Saturday, 5 April 2014

I Do Not Wish To Be Told What To Do!

From a classic interview with the icon by Jim Emerson:
Bette Davis must have a cigarette.

For without a smoke, she cannot entirely be Bette Davis. The iconographic image is incomplete, like a bareheaded Gloria Swanson, an unarmed John Wayne, or a clean-shaven Bogart.

In her elegant fourth-floor apartment, just off Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, Miss Davis (she prefers the courtesy title) chain-smokes Vantage filters and, with stubborn ferocity, grinds her butts into the ashtray. Once snuffed by Miss Davis, those crooked stubs would not dare to continue smoldering.

She lights into the current nationwide anti-smoking movement with a mixture of glee and withering disdain, almost as if defending her legend against unruly hordes of nosy tobacco-haters.

"I Resent It More Than I Can Tell You!" she says at a rapid clip, delivering every word distinctly and discretely, as though each one were capitalized. "I Do Not Wish To Be Told What To Do!

"I wish to have my own life. All this whole thing has to do with people who gave up smoking and can't stand it! I think it's a big farce myself. And I think it's our own business what we do. Who has the right to say 'You can't smoke'? Makes me smoke MORE! Ha-HA-ha. No. I don't like it."

Shove that in your pipe and smoke it, Jane Ellison.

Miss Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (5th April 1908 – 6th October 1989)


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