WASHINGTON - What a stamp!
Movie legend Bette Davis is being remembered on a new U.S. postage stamp that does that iron-willed image justice.
The 42-cent commemorative stamp, being released today in Boston, features a portrait of Davis as she appeared in the 1950 film 'All About Eve,' in which she played Margo Channing, an aging stage actress battling to save her career as a younger woman schemes to replace her.
In one scene, author Joseph Mankiewicz' stage directions for Margo read: 'the steel begins to flash,' as Davis, her blue eyes glaring, responds to her lover's description of Eve as a 'stage-struck kid.'
'Stage-struck kid ... She's a young lady - of qualities. And I'll have you know I'm fed up with both the young lady and her qualities! Studying me as if - as if I were a play or a set of blueprints! How I walk, talk, think, eat, sleep!'
Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for that performance.
Indeed, she collected 10 nominations, winning in 1935 for 'Dangerous' and in 1938 for 'Jezebel,' and was nominated every year from 1938 to 1942.
Taking advantage of her age, she played a demented former child star in 1962's 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane,' scoring another Oscar nomination.
Davis chose 'She did it the hard way' for an epitaph because she viewed a lot of her life as difficult but rewarding. 'It isn't that she was complaining, but that she had persevered ... to achieve great things and satisfying things even though it wasn't easy for her,' explained her son, Michael Merrill, in a telephone interview.