This is a replica of a prop oil painting of Bette Davis from "Mr. Skeffington," (Warner Bros., 1944.) rendered on canvas, depicting a beautiful and idealized portrait of the star as "Fanny Trellis Skeffington." Seen throughout the film, this portrait plays an important role in conveying "Mr. Skeffington's" (Claude Rains) undying love for "Fanny," and the movie actually ends with a close-up on it: the two leads (now as an elderly couple) walk up the staircase as they dissolve into a shot that slowly zooms into the portrait -- then end of film! Interestingly, both Davis and Rains were nominated for Oscars in this sentimental tearjerker -- in the categories of 'Best Actress in a Leading Role' and 'Best Actor in a Supporting Role,' respectively.
Work only: 36" x 24"
Perc Westmore, make-up artist on this film, obtained this work after production wrapped; Westmore then willed the painting to his stepson who was also a Hollywood make-up artist, Robert Leslie Hickman (known as "Beau"). Hickman then willed this piece to his heirs who consigned it to auction. At some point, the canvas was substantially trimmed down. In the film, the entire chair "Fanny" sits on as well as the fan she holds in her left hand can be seen, but now those sections are gone. The family speculates that Westmore, himself, had it trimmed shortly after receiving it in 1944, as they remember it always being this smaller size.
Seen in the center picture is Vincent Sherman, the director of “Mr. Skeffington,” and actress, Francine York, who hosted a celebration of his 98th birthday.