She had a gift for playing unlikable characters and a reputation for being tough off-screen. Bette Davis, the “First Lady of the American Screen,” wasn’t afraid to behave badly and often relished the notion that others thought she was an A-class bitch. In an era when women who spoke their minds were dismissed as difficult — a stereotype we still struggle against — Davis was a beacon. Interviews with the silver screen’s grande dame reveal the actress was a pro when it came to throwing shade — and nobody was off-limits, including rival Joan Crawford. We’ve gathered some of Bette’s bitchiest quotes in good fun to celebrate her birthday.
Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why [Joan Crawford] always plays ladies.
“There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen.”
“I will never be below the title.”
“The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
“I never did pal around with actresses. Their talk usually bored me to tears.”