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Lauren Bacall Quotes, Facts and Oddities


I’m not ashamed of what I am – of how I pass through this life. What I am has given me the strength to do it. At my lowest ebb I have never contemplated suicide. I value what is here too much. I have a contribution to make. I am not just take up space in this life. I can add something to the lives I touch. I don’t like everything I know about myself, and I’ll never be satisfied, but nobody’s perfect. I’m not sure where the next years will take me – what they will hold – but I’m open to suggestions.

Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.

A woman isn’t complete without a man. But where do you find a man – a real man – these days?

To fly as fast as thought, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.

If there was one thing I had never been, it was mysterious, and if there was one thing I had never done, it was not talk.

Generally women are better than men — they have more character. I prefer men for some things, obviously, but women have a greater sense of honor and are more willing to take a chance with their lives.

You don’t always win your battles, but it’s good to know you fought.

When everything happens to you when you’re so young, you’re very lucky, but by the same token, you’re never going to have that same feeling again. The first time anything happens to you – your first love, your first success – the second one is never the same.

Looking at yourself in a mirror isn’t exactly a study of life.

People should tell your children what life is all about – it’s about work.

I’d like to meet the man who decided that people do or don’t look Jewish. What the hell does that mean anyway? Is it the American penchant for pinning things down, catergorizing, for pigeonholing people? Whatever it is, it’s wrong.

When you talk about a great actor, you’re not talking about Tom Cruise. His whole behavior is so shocking.

It’s inappropriate and vulgar and absolutely unacceptable to use your private life to sell anything commercially, but I think it’s kind of a sickness.

I put my career in second place throughout both my marriages and it suffered. I don’t regret it. You make choices. If you want a good marriage, you must pay attention to that. If you want to be independent, go ahead. You can’t have it all.

Legends are all to do with the past and nothing to do with the present.

You can’t start worrying about what’s going to happen. You get spastic enough worrying about what’s happening now.

I am not a has-been. I am a will be. I am essentially a loner.

I used to tremble from nerves so badly that the only way I could hold my head steady was to lower my chin practically to my chest and look up at Bogie. That was the beginning of The Look.

Patience was not my strong point.

I was always a little unsteady in my self-belief. Then there was the Jewish thing. I love being Jewish, I have no problem with it at all. But it did become like a scar, with all these people saying you don’t look it.

You realize yourself when you start reflecting – because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are – that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks.

A man’s illness is his private territory and, no matter how much he loves you and how close you are, you stay an outsider. You are healthy.

You can’t always be a leading lady.

I figure if I have my health, can pay the rent and I have my friends, I call it ‘content.’

I’m a total Democrat. I’m anti-Republican. And it’s only fair that you know it… I’m liberal. The L word!

We live in an age of mediocrity.

Find me a man who’s interesting enough to have dinner with and I’ll be happy.

In Hollywood, an equitable divorce settlement means each party getting fifty percent of publicity.

I wish Frank Sinatra would just shut up and sing.

Stardom isn’t a profession, it’s an accident.

I remember my oldest son, Steve, saying to me once, ‘I don’t ever remember seeing you with an apron on.’ And I thought, that’s right, honey, you did not. That was his concept of what a mother should be.

They’re guys who want to screw around all the time, which interests me not at all. God knows we’ve done that, been there, and we don’t want to do that any more.

The purity of Jewish upbringing is the restrictions that one carries through life being a “nice Jewish girl” – what a burden!

I don’t sit around thinking that I’d like to have another husband; only another man would make me think that way.

I finally felt that I came into my own when I went on the stage.

Actors today go into TV, which I don’t consider has a lot to do with acting.

I’m not a sedentary person. I’ve always been active.

Men need to feel important. They feel better when they’re with younger girls or unknown girls.

When a woman reaches twenty-six in America, she’s on the slide. It’s downhill all the way from then on. It doesn’t give you a tremendous feeling of confidence and well-being.

What is the point of working all your life and then stopping?

I called my business manager in California and said, ‘Sell all of my stock’ – what little of it I had – and it’s the only smart financial move I ever made.

I would hate now to be married. It does occur to me on occasion that, if I fall and hit my head, there will be no one to make the phone call. But who wants to think about that disaster, I’d prefer not to.


Full Birth Name: Betty Joan Perske

Born: September 16, 1924

Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Place born: Bronx, New York

Place raised: Bronx, New York

Family’s early economic position: middle income

Ancestry: Romanian and Polish.

Mother: Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, secretary

Father: William Perske, salesman

Humphrey Bogart (1945-1957)
Jason Robards (1961-1969)

Stephen Bogart
Leslie Bogart
Sam Robards

Religion: Jewish

Height: 5′ 8″ (1.73 m)

Weight: 194 lb (88 kg)

Pounds per Inch: 2.85

Kilograms per Centimeter: 2.99

Body Mass Index (BMI): 29.5
(18.5 to 25 is considered healthy)

Date of Death: August 12, 2014

Place of Death: New York City

Cause of Death: Stroke

Years Lived: 89

Days Lived: 32,838

Months Lived: 1,079

Lauren Bacall exceeded average life expectancy for women in the US by eight years and eleven months.


Lauren Bacall’s full birth name was Betty Joan Perske.

√•her’s last name, but added an extra L.

She was known for film noir, but was also adept at comedy performance.

Her father was a first generation American of Polish descent, and her mother was native-born Romanian.

Lauren Bacall was Jewish.

She was first cousins with Shimon Peres, who was President of Israel from 2007 until 2014.

Lauren’s parents divorced when she was five years old, after which she lived entirely with her mother. They were very close throughout her mother’s life.

In her early days she worked as a fashion model as much as she could, but also had to take work as a theater usher.

Her original stage name was Betty Bacall.

Her first appearance on Broadway was in 1942 with a small part in Johnny 2 X 4.

When producer-director Howard Hawks was looking for someone to play the starring part of Marie “Slim” Browning in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, his wife had seen a small picture of Lauren in Vogue magazine and urged her husband to contact Lauren. Evidently Howard’s secretary misunderstood, and sent a plane ticket to Lauren to appear for an audition.

She won the part, even though she was very nervous. So much so that her chin was quivering. The only way she could stop the quivering was to bend her neck so her chin was near her chest and look up at Humphrey Bogart. Howard Hawks liked that look. In fact, the tucked-in chin and eyes up look became somewhat of a Lauren Bacall trademark, called “The Look.”

Howard Hawks’ wife, Nancy Hawks, became a mentor to nineteen-year-old Lauren, teaching her the finer points of elegance and etiquette. She also advised Lauren to lower the pitch of her voice, resulting in a distinctive, attractive voice.

Lauren’s Hollywood career started at $100 per week.

During the filming, Bogart and Bacall fell for each other, and they eventually married. She stayed with him through his illness – esophogeal cancer, until his death in 1957.

Humphrey Bogart was 25 years older than Lauren Bacall.

In 1945, the Vice President of the United States was playing piano in the National Press Club in Washington D.C. Lauren’s press agent suggested that she sit on the piano to get a publicity photo for Warner Brothers. This shot gained worldwide headlines, being quite controversial for the era.


Lauren Bacall and the US President, public domain via Wikimedia Commons


In 2009, at the age of 83, she starred in The Forger.

For a while, Lauren was engaged to Frank Sinatra.

In 1961, four years after Humphrey Bogart, she married Jason Robards. In 1969 she had to divorce him due to his addiction to alcohol.

Her son, Stephen Humphrey Bogart is a news producer, documentary film maker and author.

Her daughter Leslie Bogart is a yoga instructor.

Her Son Sam Robards is an actor.

In addition to all her appearances on television, radio, and the stage, she appeared in 63 films.

Lauren Bacall died of a stroke in her home in New York City on August 12, 2014.

Lauren Bacall, public domain from Wikimedia Commons
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