Davis Leaves $1.29m
Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday November 8, 1989
NEW YORK, Tuesday: The actress Bette Davis left her daughters and her two grandsons out of her nearly $US1 million ($A1.29 million) estate, according to a will filed for probate today. The bulk of the estate is split between her son and a close friend.
Davis, who died of cancer at the age of 81 in France on October 6, had been estranged from her daughter, Barbara Davis Hyman, since Hyman's 1985 book, My Mother's Keeper.
Hyman wrote that Davis had been "an abusive, domineering and hateful mother", and "a grotesque alcoholic" largely responsible for her own mistreatment by some of her three husbands. Hyman's two sons, Ashley and Justin, also received no bequest. Davis's adopted daughter, Margot Mosher Merrill, is mentally retarded and is in an institution.
Judge Renee Roth directed Hyman to notify the court by December 5 if she plans to contest the will.
The beneficiaries of Davis's estate include her adopted son, Michael Woodman Merrill, who receives about half the total $US600,000 ($A772,020) to$US1 million estate.
Kathryn Sermack, a friend and secretary who lived with Davis in her Los Angeles apartment, also gets about half the estate.