RIP. Star of stars. Hollywood/Broadway.
One of the reasons I was inspired to get into showbiz.
September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014.
Born Betty Joan Perske in NY’s Bronx, Lauren Bacall passed from a stroke on August 12, 2014 at her apartment in The Dakota in Manhattan. Married to Humphrey Bogart in 1945 until his death in 1957. Bacall had a relationship with Frank Sinatra after Bogart’s death. Remarried to Jason Robards in 1961, and divorced in 1969. Bacall had two children with Bogart (son Stephen Humphrey Bogart & daughter Leslie Howard Bogart) and one with Robards (son Sam Robards).
She was known for her distinctive voice and sultry looks throughout the golden age of Hollywood and Broadway.
Family and close friends called her Betty throughout her life.
As a young boy growing up in Australia, my mother purchased a vinyl 33rpm record of Applause, which I listened to intently and repeatedly imagining the action on stage during the songs — I directed and designed the show in my head while listening.
After Hello, Dolly!, this musical further inspired my career, and my adoration of Lauren Bacall skyrocketed.
I was lucky to work on a Queensland Theatre Company production of Applause starring the sensational Australian icon Noeline Brown OAM, and from the wings, I always imagined Lauren Bacall.
My dream to meet her was fulfilled when she was seated my table at the Broadway opening night of Victor/Victoria, & again Death of a Salesman party guest and again at the Carnegie Hall Man for All Seasons tribute to Dudley Moore with her.
My dinner companion, Lauren Bacall at opening night of Victor/Victoria
DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall & Brian Dennehy at our Broadway opening night party for Death of a Salesman
DUDLEY MOORE GALA
Bo Derek, Cleo Lane, Dudley Moore, Lauren Bacall and Chevy Chase at our Carnegie Hall “Man for All Seasons” tribute
Lauren Bacall: One Tough Broad
Lauren Bacall was one of those stars who was so original and iconic that alongside Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn, possessed an ineffable power to dominate the stage or screen by their physical presence alone. Bacall was unique since she demonstrated this authority at only 19 years old when she stood toe-to-toe with the formidable Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not” (1944). Her husky voice and sultry eyes were more than a match for Bogie, both on screen and off. He would marry his much younger co-star and together they began one of Hollywood’s most famed personal and professional partnerships.
But Bacall was not dependent upon Bogart for her later success. She continued to be a movie star and Broadway diva long after Bogart died in 1957, establishing herself as one of the greatest female entertainers of her generation – not to mention, one tough broad.
To me, she was one of the few stars of stars.
Lauren Bacall Major Stage Work
(credited as Betty Bacall)
|1942||Franklin Street||Unnamed teenager||Broadway|
|1970||Applause||Margo Channing||Broadway & West End|
|1977||Wonderful Town||Ruth Sherwood||Summer stock|
|1981||Woman of the Year||Tess Harding||Broadway|
|1985||Sweet Bird of Youth||The Princess Kosmonopolis||West End & Australian Tour|
|1995||The Visit||Claire Zachanassian||Chichester Festival|
|1999||Waiting in the Wings||Lotta Bainbridge||Broadway|
For her roles in Applause and Woman of the Year, she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical
Lauren Bacall Major Films
|1944||To Have and Have Not||Marie “Slim” Browning|
|1945||Confidential Agent||Rose Cullen|
|1946||The Big Sleep||Vivian Sternwood Rutledge|
|1947||Dark Passage||Irene Jansen|
|1948||Key Largo||Nora Temple|
|1950||Young Man with a Horn||Amy North|
|1950||Bright Leaf||Sonia Kovac|
|1953||How to Marry a Millionaire||Schatze Page|
|1954||Woman’s World||Elizabeth Burns|
|1955||The Cobweb||Meg Faversen Rinehart|
|1955||Blood Alley||Cathy Grainger|
|1956||Written on the Wind||Lucy Moore Hadley|
|1957||Designing Woman||Marilla Brown Hagen|
|1958||The Gift of Love||Julie Beck|
|1959||North West Frontier||Catherine Wyatt|
|1964||Shock Treatment||Dr. Edwina Beighley|
|1964||Sex and the Single Girl||Sylvia Broderick|
|1974||Murder on the Orient Express||Mrs. Harriet Belinda Hubbard|
|1976||The Shootist||Bond Rogers|
|1981||The Fan||Sally Ross|
|1988||Appointment with Death||Lady Westholme|
|1988||Mr. North||Amelia Cranston|
|1989||Tree of Hands||Marsha Archdale|
|1991||A Star for Two||Edwige|
|1991||All I Want for Christmas||Lillian Brooks|
|1994||Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter)||Slim Chrysler|
|1996||The Mirror Has Two Faces||Hannah Morgan|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||Margaret Kramer|
|1997||Day and Night||Sonia|
|1999||The Venice Project||Countess Camilla Volta|
|1999||Presence of Mind||Mado Remei|
|2003||Gone Dark||May Markham|
|2006||These Foolish Things||Dame Lydia|
|2007||The Walker||Natalie Van Miter|
|2010||Wide Blue Yonder||May|
|2012||The Forger||Anne-Marie Cole|
She was named the 20th-greatest female star of classic Hollywood cinema by the American Film Institute and received an Academy Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2009 in recognition of her contribution to the Golden Age of motion pictures.