THE BECK/SMITH VAULT: Bette Davis Advises Women: Don’t Let Men Hold You Back

Bette Davis

Bette Davis in "Return From Witch Mountain"

May 11, 1977

Bette Davis Advises Women:  Don’t Let Men Hold You Back

By Marilyn Beck

Hollywood  —- Bette Davis has some advice for women: don’t expect men to ever totally lose their sexist attitudes. And don’t allow those attitudes to provide an excuse for non-achievement.

The 68-year-old star, who’s been four times married and divorced, concedes, “I’ve known some wonderful men, but there will always be those who don’t want you to be smart, who don’t want you ever to excel. But you can’t allow them to hold you back —- and you can’t sit around saying the reason you’re not getting what you want is because of someone else. It just doesn’t work.

Ms. Davis, who’s worked in 82 films in the last 45 years, is currently before the Disney cameras, playing the associate of a mad scientist in “Return From Witch Mountain.” She’s taken the assignment because she hasn’t had an acting job in about a year. She’s enjoying it because she’s in so many scenes, “I am very seldom bored. I think the biggest killer in the world is boredom.”

She has every intention of helping to promote the film because she feels it’s all part of the game. “I was trained back in the old days when studios had publicity departments with 90 to 100 employees —- and performers were expected to cooperate. Now young players gripe about such things and I feel that’s a shame. If you can’t accept such demands, you don’t belong in the business.”