She was the tempestuous, strong-willed woman who ignited the movie screen with her legendary performances in Of Human Bondage, Jezebel, and All About Eve. Off-camera, Bette Davis survived four disastrous marriages and earned a larger-than-life professional reputation as an actress to be reckoned with. In this extraordinary biography, fans and film historians will discover a different, darker side of Bette Davis: a woman beset with scarring personal and professional doubts, who fought a lifelong battle with alcohol and had an insatiable need to be loved, often at great emotional cost. Obsessive and compulsive, Davis was happy only when she was working, but did not always choose her projects wisely. A legend, a star, a remarkable woman, Bette Davis lived her life as if it were a coveted role she was desperately afraid she might not win.
“Leaming offers a portrait of Bette Davis that is both sympathetic to the actress and frank about her legendary bitchiness…The book is distinguished by its psychological understanding of the subject." (Publishers Weekly)
“Strong, honest, vivid biography…A rapid but rich full-dress portrait of a matchlessly magnetic actress whose chains of self-centeredness grew ever heavier as she aged… Excellent especially on Davis’ tics and mannerisms and how they undermined her ferocious energy and greater possibilities.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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Love the subject, not so much the book
Jeez, talk about character assassination. The author draws outrageously unfair and unsubstantiated conclusions throughout this book. For example, when Bette finds out her adopted child, Margot, is mentally challenged, Barbara Leaming writes, "Bette's decision not to revoke the adoption was less about empathy and care for the child, and more about her fear of bad publicity." Oh really? Says who? Leaming offers not a shred of evidence for this theory. It's one of many nasty suppositions about Davis that actually contradicts just about 75% of everything I've ever read about her. It makes me wonder if the author is just looking for new revelations about the well documented life of Bette Davis. Occasionally she'll sight a letter or memo from Warner Bros. but for the most part she just fills the book with sensationally negative assumptions. Oh and PS, aside from hilariously mispronouncing everything, including "Bette" twice, the narrator is about as exciting as cold meatloaf on a paper plate.
Interesting,yet sad story
Yes,if it was about someone who I wanted to read about.This one was done well.
Yes.Her life was more interesting than I thought it would be,given the era she grew up in.
I would say her biological daughter.
- Ray "I live in NYC,am happily married & have always loved reading."