A classic Hollywood legend, an icon, a woman of character, and one of the greatest actresses to ever live. Most people know her as Humphrey Bogart‘s wife, the “Slim” to his “Bogie,” but classic film fans know that Bacall had a rich, and wonderful career, even without the Bogart connection.
This is especially true, even after Bogart‘s death in 1957.
When Bogart and Bacall met, it was the stuff of legends. She was young, he was a mentor who turned into something more. Fast forward a couple of months and they start dating, fast forward even further and they’re getting married – much to the chagrin of Bogart‘s ex-wife, Mayo Methot.
A couple of years and two children later, the Bogart‘s relationship was progressing quite nicely.
The same can’t be same for Lauren‘s career, however.
When Bogart died in 1957, it was as Bacall describes it, “the worst night of her life.”
Left alone with two kids and a dwindling (more or less) acting career, what was Lauren supposed to do? Well, throw herself into work, of course.
The first film Bacall did after the death of her husband was 1957’s Designing Woman, a nice romantic comedy co-starring Gregory Peck. Not to be confused with the tv series, Designing Women, the movie about two newlyweds from polar opposite worlds and their attempt to conform to each other’s quirks.
It’s a cute film, I recommend you check it out, actually. It gives you a look at post-Bogart Bacall in all of her glorious form.
The thing about Lauren was that her voice was so deep and velvety smooth that you worried about the number of cigarettes she smoked per day. Some may say she had a voice for the theatre…
After a myriad of films that include The Gift of Love in 1958, North West Frontier in 1959, Bacall moved to the theatre in the 1960s and 70s.
Starting on Broadway with 1959’s Goodbye, Charlie and starring in plays like in Cactus Flower and, of course, Applause, Lauren slowly made the transition from screen to the stage.
Naturally, she would dabble in a few films as well with the highlight being Murder on the Orient Express, but the majority of her work was set on the stage.
In the end, Bacall would enjoy a successful career after her husband’s death.
I see too many people writing her off after his death and I think it’s fair, Bacall had such a solid career in the late 50s through the 70s. Even though we tend to equate Bacall with Bogart, Lauren had a brilliant career all on her own.
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