|A very young and very blond, Bette Davis|
Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis in Lowell, Massachusetts on April 5, 1908. When she was only seven, her parents separated, and Bette was promptly sent to a boarding school. In 1921, at the age of 13, she moved to New York with her mother, and it was here where she first garnered an interest in acting. Inspired by the films she had seen, Bette auditioned and received a part in a school play, which only cemented her desire to be an actress. To further her dream, she enrolled into the John Murray School of Theatre, where she studied acting alongside a young Lucille Ball and dance with Martha Graham.
After securing a place in George Cukor’s stock theater company, Bette landed her first Broadway role in 1929’s Broken Dishes, which she soon followed up with a performance in Solid South. Upon the urging of a Hollywood talent scout she moved to Hollywood in 1930, where she landed a contract with Universal Pictures and starred in her first movie: The Bad Sister. She spent the next three years acting in 21 films, none of which secured her a place as a respected actress. Bette gained some attention when she starred in 1934’s Of Human Bondage, a film which earned her rave reviews. Afterwards, Bette took a role in the film Dangerous, which won her an Academy Award.
|A tense scene from Juarez, left to right, |
Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, and Davis
|Paul Henried and Davis between takes on|
the set of Now, Voyager
|Joan Crawford and Davis in a publicity still|
for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
|Davis as Margo Channing|
Her acting legacy and personality have let Davis live on for many years following her passing. With a staggering 11 Academy Award nominations, 2 wins, a career spanning 50 years, countless fans, and the praise and respect of some of the most well regarded directors, actors, and critics, Davis will always remain a Hollywood icon.
Guest blogger, Kate Voss is an entertainment blogger from Chicago. A romantic at-heart, she will be delighting in the classical works of Wilder and Frank Capra this Valentine's Day. You can find her on Twitter at @Kateevoss.