This detailed biography of Bette Davis is based on more than 150 interviews, including those with friends and relatives speaking out for the first time, as well as research yielding access to previously suppressed documents and personal correspondence. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.
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Richly researched, smoothly dogged biography of Bette Davis that outweighs in sheer detail Barbara Leaming's strong effort Bette Davis (1991), though in a less lively voice, and that fairly well defines Davis. Spada has written serious bios of Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Peter Lawford, and many others. Davis's two earliest shaping forces were her attorney father Harlan--a ``cold vacuum'' who thought she had little to offer, which maddened the mercurial Bette--and her mother Ruthie, who quickly divorced Harlan and guided her sometimes raging daughter toward the stage. Though they had wall-shaking rows, Ruthie bathed Bette nightly until well into her teens. Davis worked her way up through regional theaters, being directed by George Cukor in Rochester, early landed Broadway leads and a summons by Warner Brothers. Marriage to early beau Harmon Nelson, an orchestra leader, flopped as her career boomed; ``Ham'' (Harmon) talked her into two abortions. Her fury as the vile Mildred in Of Human Bondage made screen history as she became filmdom's first leading actress ever to set out to be absolutely revolting--audiences cheered when she died. Her first Oscar came a year later for the alcoholic lead in Dangerous, as did her first of many extramarital affairs--with her leading man, Franchot Tone, then engaged to Joan Crawford, with whom Bette feuded right up through their roles as sisters in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? When Ham records her bedroom noises with Howard Hughes, Spada calls the recording both a disc and a tape--and weakens the reader's faith. The rest of his dirt--more abortions, adultery, alcoholism, rage, husband Gary Merrill strangling her and beating their horse with barbed wire, the split with daughter B.D.--if not fresh, adds pungency. Familiar, and the acting gets slighted, but Davis gives fiery focus. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
While Bette Davis's fans in the 1930s thought of her as "a bedrock of Christian values," off-camera the willful, temperamental actress experienced abortion, adultery and sexual blackmail. In the 1950s Davis (1908-1989) and fourth husband Gary Merrill publicly presented a picture of domestic bliss, but Spada's irresistible, revelatory biography depicts the actress as an emotional wreck who drank heavily, unleashed anger and vitriol on her two daughters, staged mock suicide attempts and goaded her husband into violent quarrels. Beneath the grande dame image of the later years, we meet a sad, lonely, confused woman who had dalliances with young homosexual men whom she deluded herself into believing were her "suitors." Based on more than 150 interviews with friends, family and co-workers, this poignant bio bursts with film lore, gossip, countless affairs and family secrets. Spada, biographer of Peter Lawford and Grace Kelly, presents evidence suggesting that Davis accidentally pushed her alcoholic second husband Arthur Farnsworth to his death, then covered up the incident at the inquest. He limns a great actress while exposing the cruel, sadistic side of a woman "frantic with insecurity." Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Estado de conservación: New. Published by Bantam Books in 1993. Very light shelf wear to cover, otherwise NEW. Quality Books. Because We Care - Shipped from Canada. Usually ships within 1-2 business days. If you buy this book from us, we will donate a book to a local school. We donate 10,000+ books to local schools every year. Nº de ref. de la librería R13235C
Descripción Bantam, 1993. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0553095129
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