TopBilled

Bette Davis' daughter talks about witchcraft

46 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Dargo,

I do think it's interesting that she posted a lecture on The Jezebel Spirit. So you can't help but wonder if some of her religious discussions have her mother at the root of the analysis. 

*There's an audio lecture she posted two months ago called Generational Curses. Does she consider her mother a curse?

Her most recent audio lecture was posted just three days ago. That one was called What Is a Familiar Spirit?...so maybe she feels her mother's spirit is still haunting her.

*I don't know if you're aware that Bette had a sister who was mentally ill and in and out of institutions.

Her name was Barbara Davis. BD is named after her.

Possibly, BD could be referring to that as a generational curse.

At any rate, Religious audios and videos often refer to generational curses. It's Not Unusual to see this kind of material.

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8 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

*I don't know if you're aware that Bette had a sister who was mentally ill and in and out of institutions.

Her name was Barbara Davis. BD is named after her.

Possibly, BD could be referring to that as a generational curse.

At any rate, Religious audios and videos often refer to generational curses. It's Not Unusual to see this kind of material.

I was aware that B.D. was named after her aunt, referred to by the family as Aunt Bobbie. 

Also B.D. had an adopted sister, Margot Merrill, who had some sort of incapacity (euphemism) and was put into a facility, back when people with certain handicaps were not as mainstreamed as they are now. I am not sure if the adopted sister is still alive, but she would have been younger than B.D.

B.D.'s adoptive brother Michael Merrill is still around, I think...but he broke off contact with her after the first book was published. Michael and Bette's secretary/assistant were the inheritors of Bette's estate. Basically, the secretary became a substitute daughter, when Bette disowned B.D.

Generational curses can refer to any number of things. In the interview I posted, from 1985, B.D. discusses her maternal grandmother and problems that occurred between the grandmother and Bette. So there were issues down the line in this family. But what family doesn't have generational conflicts. Yeah?

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I was aware that B.D. was named after her aunt, referred to by the family as Aunt Bobbie. 

Also B.D. had an adopted sister, Margot Merrill, who had some sort of incapacity (euphemism) and was put into a facility, back when people with certain handicaps were not as mainstreamed as they are now. I am not sure if the adopted sister is still alive, but she would have been younger than B.D.

B.D.'s adoptive brother Michael Merrill is still around, I think...but he broke off contact with her after the first book was published. Michael and Bette's secretary/assistant were the inheritors of Bette's estate. Basically, the secretary became a substitute daughter, when Bette disowned B.D.

Generational curses can refer to any number of things. In the interview I posted, from 1985, B.D. discusses her maternal grandmother and problems that occurred between the grandmother and Bette. So there were issues down the line in this family. But what family doesn't have generational conflicts. Yeah?

Not to get into a long discussion about Bette's family, but they seem to have been rather well-adjusted until the Harvard educated father, I believe he was a lawyer, ran off with the secretary and left his family almost penniless. And the mother had to struggle to support and educate her two daughters.

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2 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

Not to get into a long discussion about Bette's family, but they seem to have been rather well-adjusted until the Harvard educated father, I believe he was a lawyer, ran off with the secretary and left his family almost penniless. And the mother had to struggle to support and educate her two daughters.

I think it's a very interesting family to discuss. Of course we wouldn't know about half this stuff if B.D. hadn't written those books, or posted the lectures where she occasionally still references her mother. She's made it more public than it might otherwise have been.

In the 1985 interview, the way she talks about the Crawfords, I get the sense she and Christina had become friendly. But she goes out of her way to say her book is different from Christina's. I think she might have felt a kinship with Christina. A shared struggle? They were two daughters dealing with powerful Hollywood mothers. Mothers that did not get along.

Where this becomes more fascinating, in my opinion, is how B.D. took a much more divergent path. Becoming a born again Christian took her to a new place, far removed from the world of her childhood. 

I think she has at least one more good book in her, if she chooses to write it. That would be the book where she reconciles her faith with whether or not she will see her mother again in the afterlife. If she feels her mother was a witch, then I suppose she won't see her mother again.

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19 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Interestingly, Bette played a witch in her last movie:

 

screen-shot-2019-04-20-at-4.13.03-pm.jpg

 

Even the "big name" actresses of the classic era were mainly given horror film roles when they got older.  That's life. Christopher Plummer approaches 90 and gets a supporting actor Oscar nomination for "All the Money in The World". Bette Davis, winner of two Best Actress Oscars and nominated for more, gets old and does her swan song in an imdb 4.2/10 film playing a witch. Men get distinguished and women just get old.  Osborne was indeed lucky to start a career in journalism getting to know the Hollywood stars when they weren't in such demand anymore.

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1 hour ago, calvinnme said:

Even the "big name" actresses of the classic era were mainly given horror film roles when they got older.  That's life. Christopher Plummer approaches 90 and gets a supporting actor Oscar nomination for "All the Money in The World". Bette Davis, winner of two Best Actress Oscars and nominated for more, gets old and does her swan song in an imdb 4.2/10 film playing a witch. Men get distinguished and women just get old.  Osborne was indeed lucky to start a career in journalism getting to know the Hollywood stars when they weren't in such demand anymore.

After thinking about B.D.'s claims that her mother was a witch, I considered the movies Bette did where she played that type of character. Or movies that suggested it.

I haven't seen THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980) and I think there are suggestions of witchcraft or black magic in it, though her character might have been more "normal." As I said I haven't seen it, so I don't know.

Likewise BURNT OFFERINGS (1976) and RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN (1978) had supernatural elements. 

Some of her TV movies did. She campaigned hard for the role in The Dark Secret of Harvest Home which had a Wiccan storyline. 

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1 hour ago, TopBilled said:

After thinking about B.D.'s claims that her mother was a witch, I considered the movies Bette did where she played that type of character. Or movies that suggested it.

I haven't seen THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980) and I think there are suggestions of witchcraft or black magic in it, though her character might have been more "normal." As I said I haven't seen it, so I don't know. 

Likewise BURNT OFFERINGS (1976) and RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN (1978) had supernatural elements. 

Some of her TV movies did. She campaigned hard for the role in The Dark Secret of Harvest Home which had a Wiccan storyline.  

IMHO B.D. has mommy issues that go back decades. I really don't think Bette Davis was a witch any more than I think that Joan Crawford was an axe murderer. These were just the kinds of roles that older actresses could get in film as they aged. Katharine Hepburn was an exception in that she got dignified roles until she retired.

At any rate, Happy Easter TB!

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15 minutes ago, calvinnme said:

IMHO B.D. has mommy issues that go back decades. I really don't think Bette Davis was a witch any more than I think that Joan Crawford was an axe murderer. These were just the kinds of roles that older actresses could get in film as they aged. Katharine Hepburn was an exception in that she got dignified roles until she retired.

At any rate, Happy Easter TB!

I find all this kind of stuff interesting. Bette had issues with her own mother, and then B.D. had issues with her. 

B.D. seems to have a good relationship with her husband and sons (from what I can tell, there's nothing to indicate otherwise).

The one thing that comes through loud and clear with all this is that B.D. does not consider her mother to have been a Christian. But if she saved her father from a cult, then she can take comfort in the fact that one of her parents ended up in paradise.

Hope you're having a pleasant day calvin!

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

After thinking about B.D.'s claims that her mother was a witch, I considered the movies Bette did where she played that type of character. Or movies that suggested it.

I haven't seen THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS (1980) and I think there are suggestions of witchcraft or black magic in it, though her character might have been more "normal." As I said I haven't seen it, so I don't know.

Likewise BURNT OFFERINGS (1976) and RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN (1978) had supernatural elements. 

Watcher hints at supernatural/ghosts, but has a much more conventional resolution at the end--Although you'd have to watch the deleted endings on the DVD to figure out what the heck it is, as the theatrical cut (which rushed and chopped off the ending for being way too silly) isn't much help.  Bette's character is a straightforward good character, despite the buried secrets.

And Return From Witch Mountain is pretty straightforward mad-scientist, even despite the presence of Christopher Lee.

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

Watcher hints at supernatural/ghosts, but has a much more conventional resolution at the end--Although you'd have to watch the deleted endings on the DVD to figure out what the heck it is, as the theatrical cut (which rushed and chopped off the ending for being way too silly) isn't much help.  Bette's character is a straightforward good character, despite the buried secrets.

And Return From Witch Mountain is pretty straightforward mad-scientist, even despite the presence of Christopher Lee.

Thanks Eric. I haven't seen either one of those films. I have seen BURNT OFFERINGS, though...it airs on TCM sometimes.

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On 4/21/2019 at 7:57 AM, Det Jim McLeod said:

I read her book "My Mother's Keeper", thinking it might be another "Mommie Dearest" but I found B.D. to be kind of whiny and nit-picky. Whereas Joan Crawford seemed like a monster, Bette comes off more like a cranky old broad. I mean, one of B.D.'s complaints was that her mother served cold cuts at a party(oh the horror!)

Yeah, her book was much ado about mostly nothing. She and her hubby sponged off of Bette their whole lives (that was not in the book). Then BD acts all put out and petty putting up with Bette basically acting like Bette. Then she writes the book when Bette is deathly ill knowing how it would hit her. Now she's some wacko minister. Glad she and her spawn were cut out of Bette's will.

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On 4/21/2019 at 2:07 AM, Gershwin fan said:

She definitely seems off her rocker. :wacko: Her husband must be nuts too to believe in all that "witchcraft" and "cauldrons" stuff. 

They ARE nuts! And big time spongers who sponged off of Bette their entire lives (until she wrote the book!).

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

Yeah, her book was much ado about mostly nothing. She and her hubby sponged off of Bette their whole lives (that was not in the book). Then BD acts all put out and petty putting up with Bette basically acting like Bette. Then she writes the book when Bette is deathly ill knowing how it would hit her. Now she's some wacko minister. Glad she and her spawn were cut out of Bette's will.

In the clip I posted, where B.D. is interviewed on the morning program, she says she wrote the book before her mother's health declined (before the stroke I would assume). I think it had already gone to the publishers. It would have been out of her hands at that point, and up to the publishing company to halt or delay publication.

As we know Bette bounced back from that stroke and lived several more years. So maybe B.D.'s book caused her to rally, because she was determined to publish her own tome, which she did in 1987:

screen-shot-2019-04-23-at-2.58.54-pm.jpe

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I dont buy it. She even timed the publication for MOTHER'S DAY.

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3 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I dont buy it. She even timed the publication for MOTHER'S DAY.

She didn't. The publishers did. She had zero knowledge of the publishing industry. You don't just write a book and decide it's going to be on stands on a certain day. The publishing company and the printers handle that. The publishers are the ones who saw profit in releasing it around Mothers Day. Probably because they believed it would sell like Christina Crawford's book did.

She was busy getting ready to go on the road and promote it.

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I dont believe any of her B.S.

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2 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I dont believe any of her B.S.

You don't have to...but others believe her.

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6 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

I can't believe this thread is still alive and kicking :D

Why wouldn't it continue? It's an interesting topic with a lot of little subtopics under it.

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14 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

You don't have to...but others believe her.

That's their problem. Plenty of nutcases out there.....

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