<p>Best-selling author James Spada has written the definitive biography of one of America’s greatest actresses, Bette Davis. Bette Davis participated in over 100 roles as an actress, including the films, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Jezebel, Dark Victory, and Dangerous. She won two Academy Awards, was the first person to accrue 11 Academy Award nominations, and became the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. But, who was this actress? </p>
<p>Based on three years of research and over 150 interviews with close family, friends, and co-workers, this Hollywood legend biography reveals for the first time the devastating effect on Bette of her father’s desertion; her oddly close relationship with her mother; her massive self-doubts and numerous, tempestuous marriages and extramarital affairs. Spada exposes the disturbing cover-up of the facts surrounding the sudden death of Bette’s second husband, Arthur Farnsworth; the truth about her relationship with her daughter B.D., who wrote a scathing Mommie Dearest style memoir, and the disturbing possible reason for her adopted daughter Margot’s mental retardation. And perhaps best of all, you will get an intimate glimpse into Bette and her working relationships with numerous other Hollywood legends. This film star biography explores her feuds with Joan Crawford, Miriam Hopkins, Helen Hayes and Lillian Gish; her affairs with William Wyler and other directors, her impossible behavior on sets created by her insecurities; the “fire and music” she was able to bring to every role; and her fights against sexism for the control of her creative destiny. By turns inspiring, shocking, and poignant, Bette Davis: More Than a Woman is a captivating film star biography you won’t soon forget. </p>
“Irresistible, revelatory…Bursts with film lore, gossip, countless affairs and family secrets.” —
Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)</p>
<p>“This is a truly riveting read, chock-full of meticulous details, juicy anecdotes, and profound insight.” — Liz Smith</p>
<p>“James Spada has certainly done his homework, and he charts Davis’s climb to fame with a meticulous attention to detail that his subject would surely appreciate, and without ever losing sight of the woman who motivated the actress.” — Time Out , London</p>
While Bette Davis's fans in the 1930s thought of her as ``a bedrock of Christian values,'' off-camera the willful, temperamental actress experienced abortion, adultery and sexual blackmail. In the 1950s Davis (1908-1989) and fourth husband Gary Merrill publicly presented a picture of domestic bliss, but Spada's irresistible, revelatory biography depicts the actress as an emotional wreck who drank heavily, unleashed anger and vitriol on her two daughters, staged mock suicide attempts and goaded her husband into violent quarrels. Beneath the grande dame image of the later years, we meet a sad, lonely, confused woman who had dalliances with young homosexual men whom she deluded herself into believing were her ``suitors.'' Based on more than 150 interviews with friends, family and co-workers, this poignant bio bursts with film lore, gossip, countless affairs and family secrets. Spada, biographer of Peter Lawford and Grace Kelly, presents evidence suggesting that Davis accidentally pushed her alcoholic second husband Arthur Farnsworth to his death, then covered up the incident at the inquest. He limns a great actress while exposing the cruel, sadistic side of a woman ``frantic with insecurity.'' Photos.