She died last week at the age of 89.
And with everything else that happened–the death of Robin Williams, the horrible riots in Missouri, I thought we would take a moment and look back on a few of the highlights from the life of this beautiful actress.
Lauren Bacall became synonymous with the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Audrey Hepburn. Although unlike Katherine Hepburn who brought trousers to the forefront, or Audrey Hepburn, who gave us the little black dress, Lauren Bacall’s allure had nothing to do with fashion, but the use of her face. An irony since she started her career as a teenage fashion model who graced the covers of both Harper’s Bazaar as well as Vogue magazine.
It was the cover of Harper’s Bazaar that got her noticed for her first motion picture, even though she had already taken acting classes with Kirk Douglas and performed on the Broadway stage.
“To Have and Have Not.”
It is said that during the screen test she was nervous—so nervous that her head would quiver. So in order to quell the shaking, she created the effect that has now became known as “The Look.”
You know, “The Look.”
That infamous pout, framed by high cheekbones and a long reaching delicate nose, with gothic arched eyebrows that framed the hood of her eyelids and the downcast edge of her lashes.
A “Look” that became her trademark and caught the eye of her co-star, Humphrey Bogart.
It is incredible to think that she was only nineteen when she made her extraordinary debut in that movie, acting opposite Humphrey Bogart in such a way that she appeared to be ten years older — the same age as Bogart, or perhaps even older.
Lauren Bacall was smart and sexy with a certain iconic toughness that was a contradiction which helped to shape a career that would span over 50 years. Yet, she confessed, however sarcastic and cool she appeared, she shook with nerves on set and suffered from stage fright for the rest of her life.
Her films included:
To Have and Have Not
The Big Sleep
How to Marry a Millionaire
Written on the Wind
The Gift of Love
The Mirror Has Two Faces
And there were numerous Broadway stage and guest vocal appearances in her later years
Lauren Bacall is quoted as saying, “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”
So perhaps, rather than her “Look”, maybe we should celebrate her willingness to age in public.
Here’s looking at you Lauren Bacall!
So what do you think? Do you like to watch old movies? What are your feelings about this famous actress? Have you seen any of her films? If so, which one is your favorite?
Cheers everyone! And as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
I love that she found a way to combat those jitters! That’s great to have some way to power through and do your thing. 🙂
Coleen Patrick recently posted..Through the Shimmer of Time with Jennifer Jensen
Hi Coleen! It has to take a strong person to overcome something that powerful, don’t you think? Lauren Bacall was quite an example! 🙂
I love what she said about your life showing in your face. Although, that is scary too, because when all is said and done, there’s nothing left to hide… 🙂
Alarna Rose Gray recently posted..Missing In Action
So true Alarna. Although hiding one’s life on their face has skyrocketed into a multi-million dollar business, eh? But I don’t think that we, for the most part, have to buy into that. And there’s no need to fear if we want people to like who we truly are, right? 🙂
I’m so glad you wrote about Lauren Bacall. I was feeling bad for her because the news of her death definitely got shoved to the back of the stove. She was an incredible actress and person!
Kassandra Lamb recently posted..Walking the Paths of the Past
Thank you so much for saying that Kassandra! That’s exactly what happened. And she was too incredible of an actress and person to ignore. Glad you enjoyed the post. ((Hugs!)) 🙂
I’m a Bacall fan, too, and celebrate her willingness to age in public. My life shows in mine, and, most days anyway, that’s okay.
Pat O’Dea Rosen recently posted..Look, Ma! No Phone!
Yay! Another Bacall fan! Just another thing we have in common Pat! Love that! Uh, you know, as time goes by, we all are sharing more of our life’s experiences on our face. You are in good company Pat, you gorgeous woman, you! You bet it’s okay. ((Hugs!)) 🙂
Lovely tribute to an illustrious legend, Karen! I’m adding her films to my Netflix queue. I enjoy old movies, but admittedly have to be in the right mood. (I seem to be that way with many genres. :)) I’d love to find a documentary about her. Oh, and you shared my favorite of her quotes!
August McLaughlin recently posted..Finding Joyful Calm in Happy Storms (or How NOT to End Up in a Wrist Brace)
Thank you August! That quote says so much about her, doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s a personal fav of mine too. Although most of Lauren Bacall’s movies are older, you might have seen a Mirror Has Two Faces. If you haven’t, I cannot recommend it more. You and the hubby will enjoy it. Snuggle up and get the popcorn out! 🙂
I believe I have seen all of Bacall’s early work. I checked Netflix and found some late films–in particular A Foreign Field and Ready to Wear–that I enjoyed watching. As others have noted, her grace and fabulous face had such chemistry with the camera. And that voice of hers! Thanks, Karen, for remembering her in such a thoughtful post.
KM Huber recently posted..Bite-by-Bite, a Mindful Remembrance
Karen, I had read that in order for Ms. Bacall to sound more mature for her part for To Have and Have Not, she purposely smoked tons of cigarettes to lower her voice and it stuck. Not a habit I would have suggested, but it got her recognition. I’m so glad we share an admiration for Lauren Bacall and the classics! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
To Have and Have Not was a Hemingway story. Can’t go wrong with Hemingway! Thanks for the post, Karen. Loved that old movie, loved Bacall and Bogey, too — mainly for the Florida/Hemingway connection.
Diane Capri recently posted..Saturday Special: Fascinated or Frightened?
Diane, thank you so much for coming by today! I am slapping my hand against my head. Hello! I had forgotten that To Have and Have Not was a Hemingway story. Dah. I need a brain transplant. lol. No, you cannot go wrong with Hemingway. Thanks for mentioning that Diane. ((Hugs!))
Thank you, Karen, for such a nice tribute to Lauren. I’ve only seen “How to Marry a Millionaire”. Interesting how her fear resulted in her trademark. And I love the quote re the kiss.
Hi Joanna! “How to Marry a Millionaire” was a classic. So glad you enjoyed it. Lauren Bacall was quite an actress. I think all that knew her will miss “the Look.” Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
I’m not familiar with Bacall’s work, but I’ll have to look up some of the films you mentioned. I’m starting to get more into older films, trying to watch some of the classics that I’ve missed. (Hitchcock’s work, especially, since he was just a great storyteller.)
Denise D. Young recently posted..What’s in a name? Coming up with titles for our stories
Hi Denise! I hope that you have the opportunity to watch a Lauren Bacall movie. “To Have and Have Not” or “How to Marry a Millionaire” are both fantastic films. Have you ever watched A Mirror Has Two Faces? Excellent acting, along with Barbara Streisand and Jeff Bridges. That’s a do not miss film. But there are so many amazing classics to choose from. Enjoy! 🙂
Yep, this morning my whole life pretty much does show on my face! Great clip and s nice tribute. Auvoir Lauren!
Julia, our expressions are part of our beauty. You have a wonderful smile that lights up your whole face. You wear it well my friend! 🙂
Laren Bacall…how I wanted to have her “the look.” I know that doesn’t sound grammatically correct, I don’t care. It seems I was always watching old movies (Karen, we didn’t have a color TV until 1975), and I loved Humphrie Bogart and Lauren Bacall and when my mom told me they loved each other in real life, I was done for. Thanks for the post!
Amy, let’s throw caution to the wind. I am not part of the grammar police. Nor will I report you. lol. How can anyone be a true Lauren Bacall fan if they don’t want her “the look”? I too watched all the old movies, (who needed a color TV when they were all black and white?), especially Bogart and Bacall. They’re real life attraction sizzled on the screen. Done for is right! Well said my friend! 🙂
Lauren Bacall always seemed to ooze class. She was quite an actress, and I love watching her classic movies. Thanks for sharing more about this film icon.
Julie Glover recently posted..Must You Suffer for Your Art?
Hi Julie! You are so right. Lauren Bacall was a classy lady. So glad to hear that you enjoy her movies. Me too. She really had presence on the screen. She will be missed for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂
I LOVE that kiss part. “What’d ya do that for.”
“I wanted to see if I’d like it.”
“What’s the verdict?”
“I don’t know yet.”
And then the kicker – “It’s even better when you help.”
That’s good stuff right there.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Patricia recently posted..Heading North by Cruise Ship
Good stuff is right, Patricia! “It’s even better when you help. Love it! I think sometimes that it pays to study some of the old classics for dialogue ideas. There was some good writing that has been long forgotten. 🙂
I used to watch a lot of old movies. Lauren Bacall was always a favorite. Oh, those eyes.
prudencemacleod recently posted..It Ain’t Funny
Pru, my family was the last on the block to get a color TV, so every movie looked old. lol. But yes, Ms. Bacall was a beauty! 🙂
Never been a big movie or TV watcher, but the also never would have guessed someone who was such an icon would have suffered from stage fright. Thanks for sharing a fun bit of pop culture history!
Jennette Marie Powell recently posted..Characters We Love to Hate
Hi Jennette! With all the positive accolades and experience, it is hard to believe Lauren Bacall has such stage fright. But maybe that’s more common than we think, eh? 🙂