Actors and actresses

Bette Davis

By David Thomson

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She could look demure while behaving like an empress. Blonde, with eyes like pearls too big for her head, she was very striking, but marginally pretty and certainly not beautiful . . . But it was her edge that made her memorable--her upstart superiority, her reluctance to pretend deference to others.

"Bette Davis was the commanding figure of the great era of Hollywood stardom, with a drive and energy that put her contemporaries in the shade. She played queens, jezebels, and bitches; she could out-talk any male costar; she warred with her studio, Warner Bros., worked like a demon, got through four husbands, was nominated for seven Oscars, and--no matter what--never gave up fighting. This is her story."

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Bette Davis: Larger than Life

By Richard Schickel and George Perry

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"'Until you're known in my profession as a monster, you're not a star,' Bette Davis once said. Let's just say in Hollywood she was considered the ultimate star. The Academy Award-winning actress was one of the movies' most riveting and volatile personalities both on and off the screen. She comes to life in the pages of this lavish, fully illustrated tribute produced in conjunction with her estate.

"Bette Davis remains one of the most acclaimed and well-known stars in the history of film. Breaking new ground for women, she was a fighter who took on the Hollywood establishment at the drop of a dime. She reveled in lifelong feuds (such as with arch nemesis and co-star Joan Crawford). She was a mother, wife, and friend. She was also a no-nonsense New Englander who happened to have more talent than the movies seemed able to contain.

"Her personality leapt off the screen and earned her an unprecedented number of high-profile nominations and awards for her work in films like Jezebel, Dark Victory, All About Eve, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? As the epitaph on Davis's tombstone reads, 'She did it the hard way.' Through a biography, comprehensive filmography, and hundreds of rare photos, readers will find out why."

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Bette Davis Speaks

By Boze Hadleigh

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"In this book the leading lady and woman ahead of her time speaks for herself in more than a dozen interviews conducted by journalist and author Boze Hadleigh."

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Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Passionate Life of Bette Davis

By Lawrence J. Quirk

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"Appearing soon after Davis's death, Quirk's monumental book is actually the culmination of years of research by the celebrity biographer. Though Davis's six-decade film career is discussed, as is her personal life, what is most evident here is the passion of this woman, so often hidden behind an outspoken, and in later life, crusty exterior. This effort may or may not stand as definitive, but right now it's the only one that reveals as much. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

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Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis

By Ed Sikov

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"She was magnificent and exasperating in equal measure. Jack Warner called her 'an explosive little broad with a sharp left.' Humphrey Bogart once remarked, 'Unless you're very big she can knock you down.' Bette Davis was a force of nature--an idiosyncratic talent who nevertheless defined the words 'movie star' for more than half a century and who created an extraordinary body of work filled with unforgettable performances. In Dark Victory, the noted film critic and biographer Ed Sikov paints the most detailed picture ever delivered of this intelligent, opinionated, and unusual woman who was--in the words of a close friend--'one of the major events of the twentieth century.'

"Drawing on new interviews with friends, directors, and admirers, as well as archival research and a fresh look at the films, this stylish, intimate biography reveals Davis's personal as well as professional life in a way that is both revealing and sympathetic. With his wise and well-informed take on the production and accomplishments of such movie milestones as Jezebel, All About Eve, and Now, Voyager, as well as the turbulent life and complicated personality of the actress who made them, Sikov's Dark Victory brings to life the two-time Academy Award-winning actress's unmistakable screen style, and shows the reader how Davis's art was her own dark victory."

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The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis, a Personal Biography

By Charlotte Chandler

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"Drawing on extensive conversations with Bette Davis during the last decade of her life, Charlotte Chandler gives us a biography in which the great actress speaks for herself. The author also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis. Though she owed everything to her mother, Ruthie, Bette Davis remained fascinated all her life by her hard-to-please father, who walked out on his family. She remembered the disappointment - which never left - over her father's lack of interest in her, and she believed that her resentment of him was probably a major factor in her four failed marriages. She spoke happily of her love affairs with Howard Hughes and William Wyler; she recalled her leading men, favorite co-stars, and unloved rivals; and she took great care to refute the persistent Hollywood legend that she was difficult to work with. Alone and ill, she faced her last days with bravery and dignity."

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Shirley Temple, American Princess

By Anne Edwards

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A revealing portrait of Shirley Temple both as a child and as an adult. Follow her triumphs and disappointments as a child star, United Nations delegate, and ambassador.

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Love, Lucy

By Lucille Ball

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Lucille Ball wrote this book in the years leading up to 1964 and put it aside to avoid hurting Desi Arnaz. How fortunate we are that it has been found and published. It describes the many years of hard work that it took for her to become the star that we knew.

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Call Me Anna : The Autobiography of Patty Duke

By Patty Duke and Kenneth Duran

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Patty Duke wrote this autobiographical account of her struggle for survival. Read about her firsts: the youngest actor to win an Oscar and the youngest actor to have a prime-time series bearing her own name, the many difficulties she faced as a child star, the tragic consequences of her long-undiagnosed illness, and her triumphs.

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Scatman: An Authorized Biography of Scatman Crothers

By Jim Haskins with Helen Crothers

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At the time of his death in 1986, Sherman "Scatman" Crothers had had many careers in entertainment--as a singer, songwriter, band leader, and television and film actor. In Scatman, the author of Mr. Bojangles tells the story of the man who owned "the shiniest mouth in town."

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