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Bette Davis quotes page 1

April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989; born Ruth Elizabeth Davis, Bette Davis was a well-known actress featured in theatrical, television and film performances. She was able to perform a wide range of characters including those that were quite unsympathetic, throughout a variety of different genres. While Bette Davis would occasionally play comedic roles, she was more well-known for her period or historical films as well as much of her romantic and contemporary work. This wide range has earned her the reputation of being one of the best actresses in cinema history. Bette Davis began her career on Broadway but in the 1930s she moved to Hollywood and started her cinema acting career with Universal Studios. With her first few attempts at film being unsuccessful she switched her contract to Warner Brothers in the mid-1930s. She was regularly featured as a leading lady in film through the 1940s. During this time she was nominated for best actress twice. She was often chosen for roles where her combative nature could shine through. Even off set she was known for being very forthright, often smoking and speaking in a very clipped style which is still mimicked by fans and satirized by critics today. While Bette Davis was incredibly talented she was also known to be a perfectionist who would clash with costars and directors when she could not get her way. Her habit of seeking perfection in her work also made her personal relationships difficult, causing her to go through three divorces and unimaginable strain as she attempted to raise her children as a single parent. While this could have been a hindrance when filming performances it also gave her a reputation as someone who could get things done, leading her to be nominated as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first woman to hold the position.

When a man gives his opinion, he's a man.
When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.
Bette Davis

It's better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you're not. It's a sign
of your worth sometimes, if you're hated by the right people.
Bette Davis

A sure way to lose happiness, I found, is to want it at the expense of everything else.
Bette Davis

If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.
Bette Davis

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is
the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.
Bette Davis

There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen.
Bette Davis

I'm the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived.
Bette Davis

Getting old ain't for sissies.
Bette Davis

Until you're known in my profession as a monster, you're not a star.
Bette Davis

The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he's dead.
Bette Davis

I was thought to be "stuck up." I wasn't. I was just sure of myself. This is and always has
been an unforgivable quality to the unsure.
Bette Davis

If everybody likes you, you're pretty dull.
Bette Davis

There comes a time in every woman's life when the only thing that helps is a glass of
champagne.
Bette Davis

I do not regret one professional enemy I have made. Any actor who doesn't dare to make an
enemy should get out of the business.
Bette Davis

I will not retire while I've still got my legs and my make-up box.
Bette Davis

Psychoanalysis. Almost went three times - almost. Then I decided what was peculiar about
me was probably what made me successful. I've seen some very talented actors go into
analysis and really lose it.
Bette Davis

If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.
Bette Davis

I never wished I'd been a man. I always felt like a woman and wanted to be a woman. I
wanted to be fulfilled professionally and personally, as a woman. There are some who might
say I had penis envy, but I only had penis admiration.
Bette Davis

This became a credo of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.
Bette Davis

Basically, I believe the world is a jungle, and if it's not a bit of a jungle in the home, a child
cannot possibly be fit to enter the outside world.
Bette Davis

We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.
Bette Davis

She has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.
Bette Davis, on Joan Crawford

Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation.
Bette Davis

I wouldn't piss on her if she was on fire.
Bette Davis, on Joan Crawford

Does success turn you into a monster? Most of them were monsters before they ever became
successful.
Bette Davis

Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it's because I'm not a bitch. Maybe that's why
Joan Crawford always plays ladies.
Bette Davis

Men become much more attractive when they start looking older. But it doesn't do much for
women, though we do have an advantage: make-up.
Bette Davis

Everybody has a heart. Except some people.
Bette Davis

I would advise any woman against having an affair with a married man believing he will ever
leave his wife, no matter how often he says his wife does not understand him. Love is not as
necessary to a man's happiness as it is to a woman's. If her marriage is satisfactory, a
woman will seldom stray. A man can be totally contented and still be out howling at the
moon.
Bette Davis

Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should ALL be bigger
than life.
Bette Davis

You should know me well enough by now to know I don't ask for things I don't think I can
get.
Bette Davis

My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered
aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.
Bette Davis

If Hollywood didn't work out, I was prepared to be the best secretary in the world.
Bette Davis

Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism.
Bette Davis

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