Film View: Lauren Bacall Was & Is a Gift of Beauty, Brilliance, Truth & Love

lauren-bacall-dead-89 photo

This is an outline story of Lauren Bacall’s life. I hope presented in an unique & intriguing way. She lived the fullest of lives. I’ve known her since I first was able to watch TV & to see her movies especially the early ones with Humphrey Bogart. I love everything I have seen Lauren Bacall in. Her sexy low voice was an attraction to me. My favorite line she spoke during a rather sultry moment and Bogie’s response was priceless:

bacall film 2 have & have not

Slim: You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow. 

Steve lets out a subtle wolf call combo Parrot whistle.

You Know How To Whistle [to have and have not]

Lauren Bacall, born Betty Joan Perske; September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014) was an American actress of film, stage, and musical theatre, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks. She began her career as a model.

Lauren Bacall appeared with Bogart in the film noir genre movies:

To Have and Have Not (1944) [She first emerged as a leading lady]
The Big Sleep (1946)
Dark Passage (1947)
Key Largo (1948)

b & b 1

Bacall’s comedy roles

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe
Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck

Bacall worked on Broadway in musicals

Applause (1970) Earned Her A Tony Award
Woman of the Year (1981) Earned Her A Tony Award

The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) Her performance in the movie  earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination


In 1999, Bacall was ranked 20th out of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars list by the American Film Institute.

In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”

Bacall died on August 12, 2014, at the age of 89, after suffering a stroke.

Early life

Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in the Bronx, New York, later legally changed her surname to Bacall. Both her parents were Jewish. Her mother emigrated from Romania through Ellis Island and her father was born in New Jersey to Polish-born parents. Other sources refer to her mother’s family as German-Romanian and her father as originating from Alsace.

laurel bacall gorgeous

She was educated at the expense of wealthy uncles at a private boarding school founded by philanthropist Eugene Heitler Lehman, named The Highland Manor Boarding School for Girls, in Tarrytown, New York, and at Julia Richman High School in Manhattan.

Through her father, she was a first cousin of Shimon Peres the ninth President of Israel. Peres has stated, “In 1952 or 1953 I came to New York… Lauren Bacall called me, said that she wanted to meet, and we did. We sat and talked about where our families came from, and discovered that we were from the same family… but I’m not exactly sure what our relation is… It was she who later said that she was my cousin, I didn’t say that”.

Her parents divorced when she was five; she later took the Romanian form of her mother’s last name, Bacall. She no longer saw her father and formed a very close bond with her mother, who came to live in California after Bacall became a movie star.

bacall is hot



As a teenage fashion model, she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar (the cover has since been described as ‘iconic’), as well as in magazines such as Vogue. She was noted for her “cat-like grace, tawny blonde hair and blue-green eyes”.

In 1941, Bacall took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she was classmates with Kirk Douglas, while working as a theatre usher and fashion model.

She made her acting debut on Broadway in 1942, at age 17, as a walk-on in Johnny 2 X 4.

Lauren_bacall young

According to Bacall’s autobiography, she and a girlfriend won an opportunity in 1940 to meet her idol Bette Davis at Davis’s hotel. Years later, Davis visited Bacall backstage to congratulate her on her performance in Applause, a musical based on the film All About Eve in which Davis had starred. Davis told Bacall, “You’re the only one who could have played the part.”

While she was working as a fashion model, Howard Hawks’ wife Nancy spotted her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine and urged Hawks to have her take a screen test for To Have and Have Not. Hawks had asked his secretary to find out more about her, but the secretary misunderstood and sent her a ticket to Hollywood for the audition.

Hawks signed her to a seven-year personal contract, brought her to Hollywood, gave her US $100 salary a week, and began to manage her career. Hawks changed her first name to Lauren, and Perske adopted “Bacall”, a variant of her mother’s maiden name, as her screen surname. Nancy Hawks took Bacall under her wing. Nancy dressed Bacall stylishly and guided her in matters of elegance, manners and taste. Bacall was trained to make her voice lower, deeper and sexier. When Hawks brought her to Hollywood, he had her lower the pitch of her voice under the tutelage of a voice coach. In To Have and Have Not, Bacall’s character used Nancy Hawks’ nickname “Slim” and Bogart used Howard Hawks’ nickname “Steve”.



Bacall in her first movie, To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart, 1944

During screen tests for To Have and Have Not (1944), Bacall was nervous. To minimize her quivering, she pressed her chin against her chest and to face the camera, tilted her eyes upward. This effect became known as “The Look”, Bacall’s trademark.

“To Have and Have Not” Trailer

Humphrey Bogart was married when a  relationship was initiated with Bacall several weeks into shooting and they began seeing each other.

After To Have and Have Not, Bacall was seen opposite Charles Boyer in Confidential Agent (1945), which was poorly received by the critics.

Bacall appeared with Bogart in the noir films:


To Have and Have Not (1944) Expatriate American Harry Morgan helps to transport a Free French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sexy lounge singer. [Ernest Hemingway wrote the novel].

The Big Sleep (1946) Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

The Big Sleep Clip

Dark Passage (1947) A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence.

Key Largo(1948) John Huston’s melodramatic suspense film with Bogart and Edward G. Robinson.  A man visits his old friend’s hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.

She was cast opposite Gary Cooper in Bright Leaf (1950).

Lauren Bacall in the 1950s

lauren-bacall-1943 in shorts

Bacall turned down scripts she did not find interesting and thereby earned a reputation for being difficult. For her leads in a string of films, she received favorable reviews. In Young Man with a Horn (1950), co-starring Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, and Hoagy Carmichael, Bacall played a two-faced femme fatale. This movie is often considered the first big-budget jazz film.

During 1951–1952, Bacall co-starred with Bogart in the syndicated action-adventure radio series Bold Venture.

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) Bacall starred in the CinemaScope comedy , a runaway hit. Billed third under Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, Bacall got positive notices for her turn as the witty gold-digger, Schatze Page.

According to her autobiography, Bacall declined the coveted invitation from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to press her hand- and footprints in the theatre’s cemented forecourt at the Los Angeles premiere of the film.


The Petrified Forest, in 1955, a television version of Bogart’s own breakthrough film, was performed as a live installment of Producers’ Showcase, a weekly dramatic anthology, featuring Bogart as Duke Mantee, Henry Fonda as Alan, and Bacall as Gabrielle, the part originally played in the 1936 movie by Bette Davis. Bogart had no problem performing his role live since he had originally played the part on Broadway with the subsequent movie’s star Leslie Howard, who had secured a film career for Bogart by insisting that Warner Bros. cast him in the movie instead of Edward G. Robinson; Bogart and Bacall named their daughter “Leslie Howard Bogart” in gratitude.

bogie & bacall

Written on the Wind, directed by Douglas Sirk in 1956, is now considered a classic tear-jerker. Appearing with Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack, Bacall played a career woman whose life is unexpectedly turned around by a family of oil magnates.

Bacall wrote in her autobiography that she did not think much of the role. While struggling at home with Bogart’s battle with esophageal cancer, Bacall starred with Gregory Peck in Designing Woman. It was directed by Vincente Minnelli and released in New York on May 16, 1957, four months after Bogart’s death on January 14.

Bacall appeared in two more films in the 1950s:

The Gift of Love (1958) the Jean Negulesco-directed melodrama , which co-starred Robert Stack

North West Frontier (1959) the adventure film, which was a box office hit.

1960s and 1970s

Lauren Bacall headed to Broadway during the 1960s and 1970.

On Broadway she starred in:

Goodbye, Charlie (1959)

Cactus Flower (1965)

Applause (1970) She won a Tony Awards for her performances this show.

Woman of the Year (1981). And won a Tony Award for this show, two.

The few films Bacall made during this period were all-star vehicles such as

Sex and the Single Girl (1964) with Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood

Harper (1966) with Paul Newman, Shelley Winters, Julie Harris, Robert Wagner and Janet Leigh


Murder on the Orient Express (1974) [mystery novel by Agatha Christis, with an all-star cast, including Ingrid Bergman, Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Martin Balsam and Sean Connery.

In 1964, she appeared in two episodes of Stevens’ Mr. Broadway: first in “Take a Walk Through a Cemetery”, with then husband, Jason Robards, Jr., and later as Barbara Lake in the episode “Something to Sing About”, co-starring future co-star Balsam.

For her work in the Chicago theatre, Bacall won the Sarah Siddons Award in 1972 and again in 1984.

The Shootist (1976) she co-starred with John Wayne in his last picture, . The two became friends, despite significant political differences between them. They had previously worked together in Blood Alley(1955).

Later career

The 1980s, Bacall appeared in the poorly received star vehicle The Fan (1981)

Star-studded cast featured in Robert Altman’s H.E.A.L.T.H. (1980) With star-studded cast as Altman often did in a majority of his films when they were his films.

 Appointment with Death (1988)Michael Winner

In 1990, she had a small role in Misery, which starred Kathy Bates and James Caan.

In 1997, Bacall was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), her first nomination after a career span of more than fifty years. Bacall had already won a Golden Globe and was widely expected to win the Oscar, but lost in an upset to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient.

Bacall received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997.

In 1999, she was voted one of the 25 most significant female movie stars in history by the American Film Institute.

Her movie career saw something of a renaissance and she attracted respectful notices for her performances in high-profile projects.


Dogville (2003) with Nicole Kidman. A film I would place into the theatre of the absurd.

Birth (2004), with Nicole Kidman. She was a leading actor in Paul Schrader’s The Walker.

Lauren did commercials, the one I remember is for “Fancy Feast” but then who wouldn’t want to do an ad for little kitty cats. She did others.

In March 2006, Bacall was seen at the 78th Annual Academy Awards introducing a film montage dedicated to film noir.

She made a cameo appearance as herself on The Sopranos, in the April 2006 episode, “Luxury Lounge”, during which she was mugged by a masked hoodlum (played by Michael Imperioli [shame on you Michael]).

In September 2006, Bacall was awarded the first Katharine Hepburn Medal, which recognizes “women whose lives, work and contributions embody the intelligence, drive and independence of the four-time-Oscar-winning actress”, by Bryn Mawr College’s Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center.

She gave an address at the memorial service of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. at the Reform Club in London in June 2007. She finished her role in The Forger in 2009.lauren-bacall-dead-89

Bacall was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Honorary Academy Award. The award was presented at the inaugural Governors Awards on November 14, 2009.

In July 2013, Bacall expressed interest in taking the starring role in the film Trouble Is My Business.

In November, she joined the English dub voice cast for Studio Canal’s animated film Ernest & Celestine.

Her final role was in 2014: a guest vocal appearance in the twelfth season Family Guy episode “Mom’s the Word”.

Personal life
Relationships and family

May 21, 1945, Bacall married actor Humphrey Bogart. Their wedding and honeymoon took place at Malabar Farm, Lucas, Ohio, the country home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield, a close friend of Bogart. The wedding was held in the Big House.

Bacall was 20 and Bogart was 45; thus, she was nicknamed “Baby”. They remained married until Bogart’s death from esophageal cancer in 1957.

Pressed by interviewer Michael Parkinson to talk about her marriage to Bogart, and asked about her notable reluctance to do so, she replied that “being a widow is not a profession” [Now the is how CLASSY is defined].lauren-bacall

During the filming of The African Queen (1951), Bacall and Bogart became friends of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

She began to mix in non-acting circles, becoming friends with the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and the journalist Alistair Cooke.

In 1952, she gave campaign speeches for Democratic Presidential contender Adlai Stevenson.

Along with other Hollywood figures, Bacall was a staunch opponent of McCarthyism.


Shortly after Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall had a relationship with singer and actor Frank Sinatra. During an interview with Turner Classic Movies’ Robert Osborne, Bacall stated that she had ended the romance but in her autobiography, she wrote that Sinatra abruptly ended the relationship after becoming angry that the story of his proposal to Bacall had reached the press. When Bacall was out with her friend Irving Paul Lazar, they ran into the gossip columnist Louella Parsons, to whom Lazar revealed the details of the proposal. [My partner was friends and graduated Bennington College together, his name was Paul Lazar, my partner’s name is Shawn MacKenzie, a female, an author with a grand imagination. I’m going to dig into this one. Curious.]

Bacall was married to actor Jason Robards, Jr. from 1961 to 1969. According to Bacall’s autobiography, she divorced Robards mainly because of his alcoholism.


Bogart and Bacall had a son and daughter. Her son is Stephen Humphrey Bogart (born January 6, 1949), a news producer, documentary film maker and author; and her daughter Leslie Bogart (born August 23, 1952), a yoga instructor. She had a son with Jason Robards. Sam Robards (born December 16, 1961), their son is an actor.

She wrote two autobiographies

Lauren Bacall By Myself (1978)

Now (1994).

In 2006, the first volume of Lauren Bacall By Myself was reprinted as By Myself and Then Some with an extra chapter.


Political View

Bacall was a staunch liberal Democrat. She proclaimed her political views on numerous occasions. In October 1947, Bacall and Bogart traveled to Washington, D.C., along with other Hollywood stars, in a group that called itself the Committee for the First Amendment (CFA). She appeared alongside Humphrey Bogart in a photograph printed at the end of an article he wrote, titled “I’m No Communist”, in the May 1948 edition of Photoplay magazine, written to counteract negative publicity resulting from his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Bogart and Bacall distanced themselves from the Hollywood Ten and said: “We’re about as much in favor of Communism as J. Edgar Hoover.”

She campaigned for Democratic candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1952 Presidential election and for Robert Kennedy in his 1964 run for the U.S. Senate. In a 2005 interview with Larry King, Bacall described herself as “anti-Republican… A liberal. The L-word.” She added that “being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you’re a liberal. You do not have a small mind.”



Lauren Bacall died after suffering a massive stroke on August 12, 2014, at her longtime home in The Dakota, [John Lennon & Yoko’s Building & many famous unique people]. It is an Upper West Side apartment building overlooking Central Park in Manhattan.

After her stroke Lauren Bacall was confirmed dead at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was 89. Lauren Bacall was survived by three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Her Books

Lauren Bacall by Myself (1978)
Now (1994)
By Myself and Then Some (2005)

lauren-bacall-death announcement y & older

Her Awards and Nominations

1970 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, Applause
1972 Sarah Siddons Award Actress of the Year
1980 National Book Award in the one-year category: Autobiography
1981 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, Woman of the Year
1984 Sarah Siddons Award Actress of the Year
1990 George Eastman Award
1992 Donostia Award (Honorary)
1993 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award
1994 National Board of Review Award for Best Cast, Prêt-à-Porter: Ready to Wear
1996 Honorary César
1997 Berlin International Film Festival, Berlinale Camera
1997 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role, The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture, The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress, The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 Kennedy Center Honors
2000 Stockholm International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2007 Norwegian International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award
2009 Academy Honorary Award in recognition of her central place in the golden age of motion pictures.

lauren-bacall 2

1977 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Shootist
1980 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, The Rockford Files
1997 BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Mirror Has Two Faces
1997 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Mirror Has Two Faces
In 1991, Bacall was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street. In 1997, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. In 1998, Bacall was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
In popular culture a film was made about her title “Bogie.
In 1980, Kathryn Harrold played Bacall in the TV movie Bogie, which was directed by Vincent Sherman and based on the novel by Joe Hyams. Kevin O’Connor played Bogart. The movie focused primarily upon the disintegration of Bogart’s third marriage to Mayo Methot, played by Ann Wedgeworth, when Bogart met Bacall and began an affair with her.

Lauren Bacall In books
Bacall is featured in The Dakota Scrapbook, a book about the history of the building and residents of the Dakota apartment building in New York City.

A pretty nice gesture of support & appreciation, the town of Laura on the island of Majuro in the Marshall Islands was named by WWII U.S. forces in reference to Bacall.


lauren-bacall-older w pup on couch

This is how I want to remember Lauren Bacall with her companion and looking bright and comfortable. And to enjoy her performances whenever possible. She lived a good life. Married the love of her life. Watch the scenes with her and Bogie and you will see what I am saying. I have always respected Lauren Bacall. A person of like mines and fantasies and wanted to live life full.

My favorites of Lauren Bacall performance are “The Big Sleep” “Mirror Has Two Faces” “Key Largo” “To Have and Have Not” and associate with her husband Bogie, I love “The Maltese Falcon.” I’m watching it now. Want to watch “To Have and Have Not” later. Lauren Bacall is a riot to watch in anything she appeared in. Her Broadway performance in “Applause” was brilliant. I was fortunate enough to see it when it appeared on a special performance. I love Broadway & it is satisfying to know she got to experience being up their on the stage and winning TWO Tony Awards. Brilliant. Now she can see Bogie again and hang out with Bette Davis.

I think about all the ones who’ve gone before and when you leave this place on earth your spirit is free to visit with anyone and anything like all your animals. JMHO Love jkm

lauren-bacall-dead-89 photo

May Lauren Bacall REST IN PEACE with love jkm

This has been a rough several weeks. I think the pain is lessening and your partner says “OMG” and tells me a name I would never believe would come out of her mouth, that someone I cherish as a performer is gone.

Death is sad and a celebration that someone will stop suffering. They will go to the place of their dreams.

I want to believe the best for all of them.

Tristan und Isolde – Prelude and Liebestod – Conductor George Solti

A Postcard from Lauren Bacall. It will make you fill with joy & also laugh with a touch of sadness in your heart but a smile on your face.

Honorary Oscar for Lauren Bacall
[Lauren Does Great Speech-look for the hug in the beginning with Anjelica Huston.

lauren bacall honorary oscar

Lauren Bacall Honorary Oscar –  Have New Magic to Preserve This Page

Wikipedia [edited information]

One thought on “Film View: Lauren Bacall Was & Is a Gift of Beauty, Brilliance, Truth & Love

  1. Pingback: Film View: Lauren Bacall Was & Is a Gift of Beauty, Brilliance, Truth & Love | Tinseltown Times

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