Bette Davis’ husband dies at 35


Aug. 25, 1943: Arthur Farnsworth, husband of actress Bette Davis, died at Hollywood Hospital of a skull fracture he suffered in a sidewalk fall on Hollywood Boulevard.

“The film star, who had taken an adjoining room at the hospital to be near her husband, was hysterical with grief and under a physician’s care,” The Times reported. A Hollywood police report stated that Farnsworth, 35, a former commercial airline pilot, was found unconscious about 4 p.m. along the 6200 block of the boulevard.

Davis told authorities that her husband had “fallen down the stairs two months earlier at their New Hampshire home while running to answer the phone,” the newspaper said.


“An autopsy disclosed that Farnsworth had a blood clot on the right side of his skull, which apparently caused a pressure that made him dizzy and precipitated” the fatal fall, The Times reported. “It is believed the injury was suffered in the stair fall.”

Farnsworth and Davis, who were friends in high school, eloped in December 1940, surprising Hollywood.