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Bette Davis

Biography | Filmography | Awards | Article | Downloads | Links | Image Credits | ALL ABOUT EVE | THE LITTLE FOXES

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A poster from Bette's triumphant terminal illness tearjerker, DARK VICTORY (1939), also starring Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, Henry Travers and Ronald Reagan.

Music Clip from DARK VICTORY:

Click here"Dark Victory" (clip) by Max Steiner (a .MP3 file).

"I'm 23 years old -- an only child. I weigh 110 pounds stripped. I've had measles, mumps and whooping cough, all at the proper ages. I believe I have no congenital weaknesses. Shall I go on?... My father drank himself to death. My mother lives in Paris. I take a great deal of exercise. I'm accustomed to a reasonable quantity of tobacco and alcohol. I'm said to have a sense of humor. Is that enough?" --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).

With Herbert Marshall in William Wyler's THE LETTER (1940), the film for which Bette received the third of her record five consecutive Best Actress Oscar nominations.

Music Clip:

Click here"Main Title" by Max Steiner (a .MP3 file courtesy RCA Victor).

More Music Clips from Bette's Films:

  • Click here"Spin a Little Web of Dreams" (clip) from FASHIONS OF 1934 (1934) sung by Veree Teasdale (a .MP3 file courtesy Rhino Records).
  • Click here"Elizabeth" from THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939) by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (a .MP3 file courtesy RCA Victor).
  • Click here"They're Either Too Young or Too Old" (clip) from THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (1943) (a .MP3 file).

(For help opening any of the multimedia files, visit the plug-ins page.)

Bette as Regina Giddens in THE LITTLE FOXES (1941) also starring Teresa Wright, Patricia Collinge and Herbert Marshall. Bette's Best Actress nomination for this role in 1941 was one of nine including Best Picture that the film received. In one of the biggest shut-outs in Academy history, the film was not awarded even one statuette.

Memorable Quotations:

  • "If this is what you call living, I don't want any part of it." --as Mary Dwight in MARKED WOMAN (1937).
  • "Nothing can hurt us now... What we have can't be destroyed... That's our victory... Our victory over the dark." --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • answering the phone: "This is Miss Judith Traherne of the sleeping Trahernes." --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "Doctor, will you do something for me? When you get inside my head, see if you can find any sense in it." --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "Thank you for my life. What can I do for you?" --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "Darling, poor fool, don't you know I'm in love with you?" --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "I think I'll have a large order of prognosis negative." --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "It's the waiting--day-in and day-out. Would I be wrong if I made it happen?" --as Judith Traherne in DARK VICTORY (1939).
  • "At this moment, I could be the happiest woman in the world if..." --as Empress Carlotta in JUAREZ (1939).
  • "I'm so excited, I want to laugh and cry at the same time." --as Charlotte Lovell in THE OLD MAID (1939).
  • "I don't say nice things nicely." --as Aunt Charlotte in THE OLD MAID (1939).
  • "The necessities of a queen must transcend those of a woman." --as Queen Elizabeth I in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939).
  • "To be a queen is to be less than human; to put pride before desire; to search men's hearts for tenderness and find only ambition; to cry out in the dark for one unselfish voice and hear only the rustle of papers of state; to turn to ones beloved with stars for eyes and have him see behind me only the shadow of the executioner's block. A queen has no hour for love. Time presses. Events crowd upon her. A shell. An empty, glittering husk. She must give up all a woman holds most dear." --as Queen Elizabeth I in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939).
  • "Naturally... It's against all nature that I should suffer so." --as Queen Elizabeth I in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939).
  • "I'm only a woman. Must I carry the weight of the world--alone?" --as Queen Elizabeth I in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (1939).

Bette with George Brent and Ernest Anderson (behind bars) in John Huston's IN THIS OUR LIFE (1942), based on Ellen Glasgow's Pulitzer Prize- winning novel about Stanley Timberlake, a high-strung young woman who not only steals the husband of her sister, Roy (Olivia de Havilland), but also frames a young law clerk for her own hit-and-run accident.  Also starring Dennis Morgan, Charles Coburn and Hattie McDaniel, the film's positive portrayal of Negroes was a landmark in the history of American race relations as seen on the Hollywood screen.

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Last updated: March 10, 2011.
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