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Bette Davis Refused to Reach out to Her Daughter B.D. After Finding out She Had Days to Live

Busayo Ogunjimi
Aug 29, 2021
01:00 P.M.
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During her time in the movie industry, Bette Davis was loved by many and garnered many fans. However, the actress' name was dragged through the mud after her daughter published a tell-all book.


Bette Davis and her daughter, Barbara "B.D" Hyman, had a complicated relationship. In 1989, the former passed away, and B.D, who claimed her mom was a witch, revealed that the demons attached to Davis were still alive and haunted her.

The feud between the mother and daughter has been well documented and publicized, and B.D is yet to let go of the rivalry, despite being 74 years old. B.D made some startling claims about Davis in her first book, "My Mother's Keeper."

Potrait of Bette Davis | Photo: Getty Images

Potrait of Bette Davis | Photo: Getty Images


When the book was published, B.D's mother was already in poor health, following a stroke, breaking a hip, and undergoing mastectomy. B.D had received several pleas to delay the publication of the book till her mother got better.

However, the pleas fell on deaf ears as B.D said her mother would come to understand with time and went ahead with the publication. B.D was subjected to several criticisms for her wrong timing and lack of empathy.

In the book, Davis was described as so many things, including an abusive grandmother and overbearing alcoholic, which caused the actress a great deal of pain.


According to B.D's revelation, her mother was cruel, ruthless and occasionally, she would torment little B.D by faking suicide for sympathy. Fans found it difficult to believe and reconcile the image of a loved actress to that of a cruel mother.

Davis was told her cancer, which had been in remission for five years, had returned.

Davis' personal assistant, Kathryn Sermak, who was by her boss' sickbed, recalled the Hollywood icon's thoughts on hearing the news of the book's publication. Sermak mentioned that Davis was devastated by the betrayal.


According to Sermak, the public accusations were so much that they left Davis humiliated and no desire to live anymore. However, despite the revelation, Sermak said the actress still loved her daughter.

Sermak could not wrap her head around the reason for the tell-all book as she made it known that she felt B.D loved her mother greatly, and Davis loved her child more than anything in the world.

After the big revelation, Davis and B.D remained estranged until 1989, when the former received heartbreaking information. Davis was told her cancer, which had been in remission for five years, had returned, and she had a few days to live.


The actress accepted the news and called for her son, Michael, and Lawyer, Harold, but she never forgave B.D and never reached out to her. Sermak was holding Davis' hand on October 6, 1989, when she died aged 81.

Upon her death, Davis left her estate worth almost a million dollars to her son, Michael, and a close friend. B.D was left out, alongside her sister, Margot, and Davis' grandsons, Ashley and Justin.

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