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Today Davis is among a star-studded lineup of Hollywood‘s finest as her performance in 1978’s Death on the Nile, which airs from 3.45pm on BBC Two. Davis takes to the screen alongside the likes of Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, Maggie Smith, David Niven, Mia Farrow and Angela Lansbury. The Agatha Christie crime-mystery follows Poirot and his attempts to solve the murder of spoilt American heiress Linnet Ridgeway, who has been killed during a Nile cruise.

Poirot, however, is faced with a difficult task as everyone above the board has a reason for killing Ridgeway.

Davis was nominated for an incredible 11 Best Actress Academy awards, clinching the title in 1935 and 1938 for Dangerous and Jezebel respectively.

While Davis became one of Hollywood’s most cherished performers, her career was almost halted altogether following an infamous row with Warner Bros in the early Thirties.

The row centred upon Davis’ desire to refuse certain roles Warner Bros offered her, something she eventually took a stand again.

According to Harper’s Bazaar in 2020, if an actor or actress turned down a role offered by their contracted studio they would face consequences that would impact their career.

The report noted that stars would sign a contract with one studio, meaning they were unable to collect work from others.

The only exception to these, it was claimed, was when executives could loan out actors for other projects.

Biography reported that studios would also be able to put an actor in at last minute if they knew a film was set to flop, in the hope their appearance would generate greater interest.

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Davis was signed to Warner Bros in the early Thirties, but became uneasy with the studio in the years that followed, with the American ruffling feather for refusing to star in flicks such as Mildred Pierce.

But this sparked a major row with Warner Bros and saw the actor take them to court for the right to reject films.

While it was unsuccessful, Davis’ fight saw her move to England for a period while unable to collect work, only to return back to the US and work again on a greater salary.

Davis’ impact on the Hollywood film industry remained heralded, including by her peers, which later included Oscar starlet Meryl Streep.

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Davis was signed to Warner Bros in the early Thirties, but became uneasy with the studio in the years that followed, with the American ruffling feather for refusing to star in flicks such as Mildred Pierce.

But this sparked a major row with Warner Bros and saw the actor take them to court for the right to reject films.

While it was unsuccessful, Davis’ fight saw her move to England for a period while unable to collect work, only to return back to the US and work again on a greater salary.

Davis’ impact on the Hollywood film industry remained heralded, including by her peers, which later included Oscar starlet Meryl Streep.

Streep is often compared to Davis for her range of acting styles, and when receiving the Bette Davis Foundation’s first lifetime achievement award, the actor complimented it.

She said: “My first memory of Bette Davis is a powerful image of an image burning on a small screen.

“For me, Bette Davis stood out from other actresses because of her signal audacity.

“How Miss Davis defied Warner Bros. in her determination for better scripts and how her career suffered at times for that defiance. But the audacity I’m talking about is the bravery of her work.

“Bette Davis seemed willing, she even had an appetite, for parts that were conventionally unappealing.

“She changed the requirement that actresses in the movies invariably be likeable or attractive. She lifted the veil of appropriate behaviour in women to expose what was scary, unexpected, or ugly—in other words, to do what was appropriate for the character.”

She added in 2016: “Along with all the actresses of my generation, I am a direct beneficiary of Bette Davis’s will and determination.

“Because of her hard-fought achievements, we all had it a little easier.”

Davis also made Oscars history when she became the first person to earn five consecutive acting nominations, a feat matched only by Greer Garson.

Death on the Nile airs today from 3.45pm on BBC Two.