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Bette Davis

Bette Davis

  • Born on
    • April 5th, 1908
  • Died on
    • October 6th, 1989
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.

Starring Bette Davis on Plex

Filmography

Acting (105 Credits)

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2014And the Oscar Goes to...
1989Wicked Stepmother as Miranda Pierpoint
1988The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind as (archive footage)
1987The Whales of August as Libby Strong
1986As Summers Die as Hannah Loftin
1985Murder with Mirrors as Carrie Louise Serrocold
1984Terror in the Aisles as Baby Jane Hudson (archive footage) (uncredited)
1983Right of Way as Miniature Dwyer
1982A Piano for Mrs. Cimino as Esther McDonald Cimino
1982Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid as (in "Deception") (archive footage)
1982Little Gloria... Happy at Last as Alice Gwynne Vanderbilt
1981Family Reunion as Elizabeth Winfield
1980White Mama as Adele Malone
1980The Watcher in the Woods as Mrs. Aylwood
1980Skyward as Billie Dupree
1979Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter as Lucy Mason
1978Return from Witch Mountain as Letha
1978Death on the Nile as Marie Van Schuyler
1978The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) as Widow Fortune
1976The Disappearance of Aimee as Minnie Kennedy
1976Burnt Offerings as Aunt Elizabeth
1973Scream, Pretty Peggy as Mrs. Elliott
1972Madame Sin as Madame Sin
1972The Judge and Jake Wyler as Judge Meredith
1972The Scopone Game as 'A vecchia
1971Bunny O'Hare as Bunny O'Hare
1970Connecting Rooms as Wanda Fleming
1968The Anniversary as Mrs. Taggart
1965The Nanny as Nanny
1965The Love Goddesses as (archive footage)
1964Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte as Charlotte Hollis
1964Dead Ringer as Margaret DeLorca / Edith Phillips
1964Where Love Has Gone as Mrs. Gerald Hayden
1963The Empty Canvas as Dino's Mother
1962What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? as Baby Jane Hudson
1961Pocketful of Miracles as Apple Annie
1959The Scapegoat as Countess
1959John Paul Jones as Empress Catherine the Great
1956Storm Center as Alicia Hull
1956The Catered Affair as Mrs. Agnes Hurley
1955The Virgin Queen as Queen Elizabeth I
1952The Star as Margaret Elliot
1952Phone Call from a Stranger as Marie Hoke
1951Another Man's Poison as Janet Frobisher
1951Payment on Demand as Joyce Ramsey (nee Jackson)
1950All About Eve as Margo Channing
1949Beyond the Forest as Rosa Moline
1948Winter Meeting as Susan Grieve
1948June Bride as Linda Gilman
1946Deception as Christine Radcliffe
1946A Stolen Life as Kate Bosworth / Patricia Bosworth
1945The Corn Is Green as Miss Lilly Christabel Moffat
1944Mr. Skeffington as Fanny Trellis
1943Old Acquaintance as Kit Marlowe
1943Watch on the Rhine as Sara Müller
1942The Man Who Came to Dinner as Maggie Cutler
1942Now, Voyager as Charlotte Vale
1942In This Our Life as Stanley Timberlake Kingsmill
1941The Little Foxes as Regina Hubbard Giddens
1941The Great Lie as Maggie Patterson Van Allen
1941The Bride Came C.O.D. as Joan Winfield
1941Shining Victory as Nurse (uncredited)
1940The Letter as Leslie Crosbie
1940All This, and Heaven Too as Henriette Deluzy-Desportes
1939The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex as Queen Elizabeth
1939Dark Victory as Judith Traherne
1939The Old Maid as Charlotte Lovell
1939Juarez as Empress Carlotta von Hapsburg
1938Jezebel as Julie Marsden
1938The Sisters as Louise Elliott Medlin
1937Marked Woman as Mary Dwight Strauber
1937That Certain Woman as Mary Donnell/Mme Al Haines
1937Kid Galahad as Louise 'Fluff' Phillips
1937It's Love I'm After as Joyce Arden
1936Satan Met a Lady as Valerie Purvis
1936The Golden Arrow as Daisy Appleby
1936The Petrified Forest as Gabby Maple
1935Special Agent as Julie Gardner
1935Dangerous as Joyce Heath
1935Front Page Woman as Ellen Garfield
1935The Girl from 10th Avenue as Miriam A. Brady
1935Bordertown as Mrs. Marie Roark
1934Fog Over Frisco as Arlene Bradford
1934Of Human Bondage as Mildred Rogers
1934Fashions of 1934 as Lynn Mason
1934The Big Shakedown as Norma Nelson
1934Jimmy the Gent as Joan Martin
1934Housewife as Patricia Berkeley
1933Ex-Lady as Helen Bauer
1933Bureau of Missing Persons as Norma Roberts
1933The Working Man as Jenny Hartland alias Jane Grey
1933Parachute Jumper as Patricia 'Alabama' Brent
1932The Dark Horse as Kay Russell
1932Hell's House as Peggy Gardner
193220, 000 Years in Sing Sing as Fay Wilson
1932The Cabin in the Cotton as Madge Norwood
1932The Man Who Played God as Grace Blair
1932The Rich Are Always with Us as Malbro
1932The Menace as Peggy Lowell
1932So Big! as Miss Dallas O'Mara
1932Three on a Match as Ruth Wescott
1931Bad Sister as Laura Madison
1931Way Back Home as Mary Lucy Duffy
1931Seed as Margaret Carter
1931Waterloo Bridge as Janet Cronin

Herself (5 Credits)

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2015Listen to Me Marlon as Herself (archive footage)
2006Stardust: The Bette Davis Story as Herself (archive footage)
1977AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Bette Davis as Herself
1944Hollywood Canteen as Self
1943Thank Your Lucky Stars as Herself

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