On Bette Davis

Bette Davis, known as the First Lady of the American Screen, can rightly be called a legend. Her captivating and dynamic performances paved the way for others and demonstrated how an actress can take command of her career in front of the camera and beyond it.

Read what others had to say about her below.

1. Lauren Bacall

“Bette Davis was my heroine from the time I was in my early teens. I wanted to be just like her. I think she’s one of the greatest movies stars that’s ever been.”

2. Ernest Borgnine

“Working with [Bette] was one of the best experiences I’ve had on a film. She was a tiny thing, just five-foot-three, and always in motion… You know, an actress in the 1930s didn’t become as big as she was without having some steel in her backbone. But she never, ever used that muscle against her ensemble.”

3. Olivia de Havilland

“She was simply remarkable… Bette was doing something [different than others] with the same amount of astounding talent and intensity. She was playing real human beings. And it didn’t matter to her if they were evil or good or both, she would play them with this ferocious honesty. No one else was doing that. There wasn’t a single woman who was doing this. And I thought that’s the kind of work I want to do. She was this immense inspiration.”

4. Joan Crawford

“Oh, I love competition! I really think that competition is one of the great challenges of life. And we must have challenges. Otherwise, we don't grow. I think with Bette Davis, in Baby Jane, was one of the greatest challenges I'd ever had.”

Read about Whatever Happened to Baby Jane here

5. Debbie Reynolds

“Bette Davis was a close friend. She loved to have a good time.”

6. Ron Howard

“I've worked with Bette Davis, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda. Here's the thing they all have in common: They all, even in their 70s, worked a little harder than everyone else.”