She ruled as queens and empresses, she was the tempestuous heart of love triangles, and she didn’t balk at playing an older character or a nasty woman — that’s right, she’s Bette Davis, and her historical costume movie roles are legendary. With her trademark pencil-thin eyebrows and those piercing eyes, Davis made her mark on screen.
Julie Marsden in Jezebel (1938)
Louise Elliott in The Sisters (1938)
Carlota of Mexico in Juarez (1939)
Charlotte Lovell in The Old Maid (1939)
Queen Elizabeth in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes in All This, and Heaven Too (1940)
Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes (1941)
Fanny Trellis Skeffington in Mr. Skeffington (1944)
Miss Lilly Moffat in The Corn Is Green (1945)
Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen (1955)
Empress Catherine the Great in John Paul Jones (1959)
Mrs. Van Schuyler in Death on the Nile (1987)
What’s your favorite Bette Davis historical costume role?