Davis’ daughter, Barbara also starred in a small role in the film “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” While she was only 16 at the time, Barbara was very eager on an older man named Jeremy Hyman, who worked as an executive for the production company.
Despite their age difference, Barbara and Jeremy dated for a few months, and with her mother’s permission, Barbara married Jeremy Hyman, who was 14 years her senior. Yes, even in the 60s, it was unusual for girls to get married that young, but the couple had two kids and stayed together until Hyman’s death in 2017.
Bette's Role Did Wonders
The film did well to mirror, not only Bette's own persona but also Hollywood's infatuation with youthful actresses. Davis and Crawford played two aging sisters, former actresses who have been shunned by Hollywood for their age and forced by circumstance to live in a decrepit Hollywood mansion.
It's almost autobiographical apart from the two main characters being sisters. Though, to be honest, they could pass as sisters — they have the same nose, eyebrows, and eye color! Of course, she played an exaggerated role as a paranoid sister. But it’s exactly this compelling and bizarre spectacle that did wonders for her career.
Despite their disdain for each other, Joan and Bette did speak highly of each other's work and recognized each other's talents. It's impressive — commendable, really — that they were able to appreciate each other's craft even while disliking each other personally.
Joan would say that Bette was a "fascinating actress" but that they could never be friends. Bette would acknowledge that Joan was a decent and professional actress but found her to be vain and superficial. Little did they know that one day, their feud would be turned into a limited series by Ryan Murphy that's been aptly titled "Feud."
Ever the jester, Bette decided to place an ad in "Variety" magazine with a heading titled "Situation wanted, women – artists." The ad read: "Mother of three, divorcee. American. Thirty years of experience as an actress in Motion Pictures. Mobile still, and more affable than rumor would have it. Wants steady employment in Hollywood."
It was 1962 and everyone knew it must have been Bette that placed the ad, which she said was intended as a joke. Fortunately, it worked, and Bette's career made a steady comeback over the years. If only getting an acting job today was as simple as posting an ad in the newspaper!
Back on Screen
Two years after placing her peculiar ad in the magazine, Bette went on to star in a dual role, as evil twin sisters in "Dead Ringer." Incredibly, this was her second time playing a dual role, the first one being in the movie "A Stolen Life." The role proved to be perfect for Bette and it was a welcome respite to see her perform on-screen again.
It is her attitude toward her profession, and her ability to perform complex, dramatic roles that may once again put Bette on the map. That same year, Bette would appear in the romantic drama, "Where Love Has Gone", however, filming was hampered by heated arguments between Davis and Hayward.