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
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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