Bette Davis

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What to expect

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 fought endless contractual battles with studios and survived four disastrous marriages, earning a larger-than-life 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, a daughter whose mother was devoted to her success, and a mother who loved her own daughter to distraction. Obsessive and compulsive, Davis was happy only when she was working, but did not always choose her projects wisely. She fought a lifelong battle with alcohol, and she had an insatiable need to be loved, often at great emotional cost. 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.

Critics Review

  • “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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