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Lauren Bacall is an Academy Award-nominated actress known for roles in films like The Big Sleep, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Fan and The Mirror Has Two Faces.
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"I finally felt that I came into my own when I went on the stage," she says.
Before long, Bacall again placed her focus on her personal life. She married again in 1961, this time to Jason Robards, Jr. The couple soon had a son named Sam. During her second marriage, Bacall starred in relatively few films. Bacall and Robards were divorced in 1969, and, shortly after, Lauren Bacall was approached to play the lead role in a new Broadway musical, Applause,
which was based on the 1952 film All About Eve. Despite not being a singer, Bacall accepted the role. She was a great success, and earned a Tony for Best Actress. She won her second Tony in 1981 for a semi-autobiographical role in the play Woman of the Year.
By this time, Bacall had lived a full life, having been an insider to the world of Hollywood and earned considerable respect as an actress, on screen and on stage. Bacall wrote her first memoir, By Myself, in 1978, and published a second part, Now, in 1994. Both volumes openly discussed difficult parts of her life, including the alcoholism of both of her husbands, despite the fact that some of the topics were relatively controversial for the time.
In her later years, Bacall severely curtailed her film appearances. She is publicly disdainful of modern Hollywood, though she has appeared with Nicole Kidman in two films, Dogville and Birth. Bacall also had a starring role in the 2007 film The Walker with Woody Harrelson and Kristin Scott Thomas and accepted an honorary Oscar in 2009.
Still active and in relatively good health well into her eighties, Bacall is one of the last links left to the Golden Age of Hollywood, and time has not dulled either her tongue or her wits. She told Vanity Fair that "I don't think anybody that has a brain can really be happy. What is there really to be happy about? I had a good growing-up life, I would say, but I wasn't really happy, because I was an only child, and I wasn't part of a whole family—what we in America consider the proper family, a father and a mother and child, which, of course, is a big crock, we know—and yet I had the greatest family anyone could wish for in everyone on my mother's side. So what you think is happy? Happy shmappy."
Despite her down-to-earth view of her own life and fame, it is improbable she will be forgotten anytime soon. Bacall will most likely remain associated with her glamorous Hollywood roles long into the future.
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Humphrey Bogart met Lauren Bacall on the set of To Have and Have Not in 1943. At the time, Bacall was 19 years old and living with her mother and Bogart was 44 and married to actress Mayo Methot. The couple wed in 1945, had two children and remained together until his death from cancer in 1957. Of Bogart's four marriages, it is said that the only one to bring him any happiness was the one to Bacall, whom he called "Baby" both in private and in public. Founding members of Las Vegas' famous Rat Pack in 1955, Bogey and Bacall's most memorable films include The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo.
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