Bette Davis’ Hollywood career spanned an incredible six decades, but it was her style in the 1930s and 40s combined with her uncompromising movie roles which cemented her as a movie icon. She was no classic Hollywood beauty, and flatly refused to comply with the ideals of the studios, once claiming: ‘Hollywood wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism.‘
No demure, compliant cinematic heroine, Davis’ beauty lay in her power and magnetism on the screen. Often playing headstrong and neurotic characters, she never turned down a part to appease her vanity and positively reveled in playing extreme emotions on the screen.
Whether with a sleek blonde bob in the 1930s or longer brown curls in the 40s, Bette Davis exuded a confidence and style which were all her own. She had a simplicity in dressing which feels very genuine and must have been a breath of fresh air compared to the manufactured larger-than-life perfection of other actresses in the studio era.
Image sources: 6, 7 and copyright: This work is in the public domain in that it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice. This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 and although there may or may not have been a copyright notice, the copyright was not renewed.