TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (28)
|Also Known As:||Ruth Elizabeth Davis||Died:||October 6, 1989|
|Born:||April 5, 1908||Cause of Death:||breast cancer|
|Birth Place:||Lowell, Massachusetts, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor|
A strong-willed, independent woman with heavy-cast eyes, clipped New England diction, and distinctive mannerisms, Bette Davis left an indelible - and often parodied - mark on cinema history as being one of Hollywood's most important and decorated actresses. Over the course of her storied career, Davis made some 100 films, for which she received 10 Academy Award nominations, and twice won the Best Actress trophy. But her sometimes over-the-top affectations - which no doubt made her a gay subculture icon - hindered her career despite the enormity of her talents. Not a glamorous star, Davis went through a string of forgettable pictures before tackling the rather unsympathetic Mildred in "Of Human Bondage" (1934), which turned her into a star and earned the actress her first Oscar nomination. She won the Academy Award the following year for "Dangerous" (1935) and later earned her second statue for one of her most famous performances in "Jezebel" (1938). By this time, Davis was a big star and went on to a series of box office hits like "Dark Victory" (1939) and "Now, Voyager" (1942). But after the personal tragedy of losing her husband, Arthur Farnsworth, Davis went into serious professional decline, only to resurrect herself with a delectably over-the-top performance in "All About Eve" (1950). Her resurgence was brief, however, as Davis once again was forced to accept a number of mediocre films while going through a number of personal travails. After emerging one last time with her Oscar-nominated turn in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962), Davis settled into a succession of film and television roles that culminated with her last acclaimed performance in "The Whales of August" (1987). Passing just two years later, Davis was remembered as one of Hollywood's greatest actresses, a legacy forged by an iron will to go her own way.
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