131+ Best Bette Davis Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. After a brief theater career, Davis became one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood history, appearing in nearly 100 films. Inspirational Bette Davis quotes have the power to motivate you, lift your spirit and help you to have more belief in yourselves.

If you’re searching for inspiring quotes from top actress that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Humphrey Bogart quotes, powerful Scarlett Johansson quotes, and amazing Hedy Lamarr quotes.

Most Famous Bette Davis Quotes

This has always been a motto of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work. – Bette Davis

If you’ve never been hated by your child, you’ve never been a parent. – Bette Davis

It’s better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for someone you’re not. It’s a sign of your worth sometimes, if you’re hated by the right people. – Bette Davis

You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good . . . Joan Crawford is dead. Good. – Bette Davis

Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work. – Bette Davis

I want to die with my high heels on, still in action. – Bette Davis

You mustn’t miss the moment. There’s only one first sailing into Rio harbor. – Bette Davis

Everybody has a heart. Except some people. – Bette Davis

Never, never trust anyone who asks for white wine. It means they’re phonies. – Bette Davis

I do not regret one professional enemy I have made. Any actor who doesn’t dare to make an enemy should get out of the business. – Bette Davis

The secret of marriage is: separate bedrooms and separate bathrooms. – Bette Davis

Basically, I believe the world is a jungle, and if it’s not a bit of a jungle in the home, a child cannot possibly be fit to enter the outside world. – Bette Davis

I guess I’m larger than life. That’s my problem. – Bette Davis

Old age is no place for sissies. – Bette Davis

I’d luv to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair. – Bette Davis

She’s the original good time who was had by all. – Bette Davis

Mother of three; divorcee; American. Twenty years’ experience as an actress in motion pictures. Mobile still and more affable than rumor would have it. Wants steady employment in Hollywood. (Has had Broadway). References upon request. – Bette Davis

I may not have been wearing a mink coat, but I was traveling with a dog. That should have made you think I was an actress! – Bette Davis

At 50, I thought proudly: Here we are, half century! Being 60 was fairly frightening. You want to know how I spent my 70th birthday? I put on a completely black face, a fuzzy black Afro wig, wore black clothes and hung a black wreath on my door. – Bette Davis

Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, Pain of love lasts a lifetime. – Bette Davis

I would take a bad script and a good director any day against a good script and a bad director. – Bette Davis

I was the female Marlon Brando of my generation. – Bette Davis

The real actor – like any real artist- has a direct line to the collective heart. – Bette Davis

Home is where you go to when you’ve nowhere to go. – Bette Davis

If men found out how to give birth to children they’ll never propose again. – Bette Davis

Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should all be bigger than life. – Bette Davis

Temperament is something that is an integral part of the artist. Not temper, temperament. There is a vast difference. – Bette Davis

There are new words now that excuse everybody. Give me the good old days of heroes and villains, the people you can bravo or hiss. There was a truth to them that all the slick credulity of today cannot touch. – Bette Davis

I will never be below the title. – Bette Davis

You should know me well enough by now to know I don’t ask for things I don’t think I can get. – Bette Davis

I am a woman meant for a man, but I never found a man who could compete. – Bette Davis

You know what nostalgia is, don’t you? It’s basically a matter of recalling the fun without reliving the pain. – Bette Davis

[On gay men:] Let me say, a more artistic, appreciative group of people for the arts does not exist … They are more knowledgeable, more loving of the arts. They make the average male look stupid. – Bette Davis

You know what I’m going to have on my gravestone? ‘She did it the hard way.’ – Bette Davis

One can make more enemies as a female with a brain, I think. – Bette Davis

Don’t you hate people who drink white wine? I mean, my dear, every alcoholic in town is getting falling-down drunk on white wine. They think they aren’t drunks because they only drink wine. Never, never trust anyone who asks for white wine. It means they’re phonies. – Bette Davis

Without discipline and detachment, an actor is an emotional slob, spilling his insides out. This abandonment is having an unfortunate vogue. It is tasteless, formless, absurd. Without containment there is no art. All this vomiting and wheezing and bursting at the seams is no more great acting than the convulsions of raving maniacs. – Bette Davis

Success is built on disappointment, and disappointment is inherent in all success. – Bette Davis

One begins to realize that one is getting old when the birthday candles weigh more than the cake. – Bette Davis

I wouldn’t piss on Joan Crawford if she were on fire. – Bette Davis

I have been uncompromising, peppery, intractable, monomaniacal, tactless, volatile, and oftentimes disagreeable… I suppose I’m larger than life. – Bette Davis

Your luck is how you treat people. – Bette Davis

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy. – Bette Davis

There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen. – Bette Davis

Good actors I’ve worked with all started out making faces in a mirror, and you keep making faces all your life. – Bette Davis

Oh, don’t let’s ask for the moon. We’ve already got the stars. – Bette Davis

People stood on their chairs, cheering and waving. And it was all for me! Waves of love flooded the stage and washed over me. I started to cry. The sweetness of such a moment is impossible to describe. One is both lover and beloved. … I’d found the one true, enduring romance of my life. – Bette Davis

The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? – Bette Davis

People often become actresses because of something they dislike about themselves: They pretend they are someone else. – Bette Davis

I’m the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived. – Bette Davis

There comes a time in every woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne. – Bette Davis

You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation. – Bette Davis

Some young Hollywood starlets remind me of my grandmother’s old farmhouse — all painted up nice on the front side, a big swing on the backside, and nothing whatsoever in the attic. – Bette Davis

Getting old is not for sissies. – Bette Davis

If everybody likes you, you’re pretty dull. – Bette Davis

My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose. – Bette Davis

If you want a thing done well, get a couple of old broads to do it. – Bette Davis

Life is the past, the present and the perhaps. – Bette Davis

There may be a heaven, but if Joan Crawford is there, I’m not going. – Bette Davis

I have eyes like a bullfrog, a neck like an ostrich and long, limp hair. You just have to be good to survive with that equipment. – Bette Davis

I’d marry again if I found a man who had fifteen million dollars, would sign over half to me, and guarantee that he’d be dead within a year. – Bette Davis

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night! – As Margo Channing in All About Eve – Bette Davis

Being called very, very difficult is the beginning of success. Until you’re called very, very difficult you’re really nobody at all. – Bette Davis

A sure way to lose happiness, I found, is to want it at the expense of everything else. – Bette Davis

It has been my experience that one cannot, in any shape or form, depend on human relations for lasting reward. It is only work that truly satisfies. – Bette Davis

It’s true we don’t know what we’ve got until its gone, but we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives. Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, Pain of love lasts a lifetime. – Bette Davis

I was thought to be ‘stuck up.’ I wasn’t. I was just sure of myself. This is and always has been an unforgivable quality to the unsure. – Bette Davis

It’s a rare man who can stand being around an intelligent woman, let alone married to her. – Bette Davis

The key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he’s dead. – Bette Davis

Once the love bug wears off, as it inevitably does, you are shocked to discover that you really didn’t know the object of your affections at all. We know this to be so, even as we repeat the same mistake over and over and over. – Bette Davis

Psychoanalysis. Almost went three times – almost. Then I decided what was peculiar about me was probably what made me successful. I’ve seen some very talented actors go into analysis and really lose it. – Bette Davis

The only reason anyone goes to Broadway is because they can’t get work in the movies. – Bette Davis

Brought up to respect the conventions, love had to end in marriage. I’m afraid it did. – Bette Davis

I am doomed to an eternity of compulsive work. No set goal achieved satisfies. Success only breeds a new goal. The golden apple devoured has seeds. It is endless. – Bette Davis

Without wonder and insight, acting is just a trade. With it, it becomes creation. – Bette Davis

Life is a jest; and all things show it. I thought so once; but now I know it. – Bette Davis

Wave after wave of love flooded the stage and washed over me, the beginning of the one great durable romance of my life. – Bette Davis

I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box. – Bette Davis

Men become much more attractive when they start looking older. But it doesn’t do much for women, though we do have an advantage: make-up. – Bette Davis

I don’t take the movies seriously, and anyone who does is in for a headache. – Bette Davis

In this rat-race everybody’s guilty till proved innocent! – Bette Davis

That’s me: an old kazoo with some sparklers. – Bette Davis

I survived because I was tougher than anybody else. – Bette Davis

I don’t think of myself as a character actress – that’s become a phrase which means you’ve had it. – Bette Davis

To look back is to relax one’s vigil. – Bette Davis

I never did pal around with actresses. Their talk usually bored me to tears. – Bette Davis

Today everyone is a star – they’re all billed as ‘starring’ or ‘also starring’. In my day, we earned that recognition. – Bette Davis

Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism. – Bette Davis

In this business, until you’re known as a monster, you’re not a star. – Bette Davis

With the newspaper strike on, I wouldn’t consider dying. – Bette Davis

I was the Marlon Brando of my generation. – Bette Davis

We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to. – Bette Davis

I have often seen an actor laugh off the stage, but I don’t remember ever having seen one weep. – Bette Davis

I was never very interested in boys – and there were plenty of them – vying with one another to see how many famous women they would get into the hay. – Bette Davis

Locations are all tough, all miserable. I never left the sound stage for 18 years at Warners. We never went outside the studio, not even for big scenes. – Bette Davis

An affair now and then is good for a marriage. It adds spice, stops it from getting boring… I ought to know. – Bette Davis

I went back to work because someone had to pay for the groceries. – Bette Davis

It is my last wish to be burried sitting up. – Bette Davis

Three years ago, I was forty… forty! Four-oh! That slipped out. Now I suddenly feel as if I’ve taken all my clothes off. – Bette Davis

My darling, it is late, and I am very tired of youth, love, and self-sacrifice. – Bette Davis

I wouldn’t worry too much about your heart. You can always put that award where your heart ought to be. – Bette Davis

I never said anything that was unprintable. Never said anything just for the sake of being startling. – Bette Davis

Actually, I think businesswomen are better women at home, if you want to know the truth because you do understand what goes into a day’s work out in the world, a very nerve-racking affair. – Bette Davis

The real female should be partly male, and the real male should be partly female anyway. – Bette Davis

I don’t think in business it matters whether you’re a man or a woman if you can do your job and have a brain. – Bette Davis

Women are the essential part of the theater, but the writers are not writing about women. I think they’re too perplexed about the whole female situation probably. – Bette Davis

They say that in Hollywood one can’t be honest, but I think honesty counts in Hollywood just as much as it does anywhere else. I think it’s just too much trouble to be dishonest and keep up with yourself. – Bette Davis

I think it’s just too much trouble to be dishonest and keep up with yourself. – Bette Davis

I believe one should be a woman at home. – Bette Davis

As a female I think it’s a terrible hindrance in business. I think it’s a terrible hindrance for any female to have a lot of intelligence in private life, but I think in business sometimes it’s even worse because there’s deep resentment. – Bette Davis

Pray to God and say the lines. – Bette Davis

Dramatic art in her opinion is knowing how to fill a sweater. – Bette Davis

Almost as many inhumanities are committed in the name of love as in the name of religion. – Bette Davis

If Hollywood didn’t work out, I was prepared to be the best secretary in the world. – Bette Davis

Joan Crawford is a movie star. I am an actress. – Bette Davis

I have been at war from the beginning. I’ve never looked back before. I’ve never had the time and it has always seemed so dangerous. To look back is to relax one’s vigil. – Bette Davis

The only way you can become a legend is in your coffin – Bette Davis

You can lose everything, but you can’t lose your talent! – Bette Davis

I work to stay alive. – Bette Davis

I didn’t forget your breakfast. I didn’t bring your breakfast. Because you didn’t eat your din-din. – Bette Davis

I have always felt proud of my Oscars and my numerous nominations. This pride is due to the fact it was the result of voters from the members of my own profession. This, of course, is a great compliment for one’s work. I hope each winner of an Oscar is as thrilled as I was when I received mine. – Bette Davis

Strong women only marry weak men. – Bette Davis

There is a certain ecstasy in wanting things you can’t get. – Bette Davis

I think I’ll have a large order of prognosis negative. – Bette Davis

What a fool I was to come to Hollywood where they only understand platinum blondes and where legs are more important than talent. – Bette Davis

The male ego with few exceptions is elephantine to start with. – Bette Davis

There’s only one way to work — like hell. – Bette Davis

Playing our parts. Yes, we all have to do that and from childhood on, I have found that my own character has been much harder to play worthily and far harder at times to comprehend than any of the roles I have portrayed. – Bette Davis

You’ve got to know someone pretty well to hate them. – Bette Davis

I’ve been lucky. I’ll be lucky again. – Bette Davis

I wanted to be the first to win three Oscars, but Miss Hepburn has done it. Actually, it hasn’t been done. Miss Hepburn only won half an Oscar. If they’d given me half an Oscar, I would have thrown it back in their faces. You see, I’m an Aries. I never lose. – Bette Davis

Share Your Opinion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.