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

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Applause BooksNoted film biographer Charlotte Chandler interviewed Bette Davis extensively in the last decade of her life, resulting in a biography in which the great actress speaks for herself. Chandler also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis, and includes brief synopses of all of her theatrical films.Here are some more examples of Bet Applause BooksNoted film biographer Charlotte Chandler interviewed Bette Davis extensively in the last decade of her life, resulting in a biography in which the great actress speaks for herself. Chandler also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis, and includes brief synopses of all of her theatrical films.Here are some more examples of Bette's wit to be found within these pages: "I'm the one who didn't get the man, which is the more interesting character on the screen, but in real life sometimes I wish I could just have been the girl who got the man, and kept him. I got four husbands and several lovers, but I didn't keep any of them. I was invited to the White House, but no man stayed to share my white cottage.""My favorite actor with whom I never played, professionally or personally, was Laurence Olivier. I admired everything about him. He was a great actor, and he was my dream man. Literally and figuratively. Larry was my fantasy lover, the perfect man, or at least I thought he would be. He was not only beautiful, but intelligent."


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Applause BooksNoted film biographer Charlotte Chandler interviewed Bette Davis extensively in the last decade of her life, resulting in a biography in which the great actress speaks for herself. Chandler also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis, and includes brief synopses of all of her theatrical films.Here are some more examples of Bet Applause BooksNoted film biographer Charlotte Chandler interviewed Bette Davis extensively in the last decade of her life, resulting in a biography in which the great actress speaks for herself. Chandler also spoke with directors, actors, and others who knew and worked with Davis, and includes brief synopses of all of her theatrical films.Here are some more examples of Bette's wit to be found within these pages: "I'm the one who didn't get the man, which is the more interesting character on the screen, but in real life sometimes I wish I could just have been the girl who got the man, and kept him. I got four husbands and several lovers, but I didn't keep any of them. I was invited to the White House, but no man stayed to share my white cottage.""My favorite actor with whom I never played, professionally or personally, was Laurence Olivier. I admired everything about him. He was a great actor, and he was my dream man. Literally and figuratively. Larry was my fantasy lover, the perfect man, or at least I thought he would be. He was not only beautiful, but intelligent."

30 review for The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: A Personal Biography of Bette Davis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    A very personal and in depth look at the life of Bette Davis, which very much focuses on not just looking at her career in Hollywood. This biography really touched me for its frankness and Bette's sharing of what she feels she has learned through her amazing career and life. Bette, a true 'professional', a genuine Hollywood star that cared about the 'art'. 6 out of 12. A very personal and in depth look at the life of Bette Davis, which very much focuses on not just looking at her career in Hollywood. This biography really touched me for its frankness and Bette's sharing of what she feels she has learned through her amazing career and life. Bette, a true 'professional', a genuine Hollywood star that cared about the 'art'. 6 out of 12.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mercurialgem

    "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" - Margo Channing (Bette Davis) Bette Davis was the one that wanted Charlotte Chandler to write this book about her. And Chandler does meet with her and has face to face conversations with her. I say this so people can know that it wasn't just someone that did research on her and put the book together. The author also interviewed directors, actors, and others who worked with Davis or knew her personally. This was a library check out but I lo "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night!" - Margo Channing (Bette Davis) Bette Davis was the one that wanted Charlotte Chandler to write this book about her. And Chandler does meet with her and has face to face conversations with her. I say this so people can know that it wasn't just someone that did research on her and put the book together. The author also interviewed directors, actors, and others who worked with Davis or knew her personally. This was a library check out but I loved this book SO much that I want to own it one day. You basically get to know about her whole life from how it was at the start, the struggles, how it was during filming of a movie, about her love interests, marriages, children..........I mean everything! I like that they really start at the beginning of her life and kinda take you through everything chronologically and give you a little bit of tidbits on, for example, what it was like to film such and such movie and was their drama going on behind the scenes. I admire Davis because she was a strong willed person that made her dreams come true but sometimes I disliked her. From interviews with some of the actors that worked with her they say that she was rude at times for no reason. Towards the end of the book she does reflect on her behavior and can link some of it towards the father that never paid attention to her. I mean that REALLY affected her because the father never showed any feelings and had abandoned the family when the girls were still young. Even when Davis was having success he never once said how proud he was and that really hurt her. In the middle of the books there are a couple of pages with photos and in the back they list the movies with a little bio. OH, they actually do that too throughout the book. Once they mentioned the next film she starred in they write in a small synopsis of the movie BUT it has spoilers! That is one thing I didn't like about it but at the same time she made so many fucken movies I doubt I will remember when I am watching one of her movies the ending from what I read in the book - unless if you are one of those rare people that remember almost everything I would say skip the synopsis parts. I highly recommend this book! Now I gotta say I have only seen like two of her movies before but I really liked Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and her acting that I became interested in her. Now I want the book so I can see in the back the movies she made and check them off as I go through them. I did end up seeing All About Eve when I was in the middle of the book, which when I came back to reading it the next movie was All About Eve and it was fun to know what went on during the filming. That lady sure was a great actress......but there is a few things I would of changed in the plot of All About Eve. Well........that's all folks.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    What classic lines you run across when you read this, especially on men, sex, being a lioness, growing older and relationships! What I didn't care for was the way this biography was written. Writing-wise, it's sufficient, but I thought it went too far into her CAREER rather than her personal life. While this is entirely subjective, I personally like the style of Kate Remembered by Scott Berg, way better than this memoir. In Kate Remembered, you fall in love. You feel like you're sharing a cup of What classic lines you run across when you read this, especially on men, sex, being a lioness, growing older and relationships! What I didn't care for was the way this biography was written. Writing-wise, it's sufficient, but I thought it went too far into her CAREER rather than her personal life. While this is entirely subjective, I personally like the style of Kate Remembered by Scott Berg, way better than this memoir. In Kate Remembered, you fall in love. You feel like you're sharing a cup of tea or glass of brandy depending upon the remembrance being spun. On the other hand, Bette Davis says repeatedly in the biography that she got much MORE satisfaction from her career, over her personal life. So that's what you get, a recounting of the films she made, with a tiny bit of personal life thrown in here and there. Still, I YEARNED for more stories about her mother, Bette's husbands, which you really do not get to know at all. Even more so, you don't get to learn anything about the relationships she had with her family, cousins, children. However, you DO get to find out how BD (her biological daughter) really pulled the rug out from under Bette at the end. Yet, you don't get to see what was in between, how the story develops. I'm sure this was not the writer, Charolette Chandler's doing, as much as is was Bette's probable reluctance to go very deep into those parts of her life. Soooooo, if you're a serious film buff, or script buff, this book will be very pleasing since it goes over ALL the films she made, and you get a plot synopsis for every film and then highlights of the making of each one. But, if you're not into hearing about every film (and she made like almost 80 of them), it gets tedious. After about the 100 page marker, I skipped all that and just read the parts that talked about Bette, the woman.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Misha Crews

    Bette Davis. What a woman! Five husbands, eighty-seven films. And this bio manages to touch on all of them. This was a great read. Very informative and entertaining. The author, Charlotte Chandler, tells the story mostly in Bette's own words, with reminicences from those who knew her. Chandler fills in details here and there, and adds a few anecdotes of her own time with Davis. It's hard to sum up a person's life in less than three hundred pages - and even harder to sum up the summing in a few q Bette Davis. What a woman! Five husbands, eighty-seven films. And this bio manages to touch on all of them. This was a great read. Very informative and entertaining. The author, Charlotte Chandler, tells the story mostly in Bette's own words, with reminicences from those who knew her. Chandler fills in details here and there, and adds a few anecdotes of her own time with Davis. It's hard to sum up a person's life in less than three hundred pages - and even harder to sum up the summing in a few quick paragraphs! But I will say that this book gives a unique insight into the life of an extremely unique woman. If you love Bette Davis, you shouldn't pass this one up!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I bought this book on a whim - I think the title is so dramatic and funny...the girl who walked alone...What I love about this book is that I can hear Bette Davis telling her stories. Her voice is loud and strong and full of humor. I have so much more respect for her - she was a true pioneer in the film industry. She fought for her roles and demanded the best from everyone.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marcos Teach

    One of my two favorite books about Bette Davis. My dear friend John bought me this book in 2006, and I have dogeared it to death! I have read, re-read, and memorized favorite moments in this personal biography- a stylish and intimate look at the legendary actress, told as a series of interviews, accounts both from Bette Davis herself, and family, friends, and coworkers. Often misunderstood as a demanding diva and perfectionist, Charlotte Chandler only enhances the genuine accounts that Bette Davis One of my two favorite books about Bette Davis. My dear friend John bought me this book in 2006, and I have dogeared it to death! I have read, re-read, and memorized favorite moments in this personal biography- a stylish and intimate look at the legendary actress, told as a series of interviews, accounts both from Bette Davis herself, and family, friends, and coworkers. Often misunderstood as a demanding diva and perfectionist, Charlotte Chandler only enhances the genuine accounts that Bette Davis might have had a mercurial personality, but the real truth was all La Davis wanted was the best for herself and her loved ones. She was also self aware of how her brutal honesty might have hurt others, and let it be known when she was unhappy of something that warranted true criticism. The polar of opposite of her "nemesis" actress Joan Crawford, La Davis relished how she tackled her work with a lack of vanity that did not come much later until the mid 20th century with the arrival of method acting, except she was explicit that she did not "live" through her characters behind the cameras. Chandler shows Bette Davis' empathy, vulnerability, and loneliness after the end of her marriages and the betrayal of her beloved daughter BD with such heartbreak and melancholy that it only was appropriate that Bette Davis soldiered on to legendary status right before her death. It's a beautiful tribute, with peppery anecdotes from those close to Ms. Davis- William Wyler, Olivia de Havilland, Meryl Streep, Liv Ullman, Robert Wagner, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Joseph Mankiewicz. Bette Davis is my favorite actress. The gutsiness she brought to her characterizations, her empathy of allowing ambiguity in even some of the seemingly most villainous roles she's played; and her ability to create portraits of flawed women looking for love, family, acceptance, and power all are reasons why she's such a gay icon- and an icon for all those who have felt like an outsider?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    A very well written biography. I have always loved Bette Davis in her films, her movies are all wonderful and entertaining. Reading this book, I now know I may not have liked Bette Davis as a person. Her sarcasm and demanding personality were extremely intimidating. But, reading this book has given me knowledge and insight into the actress and the woman. Bette comes alive in this book, reading her quotes and her stories, you can almost hear her well known voice. Chandler did an excellent job tel A very well written biography. I have always loved Bette Davis in her films, her movies are all wonderful and entertaining. Reading this book, I now know I may not have liked Bette Davis as a person. Her sarcasm and demanding personality were extremely intimidating. But, reading this book has given me knowledge and insight into the actress and the woman. Bette comes alive in this book, reading her quotes and her stories, you can almost hear her well known voice. Chandler did an excellent job telling the story of Bette's success, and her many personal difficulties. Now that I know the true story of her life, watching the movies and her amazing acting will be all the better.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Stacey Aaronson

    I am a huge classic movie fan, and while I have many favorite actresses, no one quite holds a candle to Bette Davis. She not only stars in my favorite film of all time, Now, Voyager, but so many other films I adore her in. If you’re a fan like I am, this book is the closest you can get to feeling you’re in conversation with the grand dame of American cinema, as the majority of the book is Bette’s voice, speaking directly to the author. These frank conversations are interwoven with the author’s o I am a huge classic movie fan, and while I have many favorite actresses, no one quite holds a candle to Bette Davis. She not only stars in my favorite film of all time, Now, Voyager, but so many other films I adore her in. If you’re a fan like I am, this book is the closest you can get to feeling you’re in conversation with the grand dame of American cinema, as the majority of the book is Bette’s voice, speaking directly to the author. These frank conversations are interwoven with the author’s own observations and experiences, as well as with commentary from other significant players in Bette’s life. But mostly, it’s the forthright Bette holding nothing back. She talks about everything from men to sex to motherhood to her experiences on many of her films and the directors and costars she loved (and didn’t). It’s not a tell-all in the way other celebrity bios are, though; she’s not spiteful or a gossip. She’s honest to the core, even admitting when she was wrong about something or someone, and opening her heart to the reader about her lifelong struggle to try to please her absent father. I also loved how this book went through each of her films chronologically, including stories about taking the roles and the filming of the movies, as well as a description of each one. I’ve seen so many of her films, and the behind-the-scenes tidbits were a treat. Overall, I felt privileged to be let into Bette’s life in such an intimate way, and I admire her even more now, knowing the times when things were very difficult for her as a wife, a mother, an actress, and a star. And a star, she undoubtedly was ... and always will be.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    I like biographies but few can hold my joy until the end. I’m usually a little over them by the last quarter and I think though insightful this could have been set out better. I do love how inconsistently Davis is portrayed, we aren’t the same people to everyone and the stronger your personality the more divided the reviews. “Happiness should never be postponed. Life is the past, the present and the perhaps”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I enjoy reading celebrity biographies and this was an excellent one. It always amazes me that some authors can take a very interesting person and turn their life into a very dull book, but that is definitely not the case with this book. Lots of behind the scenes tidbits, which I always enjoy, plus a film by film list combined with Miss Davis' memories of making that film or comments from her costars. I will look for other biographies by this author. I enjoy reading celebrity biographies and this was an excellent one. It always amazes me that some authors can take a very interesting person and turn their life into a very dull book, but that is definitely not the case with this book. Lots of behind the scenes tidbits, which I always enjoy, plus a film by film list combined with Miss Davis' memories of making that film or comments from her costars. I will look for other biographies by this author.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Seren Silva-Hadley

    The book was pretty good. Unfortunately a lot of Chandler's books have been proven to contain inaccuracies and false information. The basic information is true and interesting if you didn't know anything about the actor/actress. I read several of Chandler's books before realizing there was false and made up information. The book was pretty good. Unfortunately a lot of Chandler's books have been proven to contain inaccuracies and false information. The basic information is true and interesting if you didn't know anything about the actor/actress. I read several of Chandler's books before realizing there was false and made up information.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Compiled entirely of personal interviews with Bette Davis and those who knew her, Charlotte Chandler gives us a biography where the actress speaks for herself and once again takes center stage. While the book was interesting from the point of view of watching her career develop, it had two major problems that overshadowed anything I might have enjoyed. First, it was almost entirely quotes supported with the occasional text to introduce a new speaker. For the first hundred plus pages it's just Ms. Compiled entirely of personal interviews with Bette Davis and those who knew her, Charlotte Chandler gives us a biography where the actress speaks for herself and once again takes center stage. While the book was interesting from the point of view of watching her career develop, it had two major problems that overshadowed anything I might have enjoyed. First, it was almost entirely quotes supported with the occasional text to introduce a new speaker. For the first hundred plus pages it's just Ms. Davis talking and talking, which wouldn't be tiresome were it not for the fact that she doesn't appear to have much grasp of comedic timing. Maybe the problem is more with how the author edited her quotes together, but every sentence out of her mouth is either a one-liner or a set-up for one. And without room to breathe, one-liner after one-liner can still be witty but quickly stops being funny. We're given a break later in the book, where Chandler starts interviewing other people on Davis's later career, but even then you can go for a few pages before reaching a paragraph that doesn't start with quotation marks. Second, and while a drawback it actually illustrates an issue Davis herself points out many times, the entire book is about her career. In her personal life her biggest failing was that she was always more interested in the success of her career than her relationships, and this biography breezes through her personal life as side notes between films. The only life event she gets to in any depth is the publication of her daughter's defamatory book, My Mother's Keeper , which a bit of research indicates didn't have any supporters among those close to the family (a notable reaction compared to the blend of denials and affirmations that usually turn up after such books are written, even if it's only to stir the pot). While this biography certainly portrays Davis as sometimes difficult to get on with, especially during her later years, it's impossible to get any impression of B.D.'s childhood with her as it's not mentioned. At a point maybe about 230 pages in I suddenly realized that her daughter hadn't been mentioned since about 60 pages earlier when she was first born. Her autobiography may be closer to her home life as it was written as a response to My Mother's Keeper , but after reading this biography I don't think I can take another book of her chatter. The only thing Davis eagerly gets personal about is her relationships with her various husbands and lovers. One thing you'll certainly take away is that she had a very active love life. Something particularly interesting as she was raised a Puritan and was devoted to maintaining her virginity until her marriage to her first husband. Her constant mentions of this period of her life makes her sound as if she was ready to burst if she couldn't start enjoying her sexuality soon. Outside the active sex life she describes herself as a fool for love, instantly developing crushes on her directors and co-stars, and falling into marriage time after time with terrible choices she admits she had a heavy hand in driving to divorce. Her poor relationship with her father, she suspected, loomed over every man in her life thereafter, and she tested them until they finally failed her. THE VERDICT? While it's certainly an interesting book and her film history is fascinating, it's a very specific topic and not geared to anyone not looking to read only about her career. The constant one-liners were horribly tiresome and all the direct quoting didn't give me any impression of Charlotte Chandler's writing. If you want facts and reflections on her work-life, it won't let you down. For her home life you would be better off trying her autobiography, This 'n That . But I wouldn't bother recommending this book to the casual reader.

  13. 5 out of 5

    ruruisme

    A delightful walk with Davis as she remembers her life. I found the book so delightfully quotable. Chandler’s portrait of Davis’s life and her background with Davis is satisfying

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I have only read (actually only started to read) one other biography. It had been an arduous task because it was an academic edition full of detailed minutia that is important but difficult to digest when encountering continual interruptions. This bio is an easy read and systematically lists great information about Bette Davis' career and the interpretation of it by those with whom she worked. In fact, the entire biography is laid out according to her career, giving summaries of each play, film, I have only read (actually only started to read) one other biography. It had been an arduous task because it was an academic edition full of detailed minutia that is important but difficult to digest when encountering continual interruptions. This bio is an easy read and systematically lists great information about Bette Davis' career and the interpretation of it by those with whom she worked. In fact, the entire biography is laid out according to her career, giving summaries of each play, film, or television show/episode around which we learn facts (and several famous anecdotes) about what was happening in her life (marriage/divorce/children/etc.). I learned a great deal about her career and that she drove herself to make each performance the best it could be - she dedicated herself to the art of acting. I also learned the facts of what happened in her life. I only gave it 3 stars, however, because I still don't know who Bette Davis the woman was. What was inside? What made that girl tick? Perhaps no one knows who she was, or there was no Bette Davis the woman - only Bette Davis the actress. Every now and then, we see for a moment into her deeper thoughts, but Davis stifles the revelation. I think the introduction and last chapter are the best view of who she was beyond actress. Several colleagues offer their insights, but they conflict with one another. Davis showed different facets to each person, and interpretations abound. This is a nice book to read if you want to understand all about the career and significant life events of Bette Davis.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Handan

    I picked up this book in NYC a year ago because it caught my eye. The first show for which I earned Equity points as an ASM was a one-woman show, ALL ABOUT BETTE: AN EVENING WITH BETTE DAVIS. The entire production team was aghast upon learning I had no idea who this woman was (they also all had at least twenty to thirty years of life on my freshman college butt). Working on that show, I was intrigued by her character/persona. So that's why I read this book. Was it interesting? You betcha. Did I e I picked up this book in NYC a year ago because it caught my eye. The first show for which I earned Equity points as an ASM was a one-woman show, ALL ABOUT BETTE: AN EVENING WITH BETTE DAVIS. The entire production team was aghast upon learning I had no idea who this woman was (they also all had at least twenty to thirty years of life on my freshman college butt). Working on that show, I was intrigued by her character/persona. So that's why I read this book. Was it interesting? You betcha. Did I enjoy reading it? Mostly. Would I really recommend it? Not likely. The subject is very specific and I don't know many movie buffs. It is fascinating to track how the Hollywood style has changed. I don't mean the fashion/icon style; I mean the way the studios owned actors, who were then lent or traded for individual pictures. Or the sheer volume of films which were released. Compared to today, it seems insane, but how else were all the artists (not just actors) involved supposed to improve and hone their craft? Overall, because this was a topic which was only a brief fraction of my life's interest, I didn't rate this too highly. Chandler did her homework, interviewing anyone, it seems, Ms. Davis mentioned in order to get both sides of the story. I appreciate that. And so the portrait painted is neither excessively flattering (though it does feel like allowances are made on behalf of Ms. Davis) nor excessively vile (evidently, you have to read her daughter, B.D.'s, book for that particular perspective).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jay Moran

    Bette Davis is, without question, my favourite actress. I was drawn to her the moment I saw her on screen and I was desperate to learn more about her life. After a bit of research, I found that Charlotte Chandler's biography came highly recommended, so I picked it up the first chance I got. This biography was written with Davis' own involvement, her own words preside over Chandler's writing as though she is standing over her shoulder, adding her own thoughts and recollections, which I think is re Bette Davis is, without question, my favourite actress. I was drawn to her the moment I saw her on screen and I was desperate to learn more about her life. After a bit of research, I found that Charlotte Chandler's biography came highly recommended, so I picked it up the first chance I got. This biography was written with Davis' own involvement, her own words preside over Chandler's writing as though she is standing over her shoulder, adding her own thoughts and recollections, which I think is really clever on Chandler's part. Because of Davis' undoubted presence in this book, no note sounds false or even remotely cold. It isn't someone hurling dates and facts at you, it's an insight into Davis' thoughts and feelings, and I think that's so effective. The films are discussed, each coming with a brief overview, but at the centre of this book is the actress herself, her loves, her losses, her work, her family, and, most importantly, her provocative, unique personality that draws in so many people years after her final film. The best biographies are balanced, showing the good and the bad, and they don't focus solely on the work the subject did. This is a fantastic biography, definitely a firm favourite

  17. 5 out of 5

    Zenzile

    A truly amazing woman more so because of her candid honesty about herself in her old age than because of who she thought she was as a person in her hey day. A wonderful actress who, because of an estranged relationship with her father, was unable really to find love with the men she chose to share her life with.And she really did favor the company of men over woman throughout her life. It's funny to read how professional and punctual and lovely she was in one chapter and then read how completely A truly amazing woman more so because of her candid honesty about herself in her old age than because of who she thought she was as a person in her hey day. A wonderful actress who, because of an estranged relationship with her father, was unable really to find love with the men she chose to share her life with.And she really did favor the company of men over woman throughout her life. It's funny to read how professional and punctual and lovely she was in one chapter and then read how completely boggled some poor adoring actor was that she seemed to hate them upon first sight. Who knows why she was such a bitch to some and such a sweetheart to others? Who knows if all the terrible things her biological daughter wrote about her were true? She was a true Hollywood pioneer, not resigned to accept or to assimilate into the usual pretty girl starlet roles that any actress lucky enough to have found themselves in her place would have. She may not have known exactly who she was but she knew who she was not, and she would not pretend. She wanted to be all that she could be and and she very nearly was.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    This was a fabulous, well written, detailed book on Bette Davis. In the introduction, Charlotte Chandler says that she was asked by Bette Davis to write her biography. I was wondering why it took almost 20 years to write this book which was published in 2006. Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989 in Paris, France at the age of 81. However, there is a lot of information and interviews and quotes and it probably took a long time to get it together and do fact checking. I highly recommend this book t This was a fabulous, well written, detailed book on Bette Davis. In the introduction, Charlotte Chandler says that she was asked by Bette Davis to write her biography. I was wondering why it took almost 20 years to write this book which was published in 2006. Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989 in Paris, France at the age of 81. However, there is a lot of information and interviews and quotes and it probably took a long time to get it together and do fact checking. I highly recommend this book to fans of Bette Davis. I felt that by the time I finished the book that I really knew Bette Davis. The book does not show her to be perfect. In fact, later in her career she was known to be "difficult" and her own daughter, B.D. wrote a book putting down her mother. Yet, Davis was a legend. I have seen many of her oldest films at a local film festival of her movies at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, California this past year. I remember her later in her career and some of her TV appearances which I saw with my parents when I was a small child. She was an interesting woman and very professional.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fulya İçöz

    Bette Davis is certainly one of the greatest screen legends and this book is about her life story, career and ideas and feelings about life, love, work, family, sex... Her ideas about sex are especially interesting. She seems too involved with sex even at her older ages. I can say that she lived her life fully, deeply and emotionally. I don't think that except her job, she made reasonable decisions. She followed her heart, acted on impulse. This is what she says at least. I can see that although Bette Davis is certainly one of the greatest screen legends and this book is about her life story, career and ideas and feelings about life, love, work, family, sex... Her ideas about sex are especially interesting. She seems too involved with sex even at her older ages. I can say that she lived her life fully, deeply and emotionally. I don't think that except her job, she made reasonable decisions. She followed her heart, acted on impulse. This is what she says at least. I can see that although some people called her difficult, she had a heart of gold. "She was an extremely good person playing badly". What I really wondered about her life was her relationship with Gary Merrill, my favourite and her favourite husband of hers. Obviously she had her regrets. I also got amazed at her wit, intelligence and her use of English, she definitely knows what she's talking about. I liked the book and I know Charlotte Chandler's style from her Joan Crawford biography, she has an objective perspective. A well-written book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C.S. Burrough

    All the fabulous comical caricatures have redefined our memories of this wonderful actress. Just watch her actual films, though, and you'll rediscover that she was nowhere near as over the top as you might have recalled, she had far greater dramatic subtlety and nuance than her impersonators have led us to believe. I've read five Bette Davis biographies and find it impossible to rate one higher than the others. Inescapably, many details are rehashed across all of them. This one I liked, not much All the fabulous comical caricatures have redefined our memories of this wonderful actress. Just watch her actual films, though, and you'll rediscover that she was nowhere near as over the top as you might have recalled, she had far greater dramatic subtlety and nuance than her impersonators have led us to believe. I've read five Bette Davis biographies and find it impossible to rate one higher than the others. Inescapably, many details are rehashed across all of them. This one I liked, not much more or less than the others I've read. However, if I were recommending which ones to include in your coverage (there are so many), this would make my list. I like to make my own mind up about the subjects of biographies and usually can. That Bette Davis was no saint becomes clear enough after covering a few biographies, that she was no monster either is also clear. She was a fascinating woman and a great, great star.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lizabeth Tucker

    Bette Davis speaks about her life, her career, her loves, her successes and her failures. I thought this would be a hit out of the park for me as I've always adored Miss Davis professionally. Plus she reminds me of my grandmother in looks, attitude, and smoking. Not to mention their similarities with the men in their lives. I found the form to be difficult to deal with, although it probably was more fun in person. Memories spilling out in great gulps. Still, if you have the patience, I would call Bette Davis speaks about her life, her career, her loves, her successes and her failures. I thought this would be a hit out of the park for me as I've always adored Miss Davis professionally. Plus she reminds me of my grandmother in looks, attitude, and smoking. Not to mention their similarities with the men in their lives. I found the form to be difficult to deal with, although it probably was more fun in person. Memories spilling out in great gulps. Still, if you have the patience, I would call this book worth it. However, if you're looking for more of the personal, you might want to go elsewhere. This is more a history of the works done by Davis. In great detail. Even if I think I preferred Chandler's bio of Groucho Marx, this squeaked through with a 4 out of 5.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    If I could have, I would have given this four and a half stars. The author, very wisely, allows Bette to give voice to most of the stories. The book stems mostly from oral histories with Bette Davis. The interviews are both with the author and other historians. It is mostly chronological. Since most of the stories come from the woman herself, I doubt the complete validity of them, but they are highly entertaining. Bette Davis was an amazing woman and her stories are wonderful to read. I would ha If I could have, I would have given this four and a half stars. The author, very wisely, allows Bette to give voice to most of the stories. The book stems mostly from oral histories with Bette Davis. The interviews are both with the author and other historians. It is mostly chronological. Since most of the stories come from the woman herself, I doubt the complete validity of them, but they are highly entertaining. Bette Davis was an amazing woman and her stories are wonderful to read. I would have deducted half a star for a few missteps that pulled me out of the book, but they were very few.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I can't really put my finger on why I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found it hard to get into, and that shouldn't be the case with a biography of someone as colorful and candid as Bette Davis. This book relied more on interviews than rumor, which is essential to me for a good biography (particularly a Hollywood biography), and it largely contained portions of interviews with Davis conducted by the author herself. I really enjoyed hearing Davis's voice, but still, I felt like reading I can't really put my finger on why I didn't enjoy this book more than I did. I found it hard to get into, and that shouldn't be the case with a biography of someone as colorful and candid as Bette Davis. This book relied more on interviews than rumor, which is essential to me for a good biography (particularly a Hollywood biography), and it largely contained portions of interviews with Davis conducted by the author herself. I really enjoyed hearing Davis's voice, but still, I felt like reading this was an effort.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    This book was basically wrote in Bette's own words and was a very interesting story of her life and what she went through in her personal and professional life. I always thought she was a very rude and mean person but, in reading the things she said I have a greater respect for her. She was a very honest person and she never appolozied for that or for being very dirrect with people. She new the film-making process and she always listened to her director. Her personal life was not what she dreame This book was basically wrote in Bette's own words and was a very interesting story of her life and what she went through in her personal and professional life. I always thought she was a very rude and mean person but, in reading the things she said I have a greater respect for her. She was a very honest person and she never appolozied for that or for being very dirrect with people. She new the film-making process and she always listened to her director. Her personal life was not what she dreamed of but she tried to make the best of it. If you like biographies, I highly recommend this one.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Linda Dittes

    I enjoyed this book mostly because it was about an actor who I love. There was not really enough about her relationships that was discussed with the author. I am not sure if that was the author's choice but it seems she could have interviewed her so. At the very least to clear up the book Bette Davis' daughter wrote. It was more a chronological life story with anecdotes about Bette's memories of all the films she made. Which was interesting since I have not really seen most of them. Perhaps some o I enjoyed this book mostly because it was about an actor who I love. There was not really enough about her relationships that was discussed with the author. I am not sure if that was the author's choice but it seems she could have interviewed her so. At the very least to clear up the book Bette Davis' daughter wrote. It was more a chronological life story with anecdotes about Bette's memories of all the films she made. Which was interesting since I have not really seen most of them. Perhaps some of these relationships were covered in Bette's own autobiography.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle "Champ"

    Often a celebrity bio that is really an auto bio...turns out to make the star look saintly. This book does not. It seems real, flawed and a tad honest. It's an older woman's view on her life so it's subjective now. It's still entertaining. I can hear Bette reading the sentences in my head. The book also tells about each of her films in detail. That's a nice touch. Only thing I didn't like was sometimes it jumped around through time. You do need to read to find out why the book has such an interes Often a celebrity bio that is really an auto bio...turns out to make the star look saintly. This book does not. It seems real, flawed and a tad honest. It's an older woman's view on her life so it's subjective now. It's still entertaining. I can hear Bette reading the sentences in my head. The book also tells about each of her films in detail. That's a nice touch. Only thing I didn't like was sometimes it jumped around through time. You do need to read to find out why the book has such an interesting title.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    The book was interesting, but so much of it was dedicated to Bette's movie synopsises. Each one was a paragraph in length at the very least and she was in over 100 movies/tv series! I began reading each one, but found that I could just skip them and not feel like a missed much. Davis did not want to come across as "namby pamby" in the biography and she really didn't. In fact, she came across as quite unlikable. I was a bit disappointed because I was more interested in her life than I was in the The book was interesting, but so much of it was dedicated to Bette's movie synopsises. Each one was a paragraph in length at the very least and she was in over 100 movies/tv series! I began reading each one, but found that I could just skip them and not feel like a missed much. Davis did not want to come across as "namby pamby" in the biography and she really didn't. In fact, she came across as quite unlikable. I was a bit disappointed because I was more interested in her life than I was in the summaries of her movies. I read it. I don't know if I'd recommend it though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kara Martin

    Interesting to learn more about Bette Davis' life she is free-associated with being a complete ice-queen. Prompted me to check out My Mother's Keeper by BD Hyman (Bette's only biological child). In The Girl Who Walked Home Alone it is told that upon reading her daughter's account of her childhood, Bette never spoke to her again. I'm about 30 pages into My Mother's Keeper now and don't see anything BD wrote which should be considered offensive to Bette yet. Interesting to learn more about Bette Davis' life she is free-associated with being a complete ice-queen. Prompted me to check out My Mother's Keeper by BD Hyman (Bette's only biological child). In The Girl Who Walked Home Alone it is told that upon reading her daughter's account of her childhood, Bette never spoke to her again. I'm about 30 pages into My Mother's Keeper now and don't see anything BD wrote which should be considered offensive to Bette yet.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I liked the approach of this "personal biography"--which I guess means a biography with a lot (A LOT) of quoted material from the subject. It made it an autobiography with structure and objectivity. I liked how the author used the same approach w/ other people involved. Really balanced the content and made it even more authentic. Never gets bogged down in any one subject, era or area which allows what was truly important to the subject come thru. Very readable and a perfect lenght. I liked the approach of this "personal biography"--which I guess means a biography with a lot (A LOT) of quoted material from the subject. It made it an autobiography with structure and objectivity. I liked how the author used the same approach w/ other people involved. Really balanced the content and made it even more authentic. Never gets bogged down in any one subject, era or area which allows what was truly important to the subject come thru. Very readable and a perfect lenght.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brad Jae

    "The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Dave a Personal Biography" will always be a part of me in the future as well as right now in the present. This book was extremely written well and wonderful style to the writing. I think Bette Davis is down-right the best actress of the Hollywood Golden era...no other actress by far is as top Notch as Ms.Bette Davis!! I would recommend reading this book to any Bette Davis fans!!It will stick with you like glue; that's hard to remove!!! "The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Dave a Personal Biography" will always be a part of me in the future as well as right now in the present. This book was extremely written well and wonderful style to the writing. I think Bette Davis is down-right the best actress of the Hollywood Golden era...no other actress by far is as top Notch as Ms.Bette Davis!! I would recommend reading this book to any Bette Davis fans!!It will stick with you like glue; that's hard to remove!!!

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