Monday, January 23, 2012

Tuesday, January 23, 1934

Daddy took Pauline and I and Ruth Ray to school. Nadine didn’t go. In the evening Pauline and I walked home.

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (April 5, 1908 - October 6, 1989)

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Davis was an actress in film, television and
theater. Davis was 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. Her greatest successes, however, were her roles in romantic dramas.

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.

She 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.

Bette Davis died from breast cancer in France and is interred in Forest Lawn-Hollywood
Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. On her tombstone is written: "She did it the hard way", an
epitaph that she mentioned in her memoir Mother Goddam as having been suggested to her
by Joseph L. Mankiewicz shortly after they had filmed All About Eve.

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