Lauren Bacall – Sept. 16, 1924 – Aug. 12, 2014
Lauren Bacall , born Betty Joan Perske – Lauren started her career as a fashion model in her teens where she made quite a splash w/ her “cat-like grace, tawny blonde hair and blue-green eyes”. While working as a model, director Howard Hawk’s wife spotted her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine and urged Hawks to have her take a screen test for his new film 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. During screen tests, 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”, and became Bacall’s trademark. The rest is, as they say, history.
Bacall would marry her To Have and Have Not co-star, Humprey Bogart, 37 years her senior (she was 19, he 56 – way to go Bogie!), they would remain together until his death in 1957. She would star in such films as The Big Sleep, Key Largo (w/ Bogie), Dark Passage, How to Marry a Millionaire and Written on the Wind, to name just a few. She would continue to act well into the 2000’s, appearing in among other things, The Sopranos and receive an honorary Academy Award in 2009 at the age of 84. Her final role was in 2014: a guest vocal appearance in the twelfth season of Family Guy.
Bacall died of a stroke on August 12, 2014, at her home in The Dakota, NYC. She was 89.