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AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Bette Davis (1977)

The American Film Institute Salute to Bette Davis (original title)
Jane Fonda hosts the AFI Life Achievement Awards ceremony honoring Bette Davis featuring clips from her films and the reminiscences of many co-workers.
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Herself - Honoree
Herself - Host
Lillian Hellman ...
Herself - Audience Member
Martin Manulis ...


On March 1, 1977, Bette Davis became the first woman recipient of the prestigious Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Host Jane Fonda reminded Bette that it was her birth that made it necessary for Bette to recite her lines to a stand-in rather than to Henry Fonda in "Jezebel;" and Olivia de Havilland good-naturedly complained that Bette "got all the roles I always wanted." Also on hand were mentor-director William Wyler, Mia Farrow, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Lee Grant, Paul Henreid, Celeste Holm, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Martin Manulis, Liza Minnelli, George Stevens Jr., Cicely Tyson, Robert Wagner and Natalie Wood. Film clips included "Of Human Bondage," "Dangerous," "Jezebel," "Dark Victory," "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex," "The Letter," "The Little Foxes," "Now, Voyager," "Mr. Skeffington," "Beyond the Forest," "All About Eve," and "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

awards show | tv special | See All (2) »







Release Date:

1 March 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Bette Davis  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bette Davis was the fifth recipient of the AFI Award and the first woman to be selected as an honoree. See more »


Bette Davis: [Concluding her acceptance speech to the audience] I'd like to kiss yuh, but I just washed my hair.
See more »

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User Reviews

Grand Night For A Legend
5 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was a wonderful tribute to Bette Davis, who arrived beaming and looking every inch, THE STAR. I was fortunate to see the show in a rebroadcast on American Movie Classics, I think, or was it PBS? I popped a cassette into my VCR and now I have a great copy. I cherish all the wonderful film clips and comments of all who attended. This is a treasure.

I think this can be purchased from The American Film Institute. I bought the James Cagney tribute directly from them several years ago.

I have long wanted the AFI to honor Doris Day. They wrote me back and informed me that they had offered to honor Miss Day several times, but she declined.

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