More Than a Woman

More Than a Woman : An Intimate Biography of Bette Davis

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She was one of Hollywood's greatest stars and perhaps its finest actress. But the screen legend whose stunning performances still have the power to move audiences today lived a life that rivaled the plot of any movie she ever made - a life steeped in triumphs and tragedies, sex and scandals, betrayal and heartache, violence and mystery.After three years of research and more than one hundred fifty interviews, acclaimed author James Spada has written a fascinating and unforgettable biography, the first truly definitive life of Bette Davis - revealing the brash, uncompromising woman, the tortured artist, the sexually needy lover, the betrayed mother, and the lost, frightened child behind the superstar.As he did in his ground-breaking biographies of Grace Kelly and Peter Lawford, James Spada has persuaded Bette Davis's relatives, friends, and colleagues to speak out for the first time, and he has gained new access to court documents, suppressed inquest transcripts, and personal correspondence to paint a riveting portrait of one of the most complex, volatile, passionate, and misrepresented women in Hollywood history.More Than a Woman reveals for the first time the devastating impact on Bette of her father's desertion when she was eight; her oddly close relationship with her mother; her terror of inheriting the family strain of mental illness; her cruel overshadowing of her adoring, mentally unbalanced sister; her massive self-doubts even as she forged her way into a Hollywood career; her numerous, tempestuous extramarital affairs; her ambivalent feelings about the sex act (revealed by a director and onetime lover).Here, too, is the disturbing story of the cover-up surrounding the death of Bette's second husband (proven by the newly discovered transcript of the coroner's inquest); her possible role in the brain damage of her adopted daughter; the bizarre behavior of her fourth husband, the actor Gary Merrill, and the vicious custody battle for their son, Michael; her pursuit of much-younger men as she entered her sixties; the astonishing truth behind her daughter B.D.'s scathing "tell-all" memoir.Perhaps most touchingly, More Than a Woman shows us a Bette Davis considered "over the hill" by Hollywood but whose sheer tenacity brought her a major comeback and allowed her to give some of her best performances into her seventies; and the ailing legend, deserted by her beloved daughter, who flew to Spain despite excruciating pain to drink in the adoration of her fans one last time only days before she succumbed to cancer.By turns illuminating, inspiring, shocking, and poignant, More Than a Woman is a biography you will not easily more

Product details

  • Hardback | 514 pages
  • 160.02 x 238.76 x 43.18mm | 997.9g
  • Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc
  • Bantam USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0553095129
  • 9780553095128

Rating details

270 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 29% (79)
4 47% (128)
3 18% (49)
2 4% (11)
1 1% (3)
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