Sunday, May 30, 2010

Early Homes of Bette Davis

Bette Davis

When Bette Davis left the east coast for Hollywood she brought her mother Ruthie and sister Bobby along with her. The three of them, for whatever reason, couldn't seem to stay put for very long. Davis and her family moved to several different residences during her early days in Hollywood and below are a few of the locations the Davis family spent time.

9918 Toluca Lake Avenue

In April of 1932, Bette, Ruthie and Bobby moved into the large Tudor home seen above, which belonged to actor Charles Farrell. The house, located in the posh Toluca Lake neighborhood, was just around the corner from the Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank where Davis worked and had a yard that lead down to the Toluca Lake. The Davis's didn't stay in this nice home for very long. By June, the family was moving to a house at 135 Zuma, in Malibu.

1217 Horn Ave, West Hollywood

After Bette Davis was married, Davis, her husband Ham, along with Ruthie and Bobby, moved into a house at 1217 Horn Avenue, in West Hollywood. According to the book Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis, the "house actually comprised two buildings - as Bette describes it, 'a white, ivy-covered little English house' in front for the newlyweds and a guesthouse in the back for the bride's mother and sister." As you can see in my photo above, 1217 Horn Avenue is currently a vacant lot.

906 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills

Bette's sister Bobby would suffer a nervous breakdown and eventually move back east with Ruthie. Bette and Ham would continue to move around town. One of these residences was a large home on Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills - right across the street from the Beverly Hills Hotel. Above and below are photos showing the home at this address today. I'm not sure if this is the same building that Bette lived in or if it was torn down and replaced with a new building - but this is what you will find at this address today.

906 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills

From the Beverly Drive home, Bette and Ham would next move into a house at 5346 Franklin Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood. Below is a photo I took showing the home today. According to the real estate website Trulia, the home was built in 1911 and is a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom house - not really the big home you would expect Bette Davis to live in.

5346 Franklin Avenue, Los Feliz

1700 Coldwater Canyon, Beverly Hills

I'm sure Bette and Ham moved several more times after the house on Franklin Avenue. By 1937, Bette and Ham moved into a home at 1700 Coldwater Canyon, in Beverly Hills. According to the book Dark Victory, the Coldwater Canyon home was, "a hacienda-style house complete with a swimming pool, tennis court, and an acre of land." Above is a photo looking at the entrance to the home. As you can see, whoever the current owners are, they have let the shrubbery grow to block the view of the home. By the time work would start on the film Jezebel, Bette was still living in this home but Ham was spending most of his time in New York.

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