- Davis, Bette
- (1908-1989)Future movie star Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis in Lowell, Massachusetts. She worked as a secretary before turning to acting in the late 1920s. Her first Broadway role was in 1929. She joined Universal Studios in 1930 and appeared in The Bad Sister in 1931. She moved to Warner Studios and achieved a breakthrough with The Man Who Played God, followed by Of Human Bondage, both in 1934. Davis won an Academy Award for her role in Dangerous (1935) and appeared with Humphrey Bogart in The Petrified Forest (1936). Her second Academy Award came for her acting in Jezebel (1938). Not a conventional star, Davis appeared onscreen and offscreen as a liberated, independent woman. This involved her in some conflict with the studio, and her contract ended in 1949. Nonetheless, she made a number of successful film appearances, including Dark Victory (1939), Watch on the Rhine (1943), and Mr. Skeffington (1944).During World War II, Davis made several public appearances to raise war bonds, and in 1942 she was one of several Hollywood stars to established the Hollywood Canteen to cater for servicemen in Los Angeles, California. She was awarded the Distinguished Civilian Service Medal in 1980 for her war work. Although her career faltered in the late 1940s, Davis received Academy nominations for her role in All About Eve (1950) and The Star (1952). A major success came later with Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). Awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1977, she made her last film appearance in 1987.See also Cinema.
Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . Neil A. Wynn . 2015.