Books: Mother Goddam

THE LONELY LIFE (315 pp.)—Bette Davis—Pufnam ($5.75).

MARLENE DIETRICH'S ABC (189 pp.)—Marlene Dietrich—Doubleday ($3.95).

When Bette Davis first arrived in Hollywood, she was (by her own account) a mousy, 22-year-old virgin with knobby knees, a pelvic slouch, and cold blue bugeyes that radiated intelligence. "She has as much sex appeal," lamented her first studio boss, "as Slim Summerville." But in three overworked decades and some 70 overwrought roles, Bette earned two Oscars, $3,000,000. and a reputation as the first U.S.-born actress to make the movie moguls respect talent and independence in a star. In...

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