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1930s Style Icons: Bette Davis

Bette Davis

Bette Davis

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.

Bette Davis in Ex-Lady, 1933 poster card

Bette Davis in the 1934 movie Of Human Bondage

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.

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