Bette was born in 1908 in Massachusetts. Her career started after she graduated from high school when she enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School.
She started out in plays during the 1920's and in 1930 was hired by Universal.
Despite the initial interest from Universal after one movie 'The Bad Sister' they let her go, she then went on to sign with Warner Brothers in 1932.
Her first movie with them was 'The Silent Voice' was was a big hit, and on the back of this success she was loaned out to RKO for 'Of Human Bondage', which was another smash.
She won her first oscar for 'Dangerous' in 1935 and again for 'Jezebel' in 1938, after this she sued Warner Brothers for not giving her enough lead roles that an oscar winning actress should have. She lost the lawsuit, but her roles did increase.
In 1950 she starred in 'All About Eve' which got her another oscar nomination.
After this time, the roles starting drying up. She appeared in 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane' in 1962 alongside Joan Crawford.
She then made a small transition to T.V work, but eventually retired in the early 1980's after suffering a stroke.