“Hollywood adores bunk and hooey. It’s expected of us. After all, the secret of success lies in finding out what people want and then giving it to them.” – Bette Davis
Source: Laura Ellsworth Fitch (1935)
Photographer: Elmer Fryer
“Baby Jane”…a childhood photo.
Hell’s House (1932). With Pat O’Brien.
“In my view, she’s one of the all-time great movie stars and actresses. I thought she was a great beauty, too. I just loved her looks. She is still quite a character, very determined and strong, and she refuses to concede an inch.” – Lauren Bacall
Bureau of Missing Persons (1933). With Pat O’Brien.
“When Bette‘s good, she’s real good. When she’s bad, she’s awful. But she’s not afraid to bat an eyelash.” — Joan Blondell
Source: Jack Quigg (1951)
Photo: With Joan Blondell, circa 1933.
“Just another blonde! They want to do things to us for films. My eyelashes are long enough and I don’t look well with my mouth splashed like a red gardenia, but they establish standards and no matter what we have done before we must live up to them.” — Bette Davis
Source: Molly Marsh (1934)
Bordertown (1935). With Paul Muni.
Famous lips of 1935: Bette Davis, Ann Dvorak, Winifred Shaw, Glenda Farrell, Dolores Del Rio, Verree Teasdale, Marion Davies, Jean Muir, Josephine Hutchinson, Olivia de Havilland, Anita Louise, Patricia Ellis, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Margaret Lindsey and Kay Francis.
“I’m the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived.” — Bette Davis
“I’m not very domestic. I guess I’ve been fortunate in having people do that sort of thing for me, to a great extent. I do like to superintend the running of the house, though. That’s about the extent of my domesticity.” — Bette Davis
Source: Virginia Wood (1936)
Photographer: Irving Lippman
“I can’t stand cheerful surroundings. It’s just so saccharine that it’s sickening. I’ve always felt peppy in the rain and utterly depressed in the sun.” – Bette Davis in 1974, explaining why she left Hollywood.
Photo: Elmer Fryer (1937)
“Oh, I’m supposed to be frightening! At least, that’s what they say. But until you’re thought of that way, you haven’t made it. This, of course, involves making enemies.” — Bette Davis
Photo: Elmer Fryer
“It doesn’t make any difference to me if they put a gray wig and old makeup on me. A fat part is a fat part, and I’d rather be acting than posing as a glamour girl.” — Bette Davis
Photo: Scotty Welbourne (1937)
“Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should ALL be bigger than life.” – Bette Davis
Photographer: Elmer Fryer
The Letter (1940). With Herbert Marshall.
“…Jimmy, with whom I wanted to work in something fine, spent most of the picture removing cactus quills from my behind. This was supposedly hilarious. We romped about the desert and I kept falling into cactus. We both reached the bottom in this one.” — Bette Davis
Photo: The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)
“I hold no truck with the wailing about ‘the good old days.’ The days I’m having now seem mighty good to me. I like it here in Hollywood. I love working in pictures, and I have been very, very lucky.” — Bette Davis
Source: Alexander Kahn (1941)
Marlene Dietrich, Bob Hope and Bette Davis standing in front of the Hollywood Hall of Honor at the Hollywood Canteen. The original building used to be a livery stable that had been converted into a nightclub called “The Old Barn” before becoming the Canteen.
This photo was taken on November 3,1943, and features a Who’s Who of entertainment professionals who entered the armed forces in WWII. (LAPL)
“Strong women only marry weak men.” — Bette Davis
Photo taken at the Saint Francis of Assisi chapel at the Mission Inn, Riverside, the setting for her wedding to William Grant Sherry on November 30, 1945.
Sherry was an artist and even though his marriage to Davis only lasted five years, they had one child, Barbara Davis.
Oddly enough, the same year their divorce was finalized, Sherry married the young, attractive nanny that had been in Davis‘ employ to look after Barbara.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I think I just can’t play myself. I don’t know how! But, if you give me a drink – give me a cigarette – give me a gun – I’ll play any old bag you want me to. I just can’t play myself!” – Bette Davis
Photo was taken on the set of Deception (1946). The man in the photo is producer, Henry Blanke.
This 8″ x 10″ framed oil painting was a prop created to hang in George Sander’s office in All About Eve (1950). However, it was never used. Gary Merrill presented the painting to Davis at a premiere party. She then displayed it in her house for a number of years before she gave it to record producer Don Ovens.
It was later sold at auction on September 13, 2003.
“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.” – Bette Davis
“We were polite to each other – all the social amenities, ‘Good morning, Joan‘ and ‘Good Morning, Bette‘ crap – and thank God we weren’t playing roles where we had to like each other. But people forget that our big scenes were alone – just the camera was on me or her. No actresses on earth are as different as we are, all the way down the line. Yet what we do works. It’s so strange, this acting business. It comes from inside. She was always so damn proper. She sent thank you notes for thank you notes. I screamed when I found out she signed autographs: ‘Bless you, Joan Crawford.'” — Bette Davis
“Bette is of a different temperament than I. Bette had to yell every morning. I just sat and knitted. I knitted a scarf from Hollywood to Malibu.” — Joan Crawford
“If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.” — Bette Davis
Photo: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. With Joan Crawford
“Miss Crawford owned three sizes of bosoms. In the famous scene which she lay on the beach, Joan wore the largest ones. Let’s face it, when a woman lies on her back, I don’t care how well endowed she is, her bosoms do not stand straight up… The scene called for me to fall on top of her. I almost had the breath knocked out of me. It was like falling on two footballs!” — Bette Davis
Source: Betty Shimabukuro (1987)
Photo: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. With Joan Crawford.
“Go away. I’m not a movie star – I’m a dead woman….You’ve got to think your part as you lie there, because there is expression on a face even in death.” — Bette Davis to her hairdresser and makeup person on the set of Dead Ringer (1964).
Source: Erskine Johnson (1963)
“Just because someone is dead does not mean they have changed!” – Bette Davis
“I can’t tell you what I went through during those weeks that shooting stopped, waiting for Crawford to get well. It was sheer torture.” — Bette Davis
“I have always believed in the Christian ethic, to forgive and forget. I looked forward to working with Bette again. I had no idea of the extent of her hate, and that she planned to destroy me.” — Joan Crawford
Photo: On the set of Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) before Joan Crawford left the film.
“At the Palladium in London, a woman asked me I’d had my face lifted. I said, ‘Come down to the footlights. Now, don’t you think I’d look better than this if I had?'” — Bette Davis
Source: Kevin Thomas (1978)
Photo: Death on the Nile (1978)
“How ridiculous! I have known little Ronny Reagan and Nancy for over 30 years and I refuse to be formally introduced.” — Bette Davis when receiving her Kennedy Centre Life Achievement Award in 1987.