Lauren Bacall life and biography

Lauren Bacall picture, image, poster

Lauren Bacall biography

Date of birth : 1924-09-16
Date of death : -
Birthplace : New York, New York, USA
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-06-16
Credited as : Actress and fashion model, To Have and Have Not 1944, Lauren Bacall By Myself 1978

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PERSONAL INFORMATION

Lauren Bacall, also known as: Betty Joan Perske: born September 16, 1924, in New York, NY; daughter of William and Natalie Perske; married Humphrey Bogart (an actor), May 21, 1945 (died January 14, 1957); married Jason Robards, Jr. (an actor), July 4, 1961 (divorced, 1969); children: (first marriage) Stephen, Leslie; (second marriage) Sam.
Education: Attended American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 1941. Avocational Interests: Fashion, tennis, needle-point.
Memberships: Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors Equity Association.


"Sidelights"

"The interesting thing about Bacall," Richard Cohen wrote, "is that she started as a sex kitten, as a woman men were supposed to find attractive, and she wound up as a woman other women find attractive. She is a woman they care about--emulate in some cases." This transition is depicted in her biography, Lauren Bacall By Myself, which traces her life from her sudden fame as "Bogey's Baby" through the two decades since Bogart's death.

According to Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "the big surprise of 'By Myself' is that when the author first went to Hollywood and made 'To Have and Have Not,' at the age of 19, she was a dreamy stagestruck innocent, a 'nice Jewish girl,' as she keeps calling herself, with about as much sexual experience--outside of her imagination, at least--as a fluff of thistledown." But she immediately met Humphrey Bogart, twenty-five years her senior, and their subsequent romance and marriage became Hollywood legend. In her autobiography, Bacall says of Bogart: "I was so much in love with that man that when he left I felt a pain in my heart. I actually did. He was so much my life that I literally couldn't think of anyone else--had to catch my breath when he went away. When I hear the word happy, I think of then. Then I lived the full meaning of the word everyday. Since then it has been elusive." From the start, Bacall's sultry, seductive on-screen image belied the romantic naivete of her private life. Not until Bogart's death in 1957 did she develop that "steely independence" for which she is now known.

Critical response to By Myself has been favorable. Much has been made of the fact that Bacall wrote the book entirely by herself--in long hand on yellow legal paper--as well as of her intimate portrait of Bogart. Nan Robertson was impressed with the book and stated that it is "notable for generosity to others, honesty about herself and restraint--three qualities that are seldom present in show business memoirs." According to Larry McMurty, "The memoirs of performers often fail because the vitality that informs their performances is so volatile and kinetic a strain that it won't submit to print....Lauren Bacall's memoir is an exception. Her writing is not polished, but it carries more than a little of her vitality." Lauren Bacall By Myself won the National Book Award for Biography in 1980.


AWARDS

Award from American Academy of Dramatic Arts, 1963; Antoinette Perry Award (Tony), 1970, for "Applause;" National Book Award, Biography, 1980, for Lauren Bacall by Myself; Governors Award, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 2010.

CAREER

Actress in films and on stage; fashion model. Made stage debut in "Johnny 2 x 4," March 16, 1942; performed on dramatic radio programs, 1942; made film debut in "To Have and Have Not," Warner Bros., 1944; subsequently appeared in films, including "The Big Sleep," 1944, "Dark Passage," 1947, "Key Largo," 1948, "How to Marry a Millionaire," 1953, "Blood Alley," 1955, and "Murder on the Orient Express," 1974; appeared on Broadway in "Goodbye Charlie," 1959, "Cactus Flower," 1965-67, and "Applause," 1969- 71; also appeared on television in "Petrified Forest," Producer's Showcase, 1955, and "Blithe Spirit," Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1956.

WRITINGS:

* Lauren Bacall By Myself, Knopf, 1978.

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