45 All Time Favorite Bette Davis Quotes

Bette Davis Quotes

Bette Davis was one of the most famous actresses in the history of tv and cinema with over 100 acting credits. After a short Broadway career in 1930, Bette decided to make her way to Hollywood, California. After a short Broadway career in 1930, Bette decided to make her way to Hollywood, California.

Taking on small roles, this iconic sex symbol landed herself a Best Actress Award in 1935 for her role in Dangerous. Davis is an unforgettable woman who adapted well to any part she played. Some of the types of films she starred in include: comedy, romance, suspenseful thrillers, and dramas.

Known for her alluring beauty, Bette mesmerized thousands with those infamous eyes and her intriguing smile. Davis worked side-by-side with many famous celebrities two of which include Errol Flynn and Joan Crawford. Although she had a reputation for being rough around the edges, her hold nothing back attitude was quite comical. In fact, it can help to make life a bit more bearable along with the below list of our all-time favorite Bette Davis Quotes.

Bette Davis Quotes

1. “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

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

3. “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

4. “When a man gives his opinion, he’s a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she’s a bitch.” — Bette Davis

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

6. “Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why [Joan Crawford] always plays ladies.” — Bette Davis

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

8. 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

9. “You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectations.” — Bette Davis

10. “There was more good acting at Hollywood parties than ever appeared on the screen.” — Bette Davis

11. “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” — Bette Davis

12. “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” — Bette Davis

13. “Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” — Bette Davis

14. “I will never be below the title.” — Bette Davis

15. “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

16. “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

17. “I never did pal around with actresses. Their talk usually bored me to tears.” — Bette Davis

18. “Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone- but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, to yielding.” — Bette Davis

19. “Acting should be bigger than life. Scripts should be bigger than life. It should all be bigger than life.” — Bette Davis

20. ” (Referring to fourth husband, Gary Merrill) Gary was a macho man, but none of my husbands was ever man enough to become Mr. Bette Davis.” — Bette Davis

21. “Everybody has a heart. Except some people.” — Bette Davis

22. “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

23. “(Towards her greatest rival Joan Crawford) She has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.” — Bette Davis

24. “Pleasure of love lasts but a moment, Pain of love lasts a lifetime.” — Bette Davis

25. “Good Actors I’ve worked with all started out making faces in a mirror, and you keep making faces all your life.” — Bette Davis

26. “(Commenting on the death of her long-time nemesis Joan Crawford] You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” — Bette Davis

27. “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

28. “I will not retire while I’ve still got my legs and my make-up box.” — Bette Davis

29. “(On Errol Flynn) He was just beautiful… Errol. He himself openly said, ‘I don’t know really anything about acting,’ and I admire his honesty because he’s absolutely right.” — Bette Davis

30. “You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.” — Bette Davis

31. “I want to die with my high heels on, still in action.” — Bette Davis

32. “The male ego, with few exceptions, is elephantine to start with.” — Bette Davis

33. “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

34. “Discipline is a symbol of caring to a child. He needs guidance. If there is love, there is no such thing as being too tough with a child. A parent must also not be afraid to hang himself. If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” — Bette Davis

35. “I am a woman meant for a man, but I never found a man who could compete.” — Bette Davis

36. “This became a credo of mine…attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” — Bette Davis

37. “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

38. “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

39. “To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lovely labor, to be given the chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.” — Bette Davis

40. “We movie stars all end up by ourselves. Who knows? Maybe we want to.” — Bette Davis

41. “I survived because I was tougher than anybody else.” — Bette Davis

42. “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

43. “I would take a bad script and a good director any day against a good script and a bad director.” — Bette Davis

44. “The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone’s concern and like vampires they suck our life’s blood.” — Bette Davis

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

Related: James Dean’s Best Quotes 

Bette Davis Video – Scene from 1938’s Jezebel

If you want to see one of the most memorable Bette Davis scenes, check this one out.

Related: Ava Gardner Quotes

Better Davis Quote Summary

As you can see, this feisty woman was sure something to behold. Yet, most of what she said makes total sense. Making one stop to think about the world in which we live and see things with a whole new perspective.

I hope you enjoyed these Bette Davis Quotes. Please feel free to share them with your female friends and loved ones!

Finally, see our Marlon Brando Quotes

Image Credit: George Hurrell, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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