Women’s History: April 5

5 Apr

Happy Birthday, Bette Davis

Happy Birthday, Bette Davis. Davis is known as one of the greatest stars of all time. While my first introduction to Davis was in the 1938 movie, Jezebel, for which she won an academy award, despite her brilliant performance, I thought the movie was a bit campy. It was not until the mid 1980s when I first saw All About Eve that I appreciated Davis for the legendary artist she was. Not a traditional beauty, Davis is absolutely beautiful in All About Eve, her strong yet vulnerable personality make her both stunning and endear her to the audience. Fasten your seatbeltsit’s going to be a bumpy night!, may be one of the most recognized lines in history.

I don’t believe that Davis was ever seen without a cigarette. I remember seeing her on the tonight show with Johnny Carson, cigarette in hand. Unfortunately, Davis died of breast cancer at the age of 81. Davis made over 100 films. She was a modern day woman before the term modern was used in reference to women. She was successfully married three times and widowed once. She had a reputation of being hard to work with in her industry and was often called a “bitch” by the men in her industry–quite the double standard.  Davis was just a woman that refused to be treated in any way less than equal. Although she earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, Davis set a new precedent for women. By 1942, she was the highest paid woman in America. One should take note of Davis’ community involvement. Davis contributed to the war effort by helping to organize the Hollywood Canteen during World War II for soldiers passing through Los Angeles. Happy Birthday, Ms. Davis.

Here is one of my favorite quotes by Davis:

    If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.

 

One Response to “Women’s History: April 5”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Billboard #1′s for the Week Ending May 16, 1981 « Music and Meaning: The RBHS Jukebox - May 14, 2011

    […] week sees one of the biggest hits of the 80’s vault to #1. Inspired by the screen legend, Jackie DeShannon and Donna Weiss wrote the song Bette Davis Eyes. Kim Carnes, who had been in the […]

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