Entertainment Movies

Wednesday 17 September 2014

12 things you didn't know about Lauren Bacall

Published 13/08/2014 | 15:02

  • Share
LACONIC: Humphrey Bogart, as Philip Marlowe, with Lauren Bacall in the film version of The Big Sleep
LACONIC: Humphrey Bogart, as Philip Marlowe, with Lauren Bacall in the film version of The Big Sleep
Actress Lauren Bacall poses with her honorary Oscar

Lauren Bacall, the sultry actress with the heavy-lidded eyes and husky voice who captured Humphrey Bogart's heart both on and off the movie screen, died yesterday at the age of 89.

  • Share
  • Go To

Here are 12 things you probably didn't know about the legendary Hollywood star...

She was born Betty Jean Perske in September 1924, the only child of a Romanian-Jewish mother and Polish-Jewish father in the Bronx in New York.

Bacall performed in two films by controversial Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier – Dogville (2003) and Manderlay (2005), a film about slavery in the American South of the 1930s.

She earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), when she was 72, and was presented with an honorary award in 2010 when she was 85.

She was the only Oscar winner to have been married to two other winners – Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards.

The smouldering, sexy stare from under heavy lidded eyes for which she became famous came about on the set of her first film with future hubby Humphrey Bogart.  “I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of The Look.”

Her on-screen personal was modelled entirely on director Howard Hawk’s wife Slim.

Hawks didn’t like Bacall’s nasal voice so she parked her car up a canyon and shouted ‘The Robe’ aloud for hours on end to help to lower her voice.  She also smoked two packs a day to make her voice more gravelly.

1956: The year that Bacall and Bogart were due to team up again on-screen for a love story was the same year she watched her husband die from oesophageal cancer.  He was 57.  She was 32.

Fellow screen icon Katharine Hepburn was a long-time friend of Bacall’s and is the godmother of her youngest son, Sam Robards.

Veronica Lake, Julie London, Rita Hayworth, and Lauren Bacall were the four inspirations behind the Jessica Rabbit animated character in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’.

Her first job was as an usherette in a theatre.  She starred in Cactus Flower in 1965 in that same theatre.  Ingrid Bergman played the part in the film adaptation.  But in 1970, Bacall played the lead in Martini in Applause, a musical adaptation of Bette Davis’s film All About Eve.

She once said, “Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment