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

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 10, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 368 pages
Even a short list of Bette Davis's most famous films -- Of Human Bondage; Jezebel; Dark Victory; The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex; Now, Voyager; All About Eve; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? -- reveals instantly what a major force she was in Hollywood. Her distinctive voice, her remarkable eyes, her astonishing range and depth of characterization -- all these qualities combined to make Bette Davis one of the finest performers in film history.

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. (It was she who suggested that Chandler write this book.) Chandler also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis. As a result Davis comes to life in these pages -- a dynamic, forceful presence once again, just as she was on the screen.

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 kept putting her men in a position where they would eventually disappoint her. 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.

The Girl Who Walked Home Alone is a brilliant portrait of an enduring icon from Hollywood's golden age and an unforgettable biography of the real woman behind the star.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lamour - LibraryThing

Chandler spent the last 10 years of Davis' life interviewing her as well as actors, agents, husbands, directors, etc. to put together this biography of Davis. Davis asked Chandler to write this book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BetteBright - LibraryThing

I'm a huge fan of Bette Davis and I found this book entertaining and informative. Davis was interviewed by the author near the end of her life and was incredibly candid - reading this book was often ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
The Early Years
25
Becoming an Actress
38
Early Hollywood
65
The Warner Years 19381944 120 6 The Warner Years 19451949
170
Most Wanted to Help Wanted
233
Legend for Hire
248
Old Age Aint No Place for Sissies
271
Filmography
299
Index
335
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Charlotte Chandler is the author of several biographies of actors and directors, including Groucho Marx, Federico Fellini, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, and Mae West, all of whom she interviewed extensively. She is a member of the board of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and lives in New York City.

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