Black Entertainment : Laren Bacall died yesterday; this is why I always liked her....


Apr 7, 2013
Lauren Bacall's remarkably honest account of Humphrey Bogart's death
The actress, who died yesterday at age 89, offered a powerful and uniquely candid portrait of her life in her autobiography By Myself


A powerful and uniquely candid portrayal of her husband and marriage. In short, she canned the b.s. and gave it to us honest.

Bacall offered up a more in-depth story of her husband. (AP Photo)
More than 45 years before her death at 89, Lauren Bacall published her first autobiography, By Myself, in which she reminisced about her storied Hollywood career, her romantic relationships, and her three children. That includes, of course, the story of her relationship with To Have and to Have Not co-star Humphrey Bogart, who eventually became her first husband.
Bacall once famously said, "The only thing that I am not pleased about is when people only talk about 'Bogie' to me as though I had no other life at all." And you can see why — her career was multi-layered, and she knew great success in Hollywood and on Broadway without her husband's involvement. But it's also true that Bacall's romance with Bogart wasn't the Hollywood story people generally imagine — and her account of the real version gives a strong impression of her indomitable courage and honesty.
You probably have an idea of what Humphrey Bogart was like. To this day, his carefully constructed persona is perpetuated in films, promotional material, publicity, and commentary: an active, commanding, confident, cynical, and sexually compelling (albeit aloof) tough guy. But Lauren Bacall's challenges this "tough guy" representation in her autobiography, offering a graphic account of both their courtship and her husband’s illness. Her reflections allow a glimpse into Bogart's full humanity — and hers.
In her memoir, Bacall recalls her connection with Bogart as "the headiest romance imaginable." Throughout their courtship, Bacall describes Bogart as shy, gentle, vulnerable, and open, confiding in her about his three failed marriages. During their small wedding in Ohio, "tears streamed down [Bogart's] face." According to Bacall, this outburst of emotion was Bogart's reaction to hearing the words of the wedding ceremony and finally "realizing what they meant — what they should mean."
It was over a decade (and several co-starred films) later that Bogart's health began to decline. As Bacall tells it, her husband reluctantly visited the internist of fellow screen star Greer Garson in February of 1956. Bogart's cough, no doubt from years and years of smoking, sounded worse than usual, and "sometimes his throat burned when he drank orange juice."
An initial sputum test revealed an inflamed esophagus, and a couple of weeks later, a bronchoscopy and another sputum test revealed irregular, malignant cells in Bogart's esophageal tissue. The star would require surgery immediately, and his current production schedule would have to be postponed while he recuperated. Unfortunately, Bogart would never recover. Almost a year later, on January 15, 1957, Humphrey Bogart died of throat cancer at the age of 58.
From the beginning of Bacall's account of her husband’s illness, the reader is asked to pay special attention to Bogart's physical body — an unexpected move that dispels the aura of one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Scholar Richard Dyer has talked at length about how a star's body provides the "raw material" from which his or her image is ultimately fashioned: Marilyn Monroe's body represents sexuality, Paul Robeson's "the nobility of the black race," and Judy Garland's "her problems and defiance of them."

RIP, Lauren.


Well-Known Member
Mar 3, 2014
I agree. From a post I made on Facebook today:

Here is one of them....

The death of movie icon Lauren Bacall is particularly noteworthy to me because I was kid growing up during the heyday of Hollywood in the 1940's and 50's.

When I was in high school in the 50's, I think I was grabbing a snack in the kitchen when I heard my wonderful stepmother exclaim, "Now HERE is a handsome woman!"

She had a magazine in her hands, I think it was Time. It was a feature on Bacall. But I still had to ask her what she meant by a "handsome" woman? What the heck is that? My stepmom replied it is a woman whose inner beauty and depth of character shines outwardly from within her. Her beauty is far more than just "skin-deep."

Clearly, as so many have observed, Lauren Bacall was the embodiment of "cool." Class. Intelligence. Inner strength. From her many movies with tough-guy husband Humphrey Bogart, she had that "look." There was a magnetism to it, and it surrounded her.

Not many women have this. I think of Elizabeth Taylor. Yes, incredibly beautiful. But little substance. Or Marilyn Monroe. Very sexy. But little substance. Hollywood glamor, glitter without grit.

Bacall had it all. I loved a piece I just read where Bogart once described her: "Steel, with curves!"

A couple of others also come to mind having the qualities of a beautiful, and yes, handsome woman. I think of Barbara Stanwyck in her role as the matriarch on TV's "The Big Valley." And more recently I most certainly must mention Felicia Rashad, as Bill Cosby's TV wife. She, too, has this rare quality of beauty, intelligence and coolness about her.

RIP Lauren Bacall. You were in a class by yourself.....

(Note: I had photos of her from her younger to later year, but not sure I can post them here)

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