September 16, 2008

綺麗 いとしき あなた

Posted in Birthday, Lauren Bacall at 5:34 pm by aiwish472

Some people think of her as Marie Browning. Others, Vivian Sternwoood, Schatze Page, or Irene Jansen. Her family probably calls her Betty. But to me and other fans, she’s Lauren.

And today is her birthday.

She was born Betty Joan Perske in New York City on September 16, 1924. Her parents divorced when she was a child. After losing touch with her father, she dropped the “Perske” and changed her last name to “Bacal,” which was her mother’s maiden name.

Her first acting job was on Broadway in the 1942 show Johnny 2 X 4. She was 18. She went to California with her mother later, hoping to become a movie star.

Before acting in any films, Bacall also worked as a fashion model for various magazines.

Howard Hawk’s wife, Nancy, spotted her on the March 1943 cover of Harper’s Bazaar, and Howard gave her a screen test. She passed, and began earning $100 a week. Her first name was changed to Lauren and an extra “L” was added to her surname.

Her first role in the movies was in 1944 as Marie “Silm” Browning in To Have and Have Not.

Her work on this movie was critical to her development as a star.

It was during the production of this movie that she got “The Look.” During filming, she would get nervous and her head would shake. She kept it still by tilting her head downward and looking up.

Nancy Hawk’s dressed her in more stylish clothes, and her voice was trained to be lower, sexier, and more masculine. It became one of the most distinguishable voices in Hollywood.

More importantly, she met co-star Humphrey Bogart while acting in To Have and Have Not.

And their relationship began.

He wrote letters to her, talking about how much he loved her and how he wanted to protect her.

In Bacall’s autobiography, she talked about how she went out in the rain at 3 AM to see him.

He was old enough to be her father – she was only 20 and at 45, he was 25 years older.

But together, they proved that age doesn’t matter.

They got married on May 21, 1945, and had their honeymoon at Malabar Farm in Lucas, Ohio.

They had two children, Stephen and Leslie.

The two of them also starred in three more movies after To Have and Have Not The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo.

In the 1950s, she starred in only 11 films. Lauren was picky with what films she wanted to act in, but she earned favorable reviews when she did act.

Her films in the 50s include How to Marry a Millionaire, Written on the Wind, and Designing Woman.

During the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Bacall was only seen in a handful of films. She did, however, begin acting in the theatre again. The productions she starred in included Cactus Flower (1965), Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981).

Applause was based on the 1950 movie All About Eve, starring Bette Davis. Bacall was a big fan of Davis’, and met her several times.

Woman of the Year was based on the 1942 movie of the same name, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Bacall was close friends with both Hepburn and Tracy. (Fact: In September 2006, Bacall was awarded the first Katharine Hepburn Medal.)

Since then, Lauren has rarely been in the news. Although she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress award for The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). Films she made in the 21st century include Dogville and Birth, both with Nicole Kidman.

Every fan’s story is different. I first saw Bacall in The Big Sleep during the beginning of my classic film phase, when film noir was my ichiban. I was slowly becoming more and more interested in the actors and actresses of that time, and after seeing more movies, both with and without her, she became my favorite actress. (It’s awfully close, though. 😛 ) I couldn’t give you a list of reasons why. Don’t you know how that is, when you just like someone because they’re such awesomesauce?

Spam of pictures follows.


AAH OMG <3. Boat ftw? I think it’s cute. XD

Not as cute as that…♥ ^

No other elderly person can pull off that look, that way. EVER.

^That picture makes me want to see Bright Leaf.


Wishing you the happiest of birthdays, Lauren. I hope you see many more to come! 😀


1 Comment »

  1. Brittany said,

    OMG! I seriously loved this. I can read it over and over. Lauren Bacall is my idol, and I adore her! When I read that she went to see Bogie in the rain at 3am I wanted to die since it was just so cute. It really showed how much she loved him. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN. & Many more ❤ You’ve inspired me so much [:

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