Bette Davis: A forgotten interview
In 1988, Miss D and I appeared on on a popular French television show - and no one has seen the interview since. I felt it was important to preserve the interview and digitize it so her fans and the public can experience it again or for the first time. Miss D loved France. Her mother's family was French Huguenot and she even changed the spelling of her name to "Bette" after the de Balzac's Le Cousin Bette. She spent much of her final years in France, receiving tributes and giving interviews. This was truly one of her favorite interviews and I'm grateful to be able to share it after all of these years.
At the time, Miss D was 80 years young. She had been through a mastectomy, a stroke and a betrayal by her beloved daughter. Re-watching the interview after all these years, I am struck by her strength and resolve. She was such a fighter. Her memories are strong, she is bright and sharp. We should all be so lucky and fortunate to witness it. She remains an inspiration.
I still hold on to many memories from that day. During one commercial break, they asked me to read my letter to her in French. I was still learning the language and not quite prepared. But Miss D took me aside and said, "You'll do fine." I calmed down, concentrated and read the letter. She was so proud of me when I finished. After the interview, Frederic Mitterand, Patrick Kelly, Maggie Nolan and I went to La Closerie des Lilies for dinner and Miss D surprised everyone when she walked to the piano and sang I’ve Written A Letter To Daddy. She brought the restaurant to its feet!
When people ask me if I miss her - I hesitate. Because while she passed away nearly 30 years ago, her spirit lives on and is all around me. Sometimes I feel it in me. I truly feel she is always by my side, offering her advice and wisdom and a listening ear. I definitely know she was with me as I wrote MISS D & ME.
I hope you enjoy our interview. And I hope you take a moment today to watch your favorite Bette Davis film to pay tribute to her talent, her strength and her legacy. Thank you, always. - Kath