Bette Davis

Bette Davis

The forties is widely regarded as one of the golden eras of Hollywood and it produced some of the biggest names ever to grace the big screen.

So we take a look back at the decade of style and grace and pick out some of the decade's most successful stars.

Bette Davis: was a two time Academy Award winning American actress who led the way for women on the big screen.

Despite being knocked back by Hollywood in the early thirties by the end of the decade she had bagged two Oscars, for Dangerous and Jezebel, and was one of the most respected actresses working in Hollywood.

Throughout the forties she scored five consecutive Oscar nominations for Dark Victory (1940), The Letter (1941), The Little Foxes (1942), Now Voyager (1943) and Mr Skettington (1944).

By this time she was Hollywood's highest paid actress and she used her wealth and her influence to make a major contribution to the World War II effort, helping to organise the Hollywood Canteen for soldiers that were passing through L.A.

She continued to act throughout the fifties and sixties and by 1962 she became the first actor to notch up ten Oscar nominations.

Humphrey Bogart: Humphrey Bogart is one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen, hard to believe that he just received one Oscar for his efforts.

In a career that spanned over thirty years he made a massive seventy five feature films moving from the heist movie genre to war and romance.

By the forties, after a string of B movies, he began to make real impact on the big screen with the likes of  High Sierra (1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and of course Casablanca in 1942.

Casablanca proved to be Bogart's catapult to stardom as he was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar as well as becoming the highest paid actor.

Throughout the decade he went on to have a successful on screen partnership with Lauren Bacall as they starred together in To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), they went on to marry.

Rita Hayworth: her career kicked off in the mid thirties but it was the forties that saw Hayworth's career peak.

During her years on the big screen she was a sex symbol as well as an actress and it was role in Cover Girl and Gilda that really cemented this image.

It was Gilda that produced one of the most iconic images of the actress in a black satin dress performing a legendary one-glove striptease.

She became a movie icon and the ultimate femme fatale with this performance.

Cary Grant: the British actor was Hollywood's Mr Smooth and he enjoyed a career that spanned thirty years and she him star alongside some of Hollywood's most beautiful women.

Producing some of cinema's most popular movie Grant is widely recognised as one of cinema's greatest male stars of all time.

1940 brought him one of his most famous movie roles in the form of The Philadelphia Story, which saw him star alongside Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart.

Grant was one of the most used actors by legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock starring in Suspicion and Notorious during the decade, he would go on to work with the directors in North By Northwest and To Catch A Thief.

Ingrid Bergman: had made a name for herself in Swedish movies before making a success of herself in Hollywood.

During her career she won three Oscars but is best known for her role as Isla Lund in Casablanca.

After starring in Casablanca in 1942 her career soared and she was nominated for an Oscar just a year later for her performance in For Whom the Bell Tolls, winning the following year for her role in Gaslight.

But it was her relationship with Italian director Roberto Rossellini that had a damaging effect on her career and was one of Hollywood's biggest scandals.

Whilst working with the filmmaker, whom she had been a fan of, on the movie Stromboli the pair fell in love and Bergman became pregnant, at the time Bergman was married to Dr. Petter Lindström with whom she had a daughter.

The affair and out of wedlock pregnancy caused scandal in America. It wasn't until the mid fifties that she returned to Hollywood.

James Stewart: was one of Hollywood's most versatile actors of the decade as he moved between  westerns, thrillers, comedy and biographies.

The turn of the decade saw him get his hands on Oscar, having been nominated back in 1939, for his performance in The Philadelphia Story.

He was nominated again for his most famous role of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life in 1946.

Throughout his career he picked up five Oscar nominations and was named the third Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.

Lauren Bacall: burst onto the movie scene in 1944 at the tender age of twenty. She became an icon of fashion and the big screen and is still acting today.

1944's To Have and Have Not was the aspiring actress' debut big screen performance alongside Humphrey Bogart.

Her performance is widely recognised as one of the best on-screen debuts in film history propelling her to fame.

It was also Bacall's relationship with co-star Bogart that caught all the headlines. Despite being married to Mayo Methot at the time Bogart began a relationship with Bacall just a few weeks into the To Have and Have Not shoot.

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

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