“I’m like a cat. Throw me up in the air, and I’ll always land on my feet. I spent my whole goddam life saying, ‘Why should I apologize about being bright?’ and I’m not stopping now. Bogart and I walked out of Warner Brothers 16 times, but we survived. When horror movies came in, I did them instead of staying home like the other broads. When talk shows came in, I hated them, but I did them. When Warner Brothers sold their first batch of movies to TV 20 something years ago, 65 of them were mine, and I didn’t get one penny in residuals. But I can’t beef because millions of people today have seen those movies, and I kept my whole career alive.
I started in 1930 and made 85 movies, and now I’ve had it.... I’ll never be poor, but I’ll never be rich, either. Still, I wouldn’t go to Switzerland and rob this country blind like the Burtons did. I couldn’t sleep for the guilt. If we’d have the same lobby the gun-control lobby has, we’d be running the country, but actors are the most lily-hearted people who ever drew breath.
So I am up to my ears in taxes and debts, and that’s why I come out of my house in Connecticut every few years and work. I can hole up just so long, then I gotta get out and stir things up again. It’s half for income, and half for me.” -Bette, in a 1976 interview with Rex Reed (photographed by a friend in her home circa 1969) 💫