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Lauren Bacall

movie and stage actress

Lauren Bacall

Betty Joan Perske was born in New York City on September 16, 1924. She originally wanted to be a dancer, but later became enthralled with acting. After high school she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. During this time, she became a theater usher and worked as a fashion model. As Betty Bacal, she made her acting debut in the off-Broadway production of Johnny Two by Four, in 1942.

Going into modeling after school, Betty's beauty got her on the cover of Harper's Bazaar, then one of the most popular magazines in the U.S. The wife of director Howard Hawks saw the cover and arranged for Betty to take a screen test. As a result, she was given the part of Marie Browning in To Have and Have Not (1944), opposite Humphrey Bogart. This film not only set the tone for a fabulous career, but also for one of Hollywood's greatest love stories (she married Bogart in 1945).

Lauren Bacall died in New York City on August 12, 2014.

Partial Filmography

Confidential Agent (1945)
The Big Sleep (1946)
Dark Passage (1947)
Key Largo (1948)
Bright Leaf (1950)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Blood Alley (1955)
Written on the Wind (1956)
Designing Woman (1957)
The Gift of Love (1958)
Shock Treatment (1964)
Sex and the Single Girl (1964)
Harper (1966)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
The Shootist (1976)
The Fan
Mr. North (1988)
Misery (1990)
My Fellow Americans (1996)
The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
Dogville (2003)
The Limit (2003)
Birth (2004)

Stage Work

Her Broadway roles include:

Goodbye, Charlie (1959)
Cactus Flower (1965)
Applause (1970)
Woman of the Year (1981)

She won Tony Awards for Applause and Woman of the Year.

She has also appeared at The Muny Theater (America's oldest and largest outdoor theater) in St. Louis, Missouri.

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

She also made frequent appearances on London's West End.

Family Life

Humphrey Bogart -- May 21, 1945 to January 14, 1957 (his death) -- 2 children (Leslie and Stephen H. Bogart)

Jason Robards -- July 4, 1961 to September 10, 1969 (divorced) -- 1 child (Sam Robards)

Other Information

Disliking the name Betty, director Howard Hawks gave her the name Lauren. She was already using her mother's maiden name of Bacal, but added the extra "L" when she went into the cinema.

Between 1951 and 1952, she and Humphrey Bogart starred on the syndicated radio program Bold Venture.

Although she spent more than sixty years in cinema, Bacall was only nominated for an Academy Award once, for The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996).

She made a cameo appearance on the HBO series The Sopranos in April 2006.

She received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997. In 2006, she 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.

Her autobiography, By Myself (1978), won a National Book Award in 1980. She published another autobiography, Now , in 1994. In 2005, she updated and combined the two into By Myself and Then Some.


The Internet Movie Database
Lauren Bacall -- A Touch of Class (Fan Site)

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This page was last updated on 01/02/2019.