Kicked Out of Zolar X (phyllisgabor) wrote in celebritybooks,
Kicked Out of Zolar X
phyllisgabor
celebritybooks

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

Yesterday I read This 'n That, a memoir (of sorts) written by Bette Davis in 1987. She claims she wanted to write about her experiences following her mastectomy and stroke, but if you read between the lines the REAL reason it was written was to get the last word following the publication of her daughter B.D. Hyman's sorry-ass Mommie Dearest cash-in My Mother's Keeper.

This book is pretty mangled. You never know what Miss Davis will bring up next--on one page she might talk about her broken hip, or the time she accidentally made a cruel comment about Brian Aherne's weak chin, or how much she hated working with Faye Dunaway (TRUE!). There's lots of shameless padding in the form of reprinted letters, song lyrics, and even an entire chapter written by her personal assistant about how she feels about the boss. In a way it's kind of fun reading this stream-of-consciousness rant that goes on for over 200 pages, but it's also a little exhausting. By the end I was just skimming for dirt and sour grapes.

Fun facts and observations from this book:

--Bette Davis HATED, HATED, HATED her son-in-law, but after you read this you won't really blame her.

--B.D. Hyman was sixteen when she got married, and her husband was thirty. YIKES!

--Bette Davis posed nude for a statue when she was a teenager, and years later Playboy magazine had a "find the missing naked Bette Davis statue" contest.

--She claims the feud with Joan Crawford was a myth and that MISS CRAWFORD was never anything but professional, and then she proceeds to rip her apart for an entire chapter on the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Joan's beloved Pepsi and vodka cocktails are mentioned frequently in this chapter.

--she did her own makeup for Baby Jane, since no makeup artist would have been willing to do what she had in mind.

A final word to B.D. from Bette: "I hope someday I will understand the title My Mother's Keeper. If it refers to money, if my memory serves me right, I've been your keeper all these many years. I am continuing to do so, as my name has made your book about me a success." OH SNAP!!!!
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