Fast Facts

  • Classmate of Lucille Ball at the John Murray Anderson-Robert Milton Dramatics School.
  • Fought the studio contract system by signing with a British film company in 1936 to make two films in London. 
  • Claimed to have coined the name "Oscar" for the Academy Awards, saying she named it after first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr.
  • After her career flagged in the 1940s, made a spectacular comeback in the 1950 film All About Eve.
  • Took out a "job wanted" ad in Variety in 1961. 
  • Had a legendary feud with Joan Crawford, her costar in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • Daughter Barbara wrote a "tell-all" book in 1985 about her called My Mother's Keeper. Davis responded two years later with an autobiography called This 'N That.
  • Her epitaph reads, "She did it the hard way."

Awards

  • 1962, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Nominee
  • 1934, Oscar — Best Actress: Nominee
  • 1951, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1939, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1983, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Special: Nominee
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  • 1963, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Foreign Actress: Nominee
  • 1963, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1942, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1979, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special: Winner
  • 1935, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1940, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1938, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Winner
  • 1950, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1944, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1941, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1974, Emmy — Special Classification of Outstanding Program and Individual Achievement: Nominee
  • 1962, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Special: Nominee
  • 1952, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1974, Golden Globe — Cecil B. DeMille Award: Winner

Relationships

  • Harlow Morrell Davis — Father
  • William Grant Sherry — Ex-husband
  • Margot Merrill — Daughter
  • Arthur Farnsworth — Husband (deceased)
  • William Wyler — Ex-significant Other
  • Gary Merrill — Ex-husband
  • Barbara Davis — Sister
  • Ruth Favor Davis — Mother
  • Michael Merrill — Son
  • Barbara D. Merrill — Daughter
  • Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr. — Ex-husband

College

  • Attended John Murray Anderson-Robert Milton Dramatics School, New York, New York, United States

Details

  • Birth Name: Ruth Elizabeth Davis
  • Birth Place: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
  • Birthday: April 5, 1908, Aries
  • Died: October 6, 1989
  • Profession: Actor
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