American actress (1908-1989). After acting on Broadway for several years, she was hired by Universal Studios, but the studio representative who went to meet her at the train station in Hollywood left without her because he didn't see anyone who looked like a movie star. Another Universal executive complained that she had "as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville".

After she signed with Warner Brothers, she had a star-making turn in "The Man Who Played God" and had a smash with RKO in 1934's "Of Human Bondage". She won Academy Awards for "Dangerous" and "Jezebel" and sued unsuccessfully to break her contract with Warner's because she didn't feel she was getting enough good parts. After her lawsuit, her roles improved dramatically--though she didn't get one big part she wanted: Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind".

After a disappointing run of films in the late-1940s, Davis had a big comeback with "All About Eve" in 1950, for which she received another Oscar nomination. After her career stalled again in the early '60s, she placed a now-famous "job wanted" ad in the Hollywood trade papers. Soon afterwards, she was cast as the demented Jane Hudson in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" and received another Oscar nomination. There was likely no one she hated more than her co-star, Joan Crawford. They had feuded for years (Bette had the quicker wit and got all the best zingers).

She continued to work throughout the 1980s, even though a stroke adversely affected her appearance and mobility. She had three daughters, one of whom was severely retarded -- and another of whom wrote a "Mommie Dearest"-style "I-Hate-My-Famous-Momma" bio called "My Mother's Keeper".

Davis' movies included: "Of Human Bondage," "Dangerous," "Kid Galahad," "Jezebel," "The Sisters," "Dark Victory," "The Little Foxes," "Now, Voyager," "All About Eve," "John Paul Jones" (as Catherine the Great!), "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?", "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte," "Death on the Nile," "The Watcher in the Woods," "The Whales of August," and her last film, the abysmal "Wicked Stepmother".

Research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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