Bette Davis autographed photograph, 1950, 8 x 10, Facts: Bette Davis (1908–1989) American actress of film, television and theater. Her career in Hollywood began in 1930 with Universal Studios but it wasn’t until 1932 when she joined Warner Brothers that her career took off. She was one of America’s most celebrated leading ladies up until the late 1940’s. She was the co-founder of the ‘Hollywood Canteen’, the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first woman to receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from the American Film Institute, the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting (she won twice). She is rated number 2 (Katherine Hepburn is number 1) on the American Film Institute’s list of greatest female stars of all time. She died of breast cancer in 1989. Her birth name was Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis.