published 08/10/1989 at 14:45 PM by Victor Merina and Judith Michaelson
Actress - Born Ruth Elizabeth Davis on April 5, 1908 in Lowell, MA - Died Oct. 6, 1989 of breast cancer in American Hospital, France
Bette Davis was a tempestuous actress whose fiery talent and celebrated toughness made her one of Hollywood's most acclaimed and enduring stars.
Davis' career spanned half a century of American film. The two-time Academy Award winner began her career on the stage and later made the transition from movies to television.
During her career, the staccato-voiced Davis made 86 movies, won two Academy Awards as best actress and was nominated for eight more. Her last movie was the 1987 "Whales of August," a film she made despite being in failing health after suffering two strokes and a bout with breast cancer.
In her heyday—from the mid-1930s to the close of World War II—Davis was the highest-paid woman in America. She was called "the first lady of the screen" and the "fourth Warner brother" and she was a regular on Oscar night. She was nominated as best actress in 1939 ("Dark Victory"), 1940 ("The Letter"), 1941 ("The Little Foxes"), 1942 ("Now, Voyager"), 1944 ("Mr. Skeffington"), as well as in 1950 ("All About Eve"), 1952 ("The Star") and 1962 ("Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?").
In the 1970s, she turned to television and garnered showcase roles, more than holding her own with a newer generation of actresses. She won an Emmy in 1979 for "Strangers," playing the mother of an estranged daughter (Gena Rowlands) who has come home to die.
— Victor Merina and Judith Michaelson in the Los Angeles Times Oct. 8, 1989