BETTE DAVIS | BAD SISTER (1931) Very early fashion portrait by Ray Jones


[Los Angeles]: Universal Pictures, 1931. Vintage original 8 x 10″ (20 x 25 cm.) black-and-white double weight glossy silver gelatin photo. Some rippling caused by attached paper blurb. Near fine.

Two original paper blurbs on verso describe the fashions she models in publicizing the film Gambling Daughters. There is a Ray Jones photographer ink stamp and Screen Play Secrets ink stamp, with handwritten information including dates of 1/28/31 and March 28, 1931.

This fashion portrait was taken of Bette Davis soon after her arrival in Hollywood and is one of the earliest known professional images of the soon-to-become queen of the screen. It is for her very first film, originally titled What a Flirt, then (as this photo blurb describes) Gambling Daughters, but was finally released as Bad Sister.

Supremely unsure of herself and her appearance, she would learn the ropes in supporting roles at Universal for a year and then move on to the greener pastures at Warner Brothers the next year. Still, even with her unsureness she appears as strong and defiant as ever in this Ray Jones portrait.

Photo hand-coded BDF 9.

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