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Lauren Bacall Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (65)  | Personal Quotes (29)  | Salary (5)

Overview (5)

Born in The Bronx, New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameBetty Joan Perske
Nicknames The Look
Betty
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She was the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary. They divorced when she was five and she rarely saw her father after that.

As a school girl, she originally wanted to be a dancer, but later switched gears to head into acting. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, after attending She was educated at Highland Manor, a private boarding school in Tarrytown, New York (through the generosity of wealthy uncles), and then at Julia Richman High School, which enabled her to get her feet wet in some off-Broadway productions.

Out of school, she entered modeling and, because of her beauty, appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, one of the most popular magazines in the US. The wife of famed director Howard Hawks spotted the picture in the publication and arranged with her husband to have Lauren take a screen test. As a result, which was entirely positive, she was given the part of Marie Browning in To Have and Have Not (1944), a thriller opposite Humphrey Bogart, when she was just 19 years old. This not only set the tone for a fabulous career but also one of Hollywood's greatest love stories (she married Bogart in 1945). It was also the first of several Bogie-Bacall films.

After 1945's Confidential Agent (1945), Lauren received second billing in The Big Sleep (1946) with Bogart. The mystery, in the role of Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, was a resounding success. Although she was making one film a year, each production would be eagerly awaited by the public. In 1947, again with her husband, Lauren starred in the thriller Dark Passage (1947). The film kept movie patrons on the edge of their seats. The following year, she starred with Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and Lionel Barrymore in Key Largo (1948). The crime drama was even more of a nail biter than her previous film.

In 1950, Lauren starred in Bright Leaf (1950), a drama set in 1894. It was a film of note because she appeared without her husband - her co-star was Gary Cooper. In 1953, Lauren appeared in her first comedy as Schatze Page in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). The film, with co-stars Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, was a smash hit all across the theaters of America.

After filming Designing Woman (1957), which was released in 1957, Humphrey Bogart died on January 14 from throat cancer. Devastated at being a widow, Lauren returned to the silver screen with The Gift of Love (1958) in 1958 opposite Robert Stack. The production turned out to be a big disappointment. Undaunted, Lauren moved back to New York City and appeared in several Broadway plays to huge critical acclaim. She was enjoying acting before live audiences and the audiences in turn enjoyed her fine performances.

Lauren was away from the big screen for five years, but she returned in 1964 to appear in Shock Treatment (1964) and Sex and the Single Girl (1964). The latter film was a comedy starring Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis. In 1966, Lauren starred in Harper (1966) with Paul Newman and Julie Harris, which was one of former's signature films.

Alternating her time between films and the stage, Lauren returned in 1974's Murder on the Orient Express (1974). The film, based on Agatha Christie's best-selling book was a huge hit. It also garnered Ingrid Bergman her third Oscar. Actually, the huge star-studded cast helped to ensure its success. Two years later, in 1976, Lauren co-starred with John Wayne in The Shootist (1976). The film was Wayne's last - he died from cancer in 1979. In late 1979, Lauren appeared with her good friend, James Garner, in a double episode, The Rockford Files: Lions, Tigers, Monkeys and Dogs (1979), of his Rockford Files series.

For Lauren's next film role, she appeared in a large ensemble film, HealtH (1980), which again paired her with James Garner, and in 1981, she played an actress being stalked by a crazed admirer in The Fan (1981). The thriller was absolutely fascinating with Lauren in the lead role, again playing opposite her good friend James Garner, making three straight screen roles with Lauren opposite James Garner. After that production, Lauren was away from films again, this time for seven years. In the interim, she again appeared on the stages of Broadway. When she returned, it was for the filming of 1988's Appointment with Death (1988) and Mr. North (1988). After 1990's Misery (1990) and several made for television films, Lauren appeared in 1996's My Fellow Americans (1996), a comedy romp with Jack Lemmon and James Garner as two ex-presidents and their escapades. In 1997, Lauren appeared in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), in one of the best roles of her later career, opposite Barbra Streisand, where Lauren was nominated as Best Actress in a Supporting Role by both the Academy and the Golden Globes, winning the Golden Globe for the role.

Despite her age and failing health, she made a small-scale comeback in the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (2004) ("Howl's Moving Castle," based on the young-adult novel by Diana Wynne Jones) as the Witch of the Waste, and several other roles through 2008, but thereafter acting endeavors for the beloved actress became increasingly rare. Lauren Bacall died on 12 August 2014, five weeks short of her 90th birthday.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson / edited by TrivWhiz

Spouse (2)

Jason Robards (4 July 1961 - 10 September 1969) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Humphrey Bogart (21 May 1945 - 14 January 1957) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Deep husky voice
Cat-like green eyes
Easy, but direct and intelligent way of speaking.

Trivia (65)

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#6) (1995).
Ranked #20 in the AFI's top 25 Actress Legends.
Ranked #11 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1997).
Bacall lived in the same New York apartment building (The Dakota) as Beatle John Lennon when he was shot and later died on December 8, 1980. When interviewed on the subject in a recent British television program hosted by former model Twiggy, Bacall said she had heard the gunshot but assumed that it was a car tire bursting or a vehicle backfiring.
Was crowned "Miss Greenwich Village" in 1942.
Shortly after Humphrey Bogart's death, she announced her engagement to Frank Sinatra to the press. Sinatra promptly backed out.
Her screen persona was totally based and modeled after Howard Hawks's wife, Slim. She even uses her name in To Have and Have Not (1944).
Those close to her called her by her real first name, "Betty".
Still undiscovered, Bacall volunteered as a hostess at the New York chapter of the Stage Door Canteen, working Monday nights when theaters were closed.
Having lost her job as a showroom model and quit acting school for lack of funds, the teenage Bacall found work as a Broadway theater usher. George Jean Nathan voted her the prettiest usher of the 1942 season in the pages of "Esquire".
The only child of William Perske and Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, Lauren's father, William Perske, was born in New Jersey to Jewish immigrants from the Russian Empire. Lauren's mother, Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, was a Romanian Jewish immigrant. Her father was a medical instrument salesman and her mother was a secretary. When she was six years old, Bacall's parents divorced, after which Lauren rarely saw her father. Her mother modified her own maiden name and adopted the surname Bacal. Lauren added an extra "l" after becoming an actress to avoid the name rhyming with "crackle".
Is one of the initial "Rat Pack" with Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Swifty Lazar (aka "Swifty" Lazar) and their close friends.
Won a Tony Award for her role as Margo Channing in the Broadway production of "Applause", a musical based on the movie, All About Eve (1950). It was presented by Walter Matthau.
With late husband Humphrey Bogart, had a kind of vocal disorder named after her. "Bogart-Bacall syndrome"' (or BBS) is a form of muscle tension dysphonia most common in professional voice users (actors, singers, television/radio presenters, etc.) who habitually use a very low speaking pitch. BBS is more common among women than men and has been blamed on "social pressure on professional women to compete with men in the business arena".
Had starred, with her husband Humphrey Bogart, on the syndicated radio program "Bold Venture" (1951-52). Her character's name was Sailor Duval.
Actress Kathleen Turner had often been compared to Bacall. When Turner and Bacall met, Turner reportedly introduced herself to Bacall by saying "Hi, I'm the young you.".
Her autobiography, "By Myself", won a National Book Award in 1980.
Before her death she was the only surviving legend mentioned in a popular phrase from Madonna's 1990 #1 hit song "Vogue".
Bacall's marriage to Humphrey Bogart took place at "Malabar Farm", the Pleasant Valley (Richland County), Ohio home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. Landmarked since 1939, "Malabar Farm" is now a state park of the same name.
Had won two Tony Awards as Best Actress (Musical): in 1970, for her role as Margo Channing in "Applause", a musical based on the movie, All About Eve (1950); and in 1981, for "Woman of the Year", also based on a movie of the same name, Woman of the Year (1942). Her Tony for "Applause" was presented by Walter Matthau.
A well respected actress for the past sixty years, she had only been nominated once for an Academy Award. She was 72 when she was nominated for The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).
Her appearance on a cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine at 18 years of age led to her first film role; she was spotted by the wife of director Howard Hawks, who gave her a screen test and cast her in To Have and Have Not (1944). The role was actually based on and named for Hawks' wife at that time, Nancy Gross "Slim" Hawks. She repeated this "tribute" in Ready to Wear (1994), produced just a short time after "Slim" Hawks (name at the time of death: Nancy "Slim" Keith, Lady Keith) died, playing a character named Slim Chrysler, and released to theaters fifty years after the premier of To Have and Have Not (1944).
Was mentioned along with late husband Humphrey Bogart in the 1981 song "Key Largo" ("We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall").
Son Stephen H. Bogart was born on January 6, 1949. He was named after father Humphrey Bogart's character from To Have and Have Not (1944).
Daughter Leslie Bogart was born on August 23, 1952. She was named after actor Leslie Howard, who helped Humphrey Bogart get his breakthrough role in the play, The Petrified Forest (1936).
Son Sam Robards was born December 16, 1961 with second husband Jason Robards. Bacall's longtime friend Katharine Hepburn, was his godmother.
She made two movies with John Wayne, Blood Alley (1955) and The Shootist (1976). In the earlier film, during production, Bacall's husband at the time, Humphrey Bogart, was dying of throat cancer. When she made the latter film with Wayne, he had lost a lung to cancer twelve years earlier, which mirrored the fate of his character in the story.
According to her autobiography, "By Myself and Then Some", she was always very self-conscious about the size of her feet, which she describes as big even for a woman of her exceptional height.
In Italy, she was dubbed by Clelia Bernacchi at the beginning of her career, then in most cases by Lydia Simoneschi. Franca Dominici, Renata Marini and Anna Miserocchi also lent their voice to Bacall at some point.
She was 17 when she met and became close friends with Gregory Peck. She was an usherette at the time. They remained close until his death.
She was dismissed by Howard Hawks because she had a high nasal voice, but she spent two weeks developing her voice and, when she came back to visit Hawks two weeks later, she had a deep husky voice.
When Howard Hawks discovered her, he gave her the choice to work with either Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. Bacall was very tempted to work with Grant, but Hawks ended up casting her with Bogart in To Have and Have Not (1944), and one of Hollywood's greatest romances was started.
She was close friends with Dirk Bogarde. Bacall had visited him at his home in London the day before he died in May 1999.
At the funeral for her husband, Humphrey Bogart, she put a whistle in his coffin. It was a reference to the famous line she says to him in their first film together To Have and Have Not (1944): "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow.".
Campaigned for Harry S. Truman in the 1948 presidential election.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
She was awarded a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, California on January 10, 1997.
Humphrey Bogart campaigned for her to star alongside him as Laurel Gray in In a Lonely Place (1950), but the role was, instead, given to Gloria Grahame.
One of the auditoriums in Tuckwood cineplex in Belgrade, Serbia bears her name.
Was referenced in the stage and movie versions of the musical "Evita" in the song, "Rainbow High": "I'm their Savior! That's what they call me, so Lauren Bacall me. Anything goes!".
Was the second name entered on IMDB, just after Fred Astaire (nm0000001) and just before Brigitte Bardot (nm0000003).
Returned to work 6 months after giving birth to her daughter Leslie Bogart in order to begin filming How to Marry a Millionaire (1953).
According to her autobiography, "By Myself and Then Some", Bacall lost her virginity to future husband Humphrey Bogart at age 19 when they began an affair in February 1944.
Along with Veronica Lake, Julie London and Rita Hayworth, she was one of four inspirations that helped compose the character Jessica Rabbit.
Gave birth to her first child at age 24, a son Stephen H. Bogart on January 6, 1949. Child's father was her first husband, Humphrey Bogart.
Gave birth to her second child at age 27, a daughter Leslie Bogart on August 23, 1952. Child's father was her first husband, Humphrey Bogart.
Gave birth to her third child at age 37, a son Sam Robards on December 16, 1961. Child's father was her second [now ex] husband, Jason Robards.
She originally wanted and intended to be a dancer having attended ballet classes since infancy but in adolescence was drawn to acting.
She was educated at Highland Manor, a private boarding school in Tarrytown, New York (through the generosity of wealthy uncles), and later at Julia Richman High School in Manhattan.
Inspired by seeing Bette Davis in films, she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she went out with Kirk Douglas, who was there on a scholarship. As girls were not accepted for scholarships, she was forced to leave after a year and got a job modeling swim wear then gowns while in the evenings she worked as an usherette.
Following her death, she was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Howard Hawks put her under personal contract and changed her name to Lauren Bacall. In the mid-1940s he sold her contract to Warners. In the late 1940s Warners fined and suspended her for refusing to accept film roles they wanted her to do.
Made her New York stage debut in Johnny Two -by-Four in 1942.
Has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
Humphrey Bogart wanted her to be his leading lady in In a Lonely Place (1950) and Sabrina (1954).
Quit smoking cigarettes in the mid-1980s.
On August 29, 2018, she was honored with a day of her film work during the TCM Summer Under The Stars.
She expressed interest in playing Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967).
She has appeared in one film that has been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: The Big Sleep (1946).
On Broadway stage in 'Cactus Flower' for over 2 years.
'Applause', her first musical opened on Broadway in April 1970 to rave reviews and she won a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.
Alumna of the AADA (American Academy of Dramatic Arts), Class of 1942.
Educated at Julia Richman High School.

Personal Quotes (29)

I never believed marriage was a lasting institution. I thought that to be married for five years was to be married forever.
I was this flat-chested, big-footed, lanky thing.
I don't think being the only child of a single parent helped. I was always a little unsteady in my self-belief. Then there was the Jewish thing. I love being Jewish, I have no problem with it at all. But it did become like a scar, with all these people saying you don't look it.
I remember my oldest son, Steve, saying to me once, "I don't ever remember seeing you with an apron on." And I thought, "That's right, honey, you did not." That was his concept of what a mother should be.
I would hate now [2005] to be married. It does occur to me on occasion that, if I fall and hit my head, there will be no one to make the phone call. But who wants to think about that disaster? I'd prefer not to.
I am still working, I've never stopped and, while my health holds out, I won't stop.
I put my career in second place throughout both my marriages and it suffered. I don't regret it. You make choices. If you want a good marriage, you must pay attention to that. If you want to be independent, go ahead. You can't have it all.
Actors today go into TV, which I don't consider has a lot to do with acting. They only think of stardom. If you photograph well, that's enough. I have a terrible time distinguishing one from another. Girls wear their hair the same, and are much too anorexic-looking.
We live in an age of mediocrity. Stars today are not the same stature as Bogie [Humphrey Bogart], James Cagney, Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart [James Stewart].
A legend involves the past. I don't like categories. This one is great and that one is great. The word "great" stands for something. When you talk about a great actor, you're not talking about Tom Cruise. His whole behavior is so shocking. It's inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially, but I think it's kind of a sickness.
I'm a total Democrat. I'm anti-Republican. And it's only fair that you know it... I'm liberal. The L word!
[on Humphrey Bogart] Was he tough? In a word, no. Bogey was truly a gentle soul.
[on John Huston] He was about something.
I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
On imagination: Imagination is the highest kite that can fly.
[upon receiving her Honorary Oscar] A man at last!
Yes, I saw Twilight (2008) - my granddaughter made me watch it, she said it was the greatest vampire film ever. After the "film" was over I wanted to smack her across her head with my shoe, but I do not want a (tell-all) book called Grannie Dearest written on me when I die. So instead I gave her a DVD of Murnau's 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu (1922) and told her, "Now that's a vampire film!". And that goes for all of you! Watch Nosferatu instead!
It's been misspelt a lot. He decided on it. It's not "Bogey". He signed it with an "ie". And that's good enough for me.
A woman isn't complete without a man. But where do you find a man - a real man - these days?
[on receiving an honorary Oscar] The thought when I get home that I'm going to have a two-legged man in my room is so exciting.
You learn to cope with whatever you have to cope with. I spent my childhood in New York, riding on subways and buses. And you know what you learn if you're a New Yorker? The world doesn't owe you a damn thing,
[on filming her most famous scene, in To Have and Have Not (1944)] My hand was shaking, my head was shaking, the cigarette was shaking, I was mortified. The harder I tried to stop, the more I shook. I realized that one way to hold my trembling head still was to keep it down, chin low, almost to my chest, and eyes up at Bogart. It worked and turned out to be the beginning of The Look.
[on Bette Davis] Well, I must say that I always loved her. And I think that she - for me - was the best actress and the most exciting female star on the screen. I think her work will live forever. I think it's timeless. And as she got older, her talent did not diminish. I mean, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - she - it was a wonderful job of acting that she did. She looked like a fright, but that was the part. But she could convey almost anything. She was quite an extraordinary talent. And unfortunately, she didn't have an opportunity to do as much a she wanted to, but she was a woman who had to work. And I understand that better than most people do - that you have to work.
(on Shock Treatment (1964)) A nightmare!"
(on Confidential Agent (1945)) A very bad experience for Boyer and myself. He was wonderful. But Herman Shumlin, who directed, knew nothing about movies. He gave me terrible direction, if any. It was just a nightmare. Schumlin did nothing to help. The press killed me - after building me into this combination of Gabo and Dietrich and Mae West and God-knows-who. Sddenly I became this nothing. I spent the next 20 years building myself back up to where I had any confidence at all in what I could do.
(on Woman's World (1954)) Not a giant hit, but I got terrific reviews. Clifton Webb was Bogie's old friend, and Fred MacMurray was terrific; he was someone else who was never appreciated.
(on The Cobweb (1955)) We used to kid about that while making it; the movie was about the God-damned drapes. Vincente was a marvelous man, but totally visual. He was not so interested in actors.
(on Michael Curtiz) His great talent was moving the camera around. Bright Leaf (1950) was a joke, but I was thrilled to work with Cooper. Young Man, I thought was pretty good though Mike Curtiz was not the ideal director for the Bix Beiderbecke story.
[on accusations that she had imitated Marlene Dietrich in some of her early roles] I didn't think I was imitating anyone in particular, certainly not her. I was not a fan of hers... Dietrich had a gigantic ego, and boy you could see the light; she always had the right light on herself. Me, I never knew anything about light. I was stupid about that.

Salary (5)

To Have and Have Not (1944) $125 /week
Two Guys from Milwaukee (1946) $5,000
Woman's World (1954) $50,000
Shock Treatment (1964) $7 .500 / week
The Shootist (1976) $50,000

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