The Tony, Globe winner and Oscar nominee’s early roles with Humphrey Bogart ignited a film, stage and TV career that spanned decades
In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award, “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.” In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked her No. 20 on its list of the 25 actresses on the AFI’s “100 Years … 100 Stars.”
She was only 19 years old when she starred with the Humphrey Bogart in the 1944 movie “To Have and Have Not,” director Howard Hawks’ film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway‘s novel. She would go on to marry her much older co-star in 1945 and they began one of Hollywood’s most famed personal and professional partnerships.
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Bacall and Bogart stayed together until his death in 1957. She considered herself “lucky” for meeting Bogart.
“I knew everybody because I was married to Bogie,” she told Vanity Fair in 2011. “And that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life.”
They appeared together in “The Big Sleep” in 1946 and “Dark Passage” in 1947.
She shifted to comedic roles soon after that, teaming with Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire” in 1953 and 1957’s “Designing Women” with Gregory Peck.
She also starred in Broadway musicals, earning Tony Awards for “Applause” in 1970 and “Woman of the Year” in 1981.
“I think the stage is an actor’s place because actors, it belongs to you,” she said. “When the curtain goes up, it’s ours. It’s ours to project what the playwright wants to stay to an audience, what to convey and to get a response from the audience immediately. Movies are great fun and wonderful when they’re good. But you never get to see them till six months after they’re finished. So you never get a sense of whether they’re really well liked or how good they are.”
Her performance in the film, “The Mirror Has Two Faces” (1996), earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
Bacall also wrote three memoirs: “By Myself” (1978), “Now” (1994) and “By Myself and Then Some” (2005). She won the National Book Award for her first memoir.
She was born Betty Joan Perske on Sept. 16, 1924, in the Bronx, N.Y. to Jewish parents. Her mother was from Romania and her father was from New Jersey with Polish parents.
She married Jason Robards in 1961 and then divorced in 1969. Bacall had three children Leslie Howard Bogart, Stephen Humphrey Bogart and Sam Robards.