Happy Birthday Bette!
April 5, 2008 3:57 AM   Subscribe

How many times have you heard this before. Who else can you imagine voicing that line except for the indomitable Ruth Elizabeth Davis. A screen icon for more than six decades, Miss Davis (as she preferred to be called) was in a league all by herself. The first woman recipient of the American Film Institutes Life Time Achievement Award, she minced no words and inspired the next generation of actresses to come. (If you'd like, you can tune into TCM and watch some of her most memorable performances that are being telecast this month, or if you're lucky enough to be in Britain, you can probably catch it at a cinema near you.) Until then, here's the immortal Bette Davis Eyes sung by Kim Carnes, which Bette Davis herself was a fan of, and a clip of the Academy Awards Radio Broadcast featuring Miss Davis for her role in Jezebel. In the end, she did do it the hard way.
posted by hadjiboy (16 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by hadjiboy at 4:13 AM on April 5, 2008

AND... she was name-checked in a Bob Dylan song: "then she puts her hands in her back pockets, Bette Davis style..."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:14 AM on April 5, 2008

wow -impressive.
posted by mattoxic at 5:57 AM on April 5, 2008

I'm sorry hadjiboy, I'm a big fan of you but I cannot wear "immortal Bette Davis Eyes sung by Kim Carnes". I don't care if 'Bette Davis herself was a fan of". This song is an earworm horribilus and should not be played on the airwaves to unsuspecting listeners.
posted by tellurian at 6:00 AM on April 5, 2008

Delightful post, h-boy!
But I gotta go with tellurian on this one--Kim Carnes makes me all hinky.
posted by Dizzy at 6:31 AM on April 5, 2008

Great FPP. Lots of linkity goodness.
posted by grubi at 6:41 AM on April 5, 2008

Wonderful post. We'd just rewatched "The Catered Affair" (TIVO'd off of TCM--why isn't this on DVD?!?) recently. Nice links you've provided too--especially like that you didn't link to the Kim Carnes video, but to a collection of images. Thanks for a great post to wake up to this morning!
posted by paddbear at 7:44 AM on April 5, 2008

I love her and I love you for posting this.
posted by LeeJay at 8:13 AM on April 5, 2008

This is the kind of post that got me started on MeFi lo these many years ago. Nicely done.
posted by Addlepated at 9:25 AM on April 5, 2008

Happy birthday, babe, from your fellow birthday girl. We'll burn this welfare mother down together tonight, and leave no one unscarred, like the drunk infants that we are.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:58 AM on April 5, 2008

My favorite actress by far, and just a fascinating character in and of herself outside of her movie roles. Thanks for posting this.
posted by blucevalo at 10:12 AM on April 5, 2008

Also, a career overview from the SF Chronicle, including this great picture.

If you're in the bay area, the Stanford Theater is showing a retrospective of her first seven years as a film actress.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:02 AM on April 5, 2008

Expecting from the title to be assaulted by Bette Midler, until I clicked. Thank god it's Davis. I like to think she'd pwn all our asses if she had been a MeFite. (And Bette Davis Eyes was my gateway into listening to Casey Kasem's American Top 40 countdown. Feh to the mehsayers on that.)
posted by not_on_display at 11:09 AM on April 5, 2008

here's the immortal Bette Davis Eyes sung by Kim Carnes

It was sung first (and better) by Jackie DeShannon.
posted by jonmc at 5:39 PM on April 5, 2008

For those in Seattle, the Grand Illusion Cinema is showing seven films featuring Miss Davis. Including, late night screenings of The Nanny and Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte. Yeah!
posted by altersego at 6:02 PM on April 5, 2008

I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis knees
But worst of all, young man, you've got industrial disease
posted by kcds at 5:22 AM on April 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

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