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Bette Davis and Gary Merrill Wage Custody Battle

Dec. 21, 1962 - Actor Gary Merrill (pictured left in 1950), 49, today won holiday season visitation rights with his 10-year-old son despite the protests of his divorced wife, actress Bette Davis (right). Superior Judge Allen T. Lynch ruled in Santa Monica, Calif., that Merrill may have the boy, Michael, visit him from 10 a.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. New Year’s Day in his rented home on Topanga Beach Road. Miss Davis, 54, who was in court with her daughter by a previous marriage, 15-year-old Barbara, labeled Merrill’s home a “Hollywood hangout where a great deal of illicit affairs have gone on from my knowledge and from hearsay.” Miss Davis and Mr. Merrill, divorced in 1960 after nearly 10 years of marriage, are embroiled in an ongoing court fight over Merrill’s visitation rights.


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