Actress. Born Betty Joan Perske, she took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York while working as a theatre usher and as a part-time fashion model. In 1942, she made her acting debut on Broadway as a walk-on in 'Johnny 2 X 4'. Howard Hawks' wife Nancy spotted her on a magazine cover and urged him to have her take a screen test. Hawks signed her up to a seven-year personal contract which paid $100 a week, brought her to Hollywood, began to manage her career and changed her name to Lauren Bacall. He then cast her in 1942s 'To Have and Have Not' opposite Humphrey Bogart. She next appeared opposite Charles Boyer in 'Confidential Agent' (1945), then appeared again with Bogart, whom she was married to from 1945 until his death in 1957, in the films 'The Big Sleep' (1946), 'Dark Passage' (1947) and 'Key Largo' (1948). In the 1950s, among films she was cast in were 'Bright Leaf' (1950), 'Young Man with a Horn' (1950), 'How to Marry a Millionaire' (1953), 'Blood Alley' (1955), 'The Gift of Love' (1958) and 'North West Frontier' (1959). She married to actor Jason Robards, Jr. in 1961, but divorced him in 1969, mainly because of his alcoholism. In the 1960s and 1970s, she was seen in only a handful of films, including 'Sex and the Single Girl' (1964), 'Harper' (1966) and 'Murder on the Orient Express' (1974), however on Broadway she starred in 'Goodbye, Charlie' (1959), 'Cactus Flower' (1965), 'Applause' (1970) and 'Woman of the Year' (1981), winning Tony Awards for her performances in the latter two. During the 1980s, she was cast in 'The Fan' (1981), and 'Appointment with Death' (1988) and in 1990, she had a role in 'Misery'. In 1997, she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in 'The Mirror Has Two Faces' (1996), her first nomination after a career span of more than fifty years, but she did not win the award. Later projects incuded 'Dogville' (2003), 'Birth' (2004) and 'The Walker' (2007). In 1997, Bacall received the Kennedy Center Honors and in 1999, she was voted one of the 25 most significant female movie stars in history by the American Film Institute. On November 14, 2009, she was awarded an Honorary Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Bio by: Louis du Mort
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