Friday, October 29, 2010

Cigarettes were to Bette Davis what a bottle of Southern Comfort was to Janis Joplin or a half-unbuttoned black shirt is to Tom Ford: a mundane prop elevated by sheer force of personality to the level of a stylized autograph. Davis smoked eminently onscreen - Charlotte Vale's romanticized oral fixation in Now, Voyager; the pungent fumes of Margo Channing - but, if anything, she was ever better known in real life as the world's most famous nicotine addict. Only Winston Churchill and his cigars could come close, but Davis takes the prize if only because she inhaled.

Ed Sikov, Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis (332)

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