younger.

Gary Merrill wrote a biography when he was dying of cancer that gives a different viewpoint of their marriage. He doesn't really portray himself as a very great guy which is always refreshing in an autobiography.

Michael Merrill was a wonderful son to both of them.

by Anonymousreply 7302/07/2013

Imagine being Bette Davis's daughter, though, with those two drunks fighting all the time, and Gary Merrill wandering around naked under his bathrobe. I can't imagine Davis was an easy mom.

by Anonymousreply 7402/07/2013

Gary Merrill was a strange man. His bizarre behavior is well-documented in the Davis bios. He was a raging alcoholic who lived to drink a martini in the kitchen first thing in the morning - stark naked. Several housekeepers quit over that.

by Anonymousreply 7502/07/2013

By the way guys, later i'm going to post some excerpts from 'The Girl Who Walked Home Alone'. They are very interesting and i want to share that with you. Bette was one of her kind. There are no Bette Davis today. She was very stubborn and vocal but she was intelligent and generous to her profession.

I don't have the time to post these excerpts now, because i have to go. However, i have decided which parts of the book i post and you will have them! Of course i know that many of you, may have read the book but it's no harm to see again some certain points of Bette's life. Actually, i will post Bette's thoughts about her mother, her father, her daughter and some of her opinions about growing old!

I love you guys...see ya!

by Anonymousreply 7602/08/2013

That Charlotte Chandler book was a piece of shit (along with her Crawford bio, too)--Chandler tried like hell to make it all about HER. And they used a RIDICULOUS picture of her on the jacket.

by Anonymousreply 7702/08/2013

R77 you are so unfair and wrong actually. Chandler's book was indeed good and it was about Bette OBVIOUSLY! It has received great critics as well, i wondered, what you didn't like about that biography. Anyway...

I'll post as i promised you before some excerpts from this biography now!

by Anonymousreply 7802/08/2013

Bette talks:

'If you ask me, is getting old worth it, the answer is yes, considering the alternative. Old age ain't no place for sissies. You've seen the pillow in my home that says that'

'I had a terrifying thought the other night. I realized that most of me is in the past. The days behind me are many, and the days ahead of me are few. It all went so fast. If i could just borrow one of those days or nights from the past and live it now.'

'It's strange to look like an old lady on the outside, to see your own wrinkles, while you feel just as you did when you were a girl. To be a mother, a grandmother, and just to want to cry out for your own mother! Sometimes when i was the sole support of all those people, i just wanted to cry out for my mother and have her hold me. I never thought about it before, but i wonder-did Ruthie(Bette's mother)ever feel that way when she was left with Bobbie(Bette's sister)and me? A part of me never grew up, but now it's too late. Lamentable.'

'The saddest moment in any woman's life is when she says goodbye to being a woman. A woman can live without sex, but not without the hope of sex.'

'I was Margo Channing when what i wanted to be was Jezebel. Now i'm what's left of Baby Jane. The worst thing is when you see it in other people's eyes. They see you on television in Eve or Now, Voyager or something, and then they see you in person. You're expected to look the same. There's such a terrible disbelief in their eyes.'

'Do you know when i felt old? When i believed i'd never fall in love again. The greatest human need is to love and be loved. What i wanted most in my life was love, but i was never good at getting love and i couldn't understand why. Looking back, it could have been because i wasn't lovable.'

'I was always afraid of being alone. I was less afraid of dying. And my worst fear came true. I've been lonely with people for much of my life. Now i shall be exploring what it's like to be lonely alone. Perhaps my sense of self was too well developed. Perhaps my problem wasn't loneliness, but only-ness.'

'Life is a Dark Victory. When confronted with death, we're all engaged in the Dark Victory. What i've been able to do in these last years, even after illness and betrayal, i consider that this was my Bright Victory. Happiness should never be postponed. Life is the past, the present, and the perhaps...'


by Anonymousreply 7902/08/2013

Bette Davis talks:

'You can't let people down. Adrenaline is a woman's best makeup'

'Money is heavenly when you're young. It can buy so much that you want. When you are old, money doesn't buy so much. Age is a leveler. But i'd want to be sure i had enough money to leave to take care of the people i care about who've grown used to depending on me. I'd also want to be sure i didn't die owing anyone any money. Once i owed my lawyer, Harold Schiff, forty thousand dollars. I'd put up my house for sale, and it wasn't selling. I was terrified something would happen to me before i could pay him back.'

by Anonymousreply 8002/08/2013

Bette talks about her father:

'All my life i've talked about the importance of my mother. And i've brushed aside my father, because he brushed me aside. Since my father walked out on Ruthie and Bobby and me, i've always said i didn't care but...Oh hell! I did. He was a brain. I tried so hard to win him, to get his attention, but he didn't seem to like children, especially his own. After he left us, we lived in seventy-five rooms, apartments, and houses in eight years.'

'A home is a haven. Everyone should have a home which greets you when you arrive and says goodbye to you when you leave. I dreamed of my cottage. I dreamed of a wonderful man who would dwell with me forever in my-in our cottage. But i think my memories of my father, which i had shut out so that i was scarcely aware of them, intruded on my own relationship with men. The first man in my life, my father, left me, and that started the pattern. I was always afraid it might happen again, so i tested each man until he failed.'

'My mother gave me the support i needed, but not the challenge. If you know you're certain to please, there isn't the same motivation. My father gave me that challenge. He was responsible for my being strong. I had to work, to compete, to struggle, because i had to show him what a mistake he'd made in leaving his seven-year-old daughter who worshiped him. And, indeed, i did show him, except he didn't see it. He was not interested. Now he's long dead, my career is largely over, and so is my own life, but i think i'm still trying to get his attention.'

'My father never struck me. He didn't have to. He battered you with his wit, which was devastating. And you couldn't hit back. Wit, especially sarcasm, is a dangerous weapon. Bright people are too often sarcastic. My father was, and i grew up being quite sarcastic like him. Sometimes the shortest distance between two points of view is a straight lie. I'm still direct, but one can carry directness too far, where one goes around being so bright and so honest that you hurt people. I learned wrong lessons from my father that probably hampered me as a woman. But he gave me a very good brain, and helped me to hang on.'

'In his whole life, Daddy loved only one creature that i know of-his dog, a vicious chow who bit everyone in sight. Daddy would roar with laughter when i went to visit him and he saw how terrified i was by the dog's purple tongue and it's sharp, fierce teeth. I think he enjoyed it immensely when his dog bit people. The last time i went to see him, Daddy was alone with that dog. My father died at only fifty-two. I think he was too bright to enjoy being alive. His contempt for all of humanity included himself.'

'Poor Daddy! Now i understand and can have sympathy for him. How isolated from the world he was! I can only guess at his unhappiness; i understand his loneliness. He left me his wife, his daughter, all of the responsibilities of a man-and a lifetime of trying to fill the legacy of his absence.'

by Anonymousreply 8102/08/2013

Bette had been told her daughter's book was terrible, that it would hurt her deeply, but she hoped those who had told her had exaggerated. 'They hadn't. It was more horrible than anything i could have imagined. No question about it.' Bette mentions.

'She didn't send me a complimentary copy of her highly uncomplimentary book. I suppose she was counting every book sold. Even in writing her book, she had to depend on her mother in order to be able to sell her book to a publisher, and then to anyone else. I had to know what it said. I read every searing word. I read it only once. I will not need to go back. I will remember every hate-filled sentence branded on my soul, as long as i live'

It was Bette said, more painful than anything she had endured in the hospital, worse than her mastectomy, more terrible torture than the strokes. 'How cruel, not to leave you a happy memory! It's like leaving you only broken bric-a-brac in your mind.'

'After i read it once, i threw it into the garbage where it belonged. You can love someone who doesn't love you. You can't love someone who hates you, once you have learned that that person hates you, and hated you over a long time while pretending not to, and fooling you.'

'I never considered not reading it', Bette said. 'Can you imagine? Everyone else would know what it said, and i would be the only one in the dark. Above all, i had to know what i would say to B.D., who was my only natural child, my pride and joy, whom i had always adored from the moment i held her on the day of her birth. I thought about when we came face-to-face, or when i called her. I couldn't imagine what words i would speak to her. After i read what she had written about me, i no longer needed to think about what i would say to her-ever.'

'She had gotten out of me what she would get out of me. I don't have so much money, but whatever i have, if i die soon enough to have some left, it will not go to her. So what she has from me now is my name and reputation to attack in that book. I don't know if she did what she did for money or just to hurt me. Probably both. But even for that, take note, she needed my name Bette Davis. If she hadn't been the daughter of Bette Davis i repeat, who would have wanted her book?'

'She broke my heart, if that's what satisfied her. I've always had my pride, and my first reaction was i didn't want her to know that she had broken my heart, though she probably did know it. Ruthie and she were the two persons i loved the most in my life. Ruthie was the first half, B.D. the second half. Ruthie always gave everything for me. Sometimes, her advice wasn't the right thing for me, but it was always what she believed was best, and it was the best she had to offer. With B.D., i gave her whatever i had to offer, all my love, my presence, because i wanted to be with her. i gave her whatever money could buy, or at least whatever my money could buy, her kitten, her pony. Finding out that my only natural child not only didn't love me but actually detested me was the most terrible thing that happened in my life. Absolutely.'

Bette never again spoke to her daughter.

by Anonymousreply 8202/08/2013

Thanks for posting these amazing Bette quotes. She is incredibly forthright, intelligent and self aware. I do wish she would just speak for herself though instead of making pronouncements about "all" women or the human condition.

Like this:

[quote]The saddest moment in any woman's life is when she says goodbye to being a woman. A woman can live without sex, but not without the hope of sex.

This is simply a false statement for many women. A good number feel much freer once they are, as my grandmother used to say, "done with all that nonsense." For many women there are much sadder moments in life.

or this:

[quote]The greatest human need is to love and be loved. What I wanted most in my life was love.

Yes, of course that's exactly what a narcissistic actress would say. Actors aren't even content with the ordinary love of family and friends. They need the whole world to love them. But love isn't the 'greatest need' of all humans.

I have a few older relatives who generalize the same way. They assume their own experiences and opinions are shared by everyone.

by Anonymousreply 8302/08/2013

Tomorrow if it isn't peak, i will post more from the book 'The Girl Who Walked Home Alone:Bette Davis(A Personal Biography)

I will certainly post stuff Bette said about Ruthie, her mother. Of course i can't post everything Bette said about Ruthie, because there are so many times that Bette mentions her. I will post what personally moved me.

Tomorrow, i'm so tired now!


by Anonymousreply 8402/08/2013

R83 just now i noticed your reply. You welcome!

And yes Bette was very narcissistic as it came to her brains and very stubborn. She was intelligent but she was so definite in her opinions. She was a very proud woman but she knew about her faults deep at her heart, she just couldn't change.

by Anonymousreply 8502/08/2013

I'll post now Bette's feelings towards her mother Ruthie. I'll divided it into parts because it is quite long for Datalounge and i don't want to tire your beautiful eyes my loves! Lol

Part One

On July 1, 1961, when Bette finished Pocketful of Miracles, Ruthie died at the age of seventy-five after a three month illness. 'When my mother died, images of grief, joy, gratitude, recrimination, and guilt all flashed through my mind at the same time and they continue to haunt me in the years since', Bette told. 'The strangest is that of Ruthie's tired proud smile when i graduated from Cushing Academy.'

'So i could complete my senior year, Ruthie took all the photographs of the graduating class for the yearbook. That meant doing all the work herself-taking the pictures, developing the negatives, and making prints, working through the night to the point of collapse. i vividly recall Mother crouching over negative after negative, hour after hour, day after day, doing her retouching work. She would come home every night exhausted, her eyes strained, her back aching, but always cheerful, always hopeful. It's an image of her gallantry that will stay with me forever.'

In those days, photography was not only hard to work, it was dangerous. The chemicals used in developing were toxic. As long as i live, i'll never forget the sight of my mother sitting in the auditorium as i stepped up to receive my diploma. I couldn't help noticing how thin she was. She only weighed about ninety pounds-and the developer poisoning was very apparent on her face. She was wearing an old hat and last year's dress, and a tired proud smile on her face. It was plain she was exhausted, but there wasn't a prouder mother in that auditorium. I felt like crying, then an now.'

by Anonymousreply 8602/09/2013

Part Two (Bette on her mother Ruthie)

'This was my greatest incentive to become a success. As i looked down at her, i thought i must repay her for all those years of blood, sweat, and no tears. I am eternally grateful that i was able to do this, but i could not give her back her youth. She'd given that to me and my sister, years before. For her the word, 'sacrifice' was routine, and the world 'can't' not in her vocabulary. When i looked down and saw my mother there with the results of the developer poison on her face in her pitiful best dress, looking so proud and happy, i swore to myself, one day, she will never work again.'

'Many years later, when Ruthie died, i felt a rush of guilt. Even after Bobby and i were grown women, she had continued to be our mother, and we her little girls. Eventually, i cut the umbilical cord, but not until i was thirty-six. Bobby never did. Bobby suffered nervous breakdown after nervous breakdown, not only because she could not be Bette Davis, but because of Mother's overbearing influence.'

'But we didn't have to confide in her, we didn't have to listen to her, then follow her advice as if we were still children. If she made mistakes in counseling us, they were mistakes of love that we asked for.'

'And Ruthie's extravagance! When my success in Hollywood was assured, she went on a spending spree that lasted for the rest of her life. Even longer. Among the papers i found in her desk were instructions for her funeral, ending with the words 'I intend to die as i have lived. I want my casket to be one of those silver things.'

'Suddenly it seemed Ruthie had to make up for everything she'd missed. The extent of her deprivation had been even greater than anything we understood. It turned out she loved luxury. When people have been very poor, and then get a lot of money, either they can't enjoy spending at all because it's unnatural or they're afraid of being poor again, or they want to spend unreasonably to prove themselves they are really rich. At first i didn't understand. How could i ever have felt an ambivalence about her spending? Hadn't she more than earned it? How could any amount of money compensate for the sacrifice of her youth or repay her?'

by Anonymousreply 8702/09/2013

Part Three (Bette on her mother Ruthie)

'Ruthie always had a plan in life, and dying was one of her most carefully laid out and deliberate. 'I'm tired darling, so tired of the the fight', she had told me just before her bursting heart gave out. There was nothing wishy-washy about Ruthie. Even her defects were monumental. She could be brutally honest, yet self-deceptive about the most trivial thing. She was the wisest person i ever knew, while at the same time, the most childlike. She was both self-indulgent and endlessly sacrificing, arbitrary yet reasonable, sophisticated yet naive. There never was anyone like Ruthie.'

'How dared i ever expect perfection in such a magnificent creature as you, Ruthie! Why did i fail to tell her that i understood what she had done for me, how much i loved her? When she went to sleep that night for eternity. Bobby and i wanted to hide in the bathroom as we had done as little girls when grief overcame us. We were orphans. Her joy and vitality were gone forever. No longer she could protect us, no longer could we depend on her...Ruthie! Oh my God, how i miss her! I owe her everything.'

by Anonymousreply 8802/09/2013

All these quotes of Bette moved me, she was so...adamant and had these repressed sensitivities. Heartbreaking, the way she talks about her mother. Thanks to the poster who took the time and posted all this great stuff about her.

by Anonymousreply 8902/20/2013

Thanks to the poster who transcribed Bette's quotes - they are very interesting. I cannot think of any actress today who is this intelligent or self-aware. Bette Davis was in a class of her own.

by Anonymousreply 9002/20/2013

Guys, i'm really glad that you enjoyed Bette's quotes because i also enjoyed them, otherwise i wouldn't be bothered to share it with you! I know that you already know a lot about Bette Davis, she was such a star but...still i wanted to post this! :)

And we have the same opinion here. Bette was one of her kind!

by Anonymousreply 9102/20/2013

Paul Henreid directs his former costar Bette Davis in 'Dead Ringer'

Those Bette Davis eyes...

by Anonymousreply 9202/20/2013

That Kim Carnes song told me everything I needed to know about Bette Davis (and her eyes).

by Anonymousreply 9302/20/2013

Bette Davis, with mother, Ruth, and dog in tow, arrives in Hollywood. December, 1930

by Anonymousreply 9402/21/2013

Bette Davis (with cigarette drooping from her mouth, naturally) with her maid Marie on the Warner Brothers lot (1943)

“It has been my experience that one cannot, in any shape or form, depend on human relations for lasting reward. It is only work that truly satisfies. No one has ever understood the sweetness of my joy at the end of a good day’s work. I guess I threw everything else down the drain. I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.”-Bette Davis

by Anonymousreply 9503/13/2013

Bette Davis, 1940s

by Anonymousreply 9603/13/2013

Bette with her sister Bobby.

by Anonymousreply 9703/13/2013

Bette always hated the film Burnt Offerings and said Karen Black treated her like arelic .Karen claimed ion the DVD commentary they got along but I read Bette terrirized everyone on the set except Oliver Reed,who got drunk and terrorized her,jokingly.I thought that was one of her better horror films and probably the only one where she played the victim.

by Anonymousreply 9803/13/2013

Bette Davis


by Anonymousreply 9903/15/2013

You believe that Joan would try to make a pass at Bette? She did that?

In 1987, during the filming of her penultimate movie The Whales Of August, Davis abused her dead rival Joan Crawford to the cast and crew.

'Just because a person's dead," Bette said, "doesn't mean they've changed."

by Anonymousreply 10003/15/2013

1962 photo

by Anonymousreply 10103/15/2013

I can't get no satisfaction!

by Anonymousreply 10203/15/2013

Stone Love

by Anonymousreply 10303/15/2013

Bette being a rainbow in Joan's Sky

by Anonymousreply 10403/15/2013

Love me tender...


by Anonymousreply 10503/15/2013

Fuck the circumstances...

by Anonymousreply 10603/15/2013

Two leopards in a cage

by Anonymousreply 10703/15/2013


by Anonymousreply 10803/15/2013

My Mother's Keeper is a campy romp, but that cunt BD needs to be burned in Hell and poked with pitchforks by Bette's evil minions for eternity.

What happened to the grandsons, Justin and Ashley? I bet they are a couple of lazy bastards just like their father.

by Anonymousreply 10907/10/2013

Looking at the pics above of middle-aged Bette and Joan, I'm struck by how modern middle-aged actresses look nothing like that anymore. They're all surgeried and Botoxed with taut skin and not a single line.

by Anonymousreply 11007/10/2013

Thank God that once upon a time Bette Davis happened. She has such a rich presence in her movies. She is so big!

by Anonymousreply 11107/11/2013

When a photo seems cache or forbidden, color the address of the link which is at the top of the page and then press the button ENTER. Then the photo will appear.

Bette with...

by Anonymousreply 11207/11/2013

Bette Davis and Julie Andrews

by Anonymousreply 11307/11/2013

Bette with Joseph Cotten on location for Beyond The Forest.

by Anonymousreply 11407/11/2013

Bette with Hedy Lamarr

by Anonymousreply 11507/11/2013

A sexy Bette

by Anonymousreply 11607/11/2013

Vivien Leigh, Bette Davis and Kitty Carlisle Hart visiting Danny Kaye backstage

by Anonymousreply 11707/11/2013

With Mary Pickford

by Anonymousreply 11807/11/2013

Anybody knows who is that woman who is walking with Bette?

by Anonymousreply 11907/11/2013

Bette Davis(1939)

by Anonymousreply 12007/11/2013

"Mother Goddam" by Whitney Stine and Bette Davis (1974)

by Anonymousreply 12107/11/2013

A vibrant Bette Davis and Patty Duke at the 1963 Academy Awards

by Anonymousreply 12201/15/2014

R75, the young Gary Merrill could have sat naked in my kitchen drinking a martini anytime - I thought that guy was hot.

by Anonymousreply 12301/15/2014

R109, I too am curious about Justin and Ashley - what became of them? I'd be willing to bet that nothing became of them.

by Anonymousreply 12401/15/2014

I'm sure most of you have seen this appearance on Dick Cavett a million times, but I never did. She's the best:

by Anonymousreply 12503/04/2014
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