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|Ruth Elizabeth Davis|
|Birthplace||Lowell, Massachusetts, United States|
Davis, Bette(bĕt`ē), 1908–89, American film actress, b. Lowell, Mass., as Ruth Elizabeth Davis. One of the most durable stars of the American screen, she made her debut in 1931. With a strikingly artificial yet emotionally compelling acting style and distinctive features that gave her an unconventional beauty, Davis was difficult to promote as a romantic figure. Her successful early roles included Of Human Bondage (1934) and Dangerous (1935, Academy Award). Frustrated at the lack of better roles, she broke her contract with Warner Brothers and lost a subsequent court case in which the standard seven-year contract binding a performer to one studio was upheld. But Davis found her niche as the troubled woman in search of romance in such films as Jezebel (1938), for which she won another Academy Award, and The Little Foxes (1941). Among her other outstanding films are Dark Victory (1939), Now, Voyager (1942), and the superb All about Eve (1950). When her popularity began to decline in the 1950s, she responded by accepting offbeat, even bizarre, roles in The Catered Affair (1955), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1961), and other 1960s films. With fellow screen legend Lillian GishGish, Lillian,
1896–1993, American stage and movie actress, b. Springfield, Ohio. In 1912 she began her film career with D. W. Griffith. A fragile, delicate beauty, Gish often played a heroine rescued from cruel fate at the last moment.
..... Click the link for more information. , she gave a graceful valedictory performance in The Whales of August (1987).
See her autobiography (1962); biographies by J. Vermilye (1972), C. Higham (1981), B. Leaming (1992), J. Spada (1993), C. Chandler (2006), and E. Sikov (2007).
(Ruth Elizabeth Davis). Born Apr. 5, 1908, in Lowell, Mass. American motion picture actress.
Davis studied in drama school, and made her Broadway debut in 1928. From 1930 to 1935 she played ingenues and femmes fatales in films. It was only in the role of Mildred (in Of Human Bondage, based on the W. S. Maugham novel, 1934) that Davis first revealed the inner world of a complex and contradictory personality. In the psychological dramas Jezebel (1938), Dark Victory (1939), and Juarez (1939) the Davis heroine took shape—a strong, domineering woman, willing to attain her goal at any price and disdaining public opinion and moral codes. In 1941, Davis created her most significant character, Regina Hubbard, in The Little Foxes (based on L. Hellman’s play). She had roles in several important films of the 1950’s: All About Eve (1950), Storm Center (1956), and The Catered Affair (1956). In the 1960’s she played women affected pathologically by loneliness and frustration: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Dead Ringer (1964), and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1965).
WORKSThe Lonely Life: An Autobiography. New York, 1962.
REFERENCEKartseva, E. N. Bett Devis. Moscow, 1967.
V. A. UTILOV