Credit: Shutterstock/Bette Davis

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

Hollywood actress Bette Davis was known for her razor-sharp wit, her larger-than-life presence, and her refusal to kowtow to society's expectations, as much as for her movie stardom.

Her long road to fame and Oscar glory began with a job as a movie theatre usherette and bit parts in regional plays. But she took her chance and moved to Hollywood in 1930 to gain a contract with Warner Brothers by 1932. By 1935 she had won her first Best Actress Oscar for the film Dangerous. Her second came in 1938 for Jezebel. Her work was characterized by her intensity and her choice for unconventional roles.

Bette's career became a litany of firsts. She was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first person to receive 10 Oscar nominations, and the first woman to win a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

Her later career reflected her feisty persona and her determination to keep working, even as her health suffered. Bette Davis died in Paris in 1989 and is still admired as a true star whose legacy continues to this day.