89 (passed away Aug. 12th, 2014)
Sep. 16th, 1924
New York City, New York, USA
5' 8 1/2
Lauren Bacall's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. Her parents were middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary. They divorced when she was five. When she was a school girl, Lauren originally wanted to be a dancer, but later, she became enthralled with acting, so she switched gears to head into that field. She had studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York after high school, which enabled her to get her feet wet in some off-Broadway productions.
Once out of school, Lauren 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 the great 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 (I), 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 (I). 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 (I). In 1966, Lauren starred in Harper (1966) with Paul Newman (I) and Julie Harris (I), 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 (I) 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 (I) in The Shootist (1976). The film was Wayne's last - he died from cancer in 1979.
In 1981, Lauren played an actress being stalked by a crazed admirer in The Fan (1981). The thriller was absolutely fascinating with Lauren in the lead role. 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 Mr. North (1988). After Misery (1990), in 1990, and several made for television films, Lauren appeared in 1996's My Fellow Americans (1996). It was a wonderful comedy romp with Jack Lemmon (I) and James Garner as two ex-presidents and their escapades.
Despite her advanced age and deteriorating health, she made a small-scale comeback in the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Hauru no ugoku shiro (2004) ("Howl's Moving Castle," based on the young-adult novel by Diana Wynne Jones) as the Witch of the Waste, but future endeavors for the beloved actress are increasingly rare.
- Actress 'Kathleen Turner (I)' (qv) has often been compared to Bacall. When Turner and Bacall met, Turner reportedly introduced herself to Bacall by saying "Hi, I'm the young you."
- 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".
- Daughter Leslie Bogart was born August 23, 1952. She was named after actor 'Leslie Howard (I)' (qv), who helped 'Humphrey Bogart' (qv) get his breakthrough role in the play, _The Petrified Forest (1936)_ (qv).
- Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 1724 Vine Street.
- She made two movies with 'John Wayne (I)' (qv), _Blood Alley (1955)_ (qv) and _The Shootist (1976)_ (qv). In the earlier film, during production, Bacall's husband at the time, 'Humphrey Bogart' (qv), 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.
- Has 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)_ (qv); and in 1981, for "Woman of the Year," also based on a movie of the same name, _Woman of the Year (1942)_ (qv). Her Tony for "Applause" was presented by 'Walter Matthau' (qv).
- Still undiscovered, Bacall volunteered as a hostess at the New York chapter of the Stage Door Canteen, working Monday nights when theaters were closed.
- She was dismissed by 'Howard Hawks' (qv) 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.