I’m a fan of the old Hollywood greats, and this book tells an untold story of the wonderful Miss Bette Davis.
This book came up on my Audible feed and I instantly bought it. Kathryn Sermak knew Bette Davis for a good ten years. First, as part of her staff and then becoming her assistant. Ultimately, she became close friends with the iconic Miss Davis and was by her side for the last part of her life.
The book documents the relationship the pair had leading up to the starlet’s death in October 1989, and tells the tale of a glamorous movie star life whilst also unveiling a new side to Bette Davis that many people might not have known, or presumed, about.
Kathryn Sermak’s book steps away from the already-told tales, such as the conflict with Joan Crawford during the filming of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and instead shares anecdotes of her life behind the camera. During this time, Bette was diagnosed with breast cancer, suffered four strokes, and a backstab from her own daughter.
In 1985, her daughter B. D. Hyman released an outrageous (and often disputed) autobiography of her relationship with her mother. Before the release of ‘Miss D and Me’, the only public acknowledgement of the book from Bette came in the form of a note to B.D. in her own book in 1987. Sermak’s book tells of the moment Davis found out about her daughter’s book and the effect it had on her.
In the book, Bette Davis is shown to be ever the professional. Taking serious determination to run through her lines, to focusing on every last detail of a family meal, she was always determined to show herself in the best light. But she was also stern at times, and not afraid to confront those who dared.
‘Miss D and Me’ is a story which has been in the works for more than 30 years, and it’s an honest and beautiful story of an unlikely, and at times dependable, relationship between Bette Davis and Kathryn Sermak.
It’s a great read, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the Hollywood icon – particularly about what she was like off-camera.
The book is available now to buy and is also available in audiobook, as narrated by Kathryn herself.