Lauren Bacall born Betty Joan Perske, September 16, 1924.
She is an American film and stage actress and model, known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry looks.
She first emerged as leading lady in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have And Have Not (1944) and continued on in the film noir genre, with appearances in Bogart movies The Big Sleep (1946) and Dark Passage (1947), as well as a comedienne in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.
Bacall has also worked on Broadway in musicals, gaining Tony Awards for Applause in 1970 and Woman of the Year in 1981. Her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.
Born Betty Joan Perske in New York City, she was the only child of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a secretary who later legally changed her surname to Bacall, and William Perske, who worked in sales.
Bacall’s parents were Jewish immigrants, from Poland and Romania, who emigrated through Ellis Island. She is first cousin to Shimon Peres, current President and former Prime Minister of Israel.Her parents divorced when she was five, and she took the Romanian form of her mother’s last name, Bacall. Bacall no longer saw her father and formed a close bond with her mother, whom she took with her to California when she became a movie star.
Bacall took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. During this time, she became a theatre usher and worked as a fashion model.
In Young Man with a Horn (1950), co-starring Kirk Douglas, Doris Day, and Hoagy Carmichael, Bacall played a two-faced femme fatale. This movie is often considered the first big-budget jazz film. During 1951-52, Bacall co-starred with Bogart in the syndicated action-adventure radio series Bold Venture. Bacall starred in the CinemaScope comedy How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), a runaway hit that saw her teaming up with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.
Bacall’s movie career waned in the 1960s, and she was only seen in a handful of films. On Broadway she starred in Goodbye, Charlie (1959), Cactus Flower (1965), Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981). She won Tony Awards for her performances in the latter two.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, Bacall appeared in the poorly received star vehicle The Fan (1981), as well as some star-studded features such as Robert Altman‘s Health (1980), Michael Winner‘s Appointment with Death (1988), and Rob Reiner‘s Misery (1990).
On May 21, 1945, Bacall married Humphrey Bogart. Their wedding and honeymoon took place at Malabar Farm, Lucas, Ohio. Bacall was 20 and Bogart was 45. They remained married until Bogart’s death from esophageal cancer in 1957.