Bette Davis (1908-89) was the great actress of the Golden Age of Cinema. Convinced that she lacked beauty, Davis devoted everything to her acting. In classic films such as Jezebel, Dark Victory, Now, Voyager and All About Eve, she distorted herself to grotesque, shocking characters - always, she insisted, for the good of the role. Off-stage she never achieved the same success, becoming a serial divorcee. She famously commented on this contrast between her life on-screen and off by saying that the problem was that men fell in love with her role and then woke up the next morning next to her. By the end of her life, her repertoire had narrowed into excruciating self-imitation. This book unearths the complex, self-destructive woman beneath the steely public persona.
Laura Moser was born in Houston and now works as a critic, editor and writer based in New York.