The iconic stars that charmed the Hollywood cinema in the early days, are the real legends of today. Among those talented and beautiful gems was the leading actress, Lauren Bacall. Everybody’s favorite angel on-screen, with her enchanting sultry looks and classic acting, known for her Deep husky voice, Cat-like green eyes and her thick New York City accent, Lauren will be one of the most remembered Hollywood actresses of the black and white screen.
This beautiful gem was not only an actress but also one of the most loved and adored models of the early days. She has left this world a few years ago, and buried with herself another part of Golden Age of Hollywood.
Lauren Bacall Biography (Childhood, Early Life & Education)
Lauren Bacall was born under the zodiac sign of Virgo on September 6th, 1924, in the Bronx, New York City of the United States, according to her memoir, soon after her birth, her parents moved to Brooklyn’s Ocean Parkway but the 1930s US census’ correction identified the location as the Ocean’s avenue, a parallel street 14 blocks further east, instead .
She was born with the name of Betty Joan Perske. Lauren was the only child of Natalie née Weinstein (1901–1977), a secretary who later legally changed her surname to Bacal, and father William Perske (1889–1982), who was a medical instrument salesman. Both of Lauren’s parents were Jewish by religion and Polish by nationality.
Lauren, told in one of her interviews that her mother migrated all the way over from Iași, the Kingdom of Romania, via Ellis Island, while her father was born in New Jersey to the parents who came from a prominent center of Jewish people, Valozhyn, situated in the modern-day Belarus, then in the Russian Empire.
She received her earlier education from a private boarding school, named The Highland Manor Boarding School for Girls, in Tarrytown and in Julia Richman High School, Manhattan. Her private education was majorly financed by her wealthy uncles. Subsequently, she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York. In her lessons, she also learned how to deepen her high-pitched and nasal voice, usually by shouting Shakespeare’s verses for hours every day.
Lauren Bacall Married Life
Lauren met her first partner Humphrey Bogart when she was 19 years old and they were filming for her first big hit To Have and Have not (1944). A year later, in 1945 they got married. Their marriage occurred at the Pleasant Valley area of Richland County, Ohio home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm (4 miles southeast of Lucas within Monroe Township). The home is now an Ohio State Park.
After around twelve years of a loving marriage and widely acclaimed on-screen partnership, Bogart died in 1947, leaving her widowed. They had two children together, 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). and 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). Shortly after Humphrey Bogart’s death, she announced her engagement to Frank Sinatra to the press. Sinatra promptly backed out.
On July 4th, 1961, Bacall got married to Jason Robards, their marriage lasted for quite a while, till they got divorced in September 1969. Bacall and Robards had one child together, Sam Robards, born on December 16, 1961. Bacall’s longtime friend Katharine Hepburn, was his godmother. Lauren Bacall left this world for better on August 12, 2014.
Lauren Bacall Career Beginnings
Lauren Bacall had an extensive and fruitful career, in films, television & fashion shows, and plays. Because of her charming looks, she started her career with a debut appearance as a teenage fashion model on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar, one of the most popular US Magazine, and also on other magazines as well as Vogue.
From the magazine, she caught the attention of the famous Hollywood director Howard Hawks’ wife Nancy “slim” Kieth, also known as The Lady Kieth. Bacall, made her acting debut on the Broadway Theatre, with small theatrical performances, and also worked as a hostess at a near-by Stage Door Canteen to carry her Theatre scene.
In 1942 she appeared as an ingénue in the George S. Kaufman-directed Franklin Street, but the play closed before reaching New York. Soon, after she was invited by Nancy Kieth for a screen test, which came out entirely positive, thus she was taken aboard as the leading cast of an upcoming film, and finally made her big-screen debut appearance, playing the role of Marie Browning in the hit thriller To Have and Have Not (1944), opposite the legendary Humphrey Bogart. In Hollywood, Howard Hawks immediately signed her to a seven-year contract, with a weekly salary of $100, and personally began to manage her career.
That was the time when Bacall changed her first name to Lauren. Next Year, Lauren married her co-star Humphrey Bogart and thus the Bogie-Bacall films took a start. She also appeared in the 1945’s Confidential Agent. In the next three years her progress climbed up many stairs of success in the film-noir genre, Bacall appeared in three more movies, which included The Big Sleep (1946), A mystery, where she played the role of Vivian Sternwood Rutledge, was her second biggest success, Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), where she appeared opposite great actors like Edward G. Robinson, and Lionel Barrymore, and in all three along with her loving partner Humphrey Bogart.
Later Career – After 1950s
Her thrilling films were eagerly awaited by the public, as a new film appeared on the screen each year. In 1950, Bacall appeared in another hit drama-film set in 1984, Bright Leaf (1950), It was notable because she finally co-starred with someone other than Bogart, and the star was Gary Cooper. A couple of years later, in 1953, Bacall starred in her first comedy, How To Marry a Millionaire (1953), along with other legendary actresses including Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, and got super hit super fast. After wrapping up the filming of another title, Designing Women (1957), her husband Humphrey Bogart died on the 14th of January of the same year due to throat cancer.
Despite the Devastation of losing her husband, Bacall made a return with another title next year, The Gift of Love(1958), with co-star Robert Stack but unfortunately, the film was a huge failure on the silver screen. All of that pushed her back but she wasn’t discouraged, and thus she left the silver screen for a while and went back to performing live in the old Broadway Theatre, which she considered more lively and entertaining and so did the audience.
After a long pause of whole 5 years, Bacall made her comeback with Shock Treatment in 1964 and also in Sex and the Single Girl (1964), a hit comedy-film starring the legendary Henry Fonda and Tony Curtis. Skipping another year, in 1966, Lauren appeared in Paul Newman’s signature film “Harper (1966)”. In the coming years, she took breaks, and time for performing in the theatre, so it wasn’t till 1974 that she returned with another film, Murder on the Orient Express (1974).
Ingrid Bergman’s another hit film, based on the best selling book of Agatha Christie, which also won Ingrid her third oscar. In 1976, Bacall starred opposite John Wayne in his last film, The Shootist (1976), before he died from cancer in 1979. After a few years, in 1981, Bacall appeared as a lead actor in a hit film The Fan (1981). Again after a long break of seven years from the screen, Bacall made a comeback with an appearance in Mr. North (1988).
In 1990, she appeared in Misery and several other films made for TV. After a while, in 1996 she appeared in My Fellow Americans, a comedy romp, along with Jack Lemmon and James Garner. Later in 2004, she also did an 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 thus her long and successful career finally came to an end.