THE LAUREN BACALL LIST

I meant to post this on her birthday yesterday but my trip caused me to lose a day or so. Still, she's one of my faves so I hope you don't mind if I go ahead and publish this. 🙂
  1. She was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 in the Bronx, New York to William and Natalie (Weinstein-Bacal) Perske.
    Not long after her birth, her family moved Brooklyn.
  2. Through her father, she was cousins with former Israeli President and Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
  3. Her parents divorced when she was five.
  4. Financial support from her wealthy uncles allowed her to be educated at The Highland Manor Boarding School for Girls in Tarrytown, New York and Julia Richmond High School in Manhattan.
  5. She took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she was classmates with a young Kirk Douglas.
    She was also a theater usher and modeled clothing during this time period.
  6. She made her acting debut on Broadway in 1942 with a walk-on part in the play, "Johnny 2x4" when she was seventeen.
  7. While Diana Vreeland is often credited with discovering the young Bacall, she was actually discovered by Nicolas de Gunzburg.
    He had met her at a club called Tony's and suggested she stop by his office the next day. When she showed up, he introduced her to Vreeland, who then arranged for Louise Dahl-Wolfe to shoot her in Kodachrome for the March 1943 cover of Harper's Bazaar.
  8. Her arrival in Hollywood was by way of a mistake.
    Howard Hawks' wife Slim had seen the Harper's Bazaar cover and insisted that her husband screen test the young actress for his upcoming film, To Have and Have Not. Hawks then asked his secretary to find out more about Bacall but, having misunderstood her boss's request, the secretary sent Bacall a ticket to Hollywood.
  9. Upon seeing her, Howard Hawks immediately signed her to a seven year contract and changed her name to Lauren.
    Bacall came from her mother's maiden name.
  10. Hawks also hired a voice coach to help drop her voice from its natural high-pitch to the deep, smoky growl she's known for today.
    As part of her training, she was required to shout verses from Shakespeare for multiple hours every day.
  11. Her famous "look" was the result of nervousness.
    She was so nervous during her screen test for To Have and Have Not that her head shook, so to stop it she pressed her head down against her chest, faced the camera, and tilted her eyes upward.
  12. Her part in To Have and Have Not was originally much smaller, but the script was rewritten multiple times to expand her part and build on the chemistry she shared with Humphrey Bogart.
  13. Her affair with the married Bogart so outraged Hawks that he threatened to sell her contract to the worst studio in Hollywood at the time.
    The reason? He was jealous that Bacall had chosen Bogart over him.
  14. The Bogarts' son Stephen was named after the role Humphrey had played in To Have and Have Not while their daughter Leslie Howard Bogart was named after actor Leslie Howard, who had helped Bogart's career by insisting he be cast in the film version of The Petrified Forest.
  15. She was given an honorary membership in the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 for her performance in the film adaptation Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep.
  16. Warner Bros. suspended her six different times during her six year tenure there for refusing roles they sent her.
    In the end, two parties mutually decided to end their partnership after which she immediately drove across town and signed a one year contract with 20th Century Fox.
  17. He modeling her character Schatze Page did in 1953's How to Marry a Millionaire was the same type of modeling she did in her youth.
  18. She declined an invitation to have prints of her hands and feet immortalized at Grauman's Chinese Theater because she didn't feel like like she had achieved the status of a major Hollywood star and therefore felt unworthy of the honor.
  19. When Bogart died, she slipped the gold whistle— which was engraved with her nickname of Baby— that he'd given her during production of To Have and Have Not into his casket.
  20. She was briefly engaged to Frank Sinatra, but he ended it after her friend Irving Paul Lazar revealed the engagement to gossip columnist Louella Parsons.
  21. After her film career began to wane in the 60s, she packed up her family and headed to Broadway where she played roles in Cactus Flower (1965), Applause (1970), and Woman of the Year (1981).
    She won Tony Awards for her performances in Applause (a musical version of All About Eve) and Woman of the Year (a musical version of the Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy classic).
  22. She married Jason Robards on July 4, 1961 in Ensenada, Mexico after Austrian authorities and Las Vegas officials refused to grant them a marriage license.
    They had a son Sam before divorcing in 1969 due Robards' alcoholism.
  23. She owned an apartment in the famed Dakota and was home the day John Lennon was killed.
    She recalled hearing the gunshot but mistook it for a car backfiring.
  24. In the late 90's, she donated the only known kinescope of the 1955 television version of The Petrified Forest— which she had starred in with Bogart— to The Museum of Television & Radio.
    The Museum of Television & Radio is now known as The Paley Center for Media.
  25. Her one and only Academy Award nomination came for 1997's The Mirror Has Two Faces, but she lost in a surprise upset to Juliette Binoche.
  26. She received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997, the first Katharine Hepburn Medal in 2006, and an honorary Academy Award in 2009.
  27. Her final role was a guest appearance in the Family Guy episode, "Mom's the Word".
  28. She left $10,000 in her will to be put towards the care of her beloved Papillon, Sophie.
  29. With her passing on August 12, 2014, every star name checked in Madonna's 1990 hit "Vogue" has now passed on.
  30. "I am not a has-been. I am a will be."
  31. "Imagination is the highest kite one can fly."
  32. "Facing a situation head on was the only way to deal with anything. I learned the lesson early." — By Myself and Then Some
  33. "Childhood anxieties, childhood fears, never disappear entirely. They fade, but not away." — By Myself and Then Some
  34. "When everything happens to you when you're so young, you're very lucky, but by the same token, you're never going to have that same feeling again. The first time anything happens to you - your first love, your first success - the second one is never the same."
  35. "I believe in the truth, and I believe in saying what you think. Why not? Do you have to go around whispering all the time or playing a game with people? I just don’t believe in that. So I’m not the most adored person on the face of the earth. You have to know this. There are a lot of people who don’t like me at all, I’m very sure of that. But I wasn’t put on earth to be liked. I have my own reasons for being and my own sense of what is important and what isn’t, and I’m not going to change that.
  36. "I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that."
  37. "I hope I'm thought of as not just a showbiz personality, but as someone who has lived a life and who has hopefully made a contribution to something along the way - someone who is a human being as well as an actress."