One of my most popular subjects has been the legendary Bette Davis, whose career spanned six decades and an incredible range of roles. For a long time her signature role was the temperamental diva Margo Channing, from Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "All About Eve" (1950).
When I first did a doll of Margo, I
assumed her Edith Head dress from the "bumpy night" party scene was maroon or burgundy (the film was black-&-white). My friend and doll customer Greg Schreiner of Los Angeles, who owns the original movie costume, informed me that it was brown, so the second time I did Margo, I did it in the authentic color. Ultimately, of course, Bette would top herself (and everyone else) with the greatest film performance by any actress, the tragic, frightening, hilarious and poignant "Baby Jane" Hudson in Robert Aldrich's classic film of Henry Farrell's novel "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962). I did Baby Jane as part of a set with her beleaguered wheelchair-bound sister Blanche (played by Bette's long-time arch-rival Joan Crawford). More visitors to my"Celebrity Dolls" page come to see Baby Jane than any other doll. Another great Davis role (and another spectacular costume) was "Jezebel" (1938) in her scandalous red ball gown. My most recent Bette Davis doll was as Charlotte from another Aldrich film of a Henry Farrell tale, "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964). This time around, the great Agnes Moorhead got to chew the scenery as poor Charlotte's rather eccentric servant Velma. The pair are the embodiment of the term "Southern Gothic".