And you thought you knew everything about the life and career of Bette Davis?

Well, perhaps you did and do.  But let’s see how you fared with our second Monday Quiz featuring this estimable actress.

As mentioned yesterday, the questions for our first Davis quiz (published more than a year-and-a-half ago) were are based on the actress’ autobiography, The Lonely Life, first published in 1962, and updated to just before her death at 81 in Paris on Oct. 6, 1989.

The actress telling of her own story was invaluable, of course, but she often pulled her punches. Yesterday’s quiz was inspired by author Laura Moser’s crisp, direct and efficient telling of the actress’ life and career in the 2004 biography, Bette Davis. Worth a look-see.

Onward to our answers; to review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below.

1) Answer: The breakup of Davis’ parents had the expected effect, it traumatized Davis — although she took pains to hide it.  The answer here is d) the split certainly effected her rocky relations with the men in her life.

2) Answer:  a) True. Before she went to Hollywood, Davis acted on the stage in George Cukor’s upstate New York repertory company.   He and she clashed. She was fired for lacking “team spirit.” Although famous for directing a range of Hollywood’s most notable actresses, Cukor never worked with Davis again.

3) Answer:  All except c) Rita Hayworth.

4) Answer:  b) False.  Davis really believed that, as she put it, the only reason anyone goes to Broadway is because they can’t get work in the movies. She added that she was no exception to this rule.

5) Answer:  All four choices apply here.  Davis disliked actresses she felt were prettier than she was.  In Marilyn Monroe’s case, Davis’ initial reaction was harshly negative but softened in time.

6) Answer:  Again, all four choices apply here, especially fourth husband Gary Merrill’s affair with Rita Hayworth.

7) Answer:  b) $328,477 was Davis’ salary in 1946.  And that was a lot of money back then, making her the highest paid woman in America.

8) Answer:  With the exception of d), all can apply here. Davis acknowledged with gratitude her large gay following. But as author Moser writes, she denied being “flamboyant.” She said, Joan Crawford was flamboyant.

9) Answer:  Davis and Crawford were memorably paired in 1962’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The answer here is a) Crawford was the actress Davis most detested, according to author Moser.

10) Answer:  Davis and Anne Baxter, both nominated for their All About Eve roles in the best actress category in the 1951 Oscar contest, split the vote and Judy Holliday squeaked through as the winner for her performance in Born Yesterday. Not the Academy Awards’ finest hour.


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