Saturday, 5 April 2014

Celebrating Bette Davis

Bette was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on 5th April 1908.  She was a supremely awesome actor back in the days when actors worked like doozers.  In her career she made more than 100 films.

I love this picture of Bette Davis.
She looks to be finding the
photographer wanting.
Pic from here
With her huge doll-like eyes, her svelte figure, and her immaculate hair and make-up, Bette was the very figure of control and poise, but that's not why she captured imaginations.

Bette stood up for herself, and pursued her goals with drive and determination.  She got a reputation for being difficult, although when asked about this on Woman's Hour she explained that this was not true.  She was not difficult; she was only difficult with stupid people.

Bette had a difficult personal life.  She lost her father at age 10, and went through four marriages.  She found other actors boring, and was physically separated from Joan Crawford on the set of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, when the two were fighting.  They loathed each other. 

Her daughter, BD Hyman, wrote a very critical book about her mother, and the two had a very public falling out over it.  Bette left BD and her family out of her will.  She split her estate between her son and a close friend.  Also left out of the will was her daughter Margot, who was mentally retarded.

But image, hard work, and an interesting personality have not caused Bette's work to live on by themselves.

We still love Bette Davis because she was really incredibly good at what she did.  And what she did was act her socks off.  She acted until she died in 1989.  She was famous for enjoying playing women who weren't nice, who were perhaps evil.  She said that the evil parts were better written than the nice ones.

I think they still are.  I think nice parts for women tend to be insipid and boring.  What do you think?

Other posts you might like:

The book challenge
Words at 3/4/14 - 70,735.  
18,000 words done since the challenge began, 2000 so far this month.
Where I'm at in First Draft - end of Chapter 13.
What I did last - drafting a piece on blogging.