Thursday, August 14, 2014

R.I.P. Lauren Bacall

Iconic Golden Age Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall passed away on August 12, 2014, at age 89. 

At the age of 19 (!), she was cast opposite Humphrey Bogart in 1944's "To Have and Have Not", and she (and we) never looked back. 

A string of Bogart and Bacall pictures followed, not to mention one of the most legendary of Hollywood marriages.  

The best of those pictures can be found in this DVD set, which I fully recommend. 

Bogie and Bacall the Signature Collection.

In it, you'll find the aforementioned "To Have and Have Not", "The Big Sleep" -- and two personal favorite pictures of mine... THIS ONE and THIS ONE

Ms. Bacall and Bogart also "appeared together" in certain animated productions, like "Slick Hare" (1947) directed by Friz Freleng, where the couple shared screen time with Bugs Bunny.  

Yowp was kind enough to run this "Bugsy and Bacall" illustration under his Tralfaz subsidiary -- and for borrowing it, I offer him this dual plug in return.  

Bacall and Bogart also were magnificently satirized in "Bacall to Arms" (1946) directed by an uncredited Bob Clampett. 

Check out the cameo by PORKY PIG, as a theatre goer!
And check out these great caricatures!  (Click to enlarge!)

Perhaps not so oddly, given her "appearances" in animation, Lauren Bacall's last completed role would be to ACTUALLY perform a voice on a 2014 episode of FAMILY GUY! 

From one animated couple to another!

The incredible list of Lauren Bacall's credits can be found HERE at IMDB

Rest In Peace, Lauren Bacall!  


scarecrow33 said...

Lauren Bacall was someone young people could appreciate and relate to as an actress--I've had several students through the years who have enjoyed her film appearances and expressed their appreciation of her talent. She kept working, so she remained visible and thus was a part of the scene for many young people--not simply a "relic" from the past. So many of the great actors and actresses of the past are forgotten by the time of their death--a whole generation (or more) is ignorant of them. Such was fortunately not the case with Lauren Bacall. There was something relatable about her, even for those who were unfamiliar with her classic film work.

"Bogey and Bacall" created some memorable moments onscreen, not only in their four films together but in their separate careers as well.

Two great Hollywood legends have been lost in one week. They leave behind footprints that can never be filled by anyone else.

Joe Torcivia said...


I think you have the key to what made Lauren Bacall extraordinary!

From age 19, until the moment of her passing (and surely beyond) she – whether naturally, or by design – remained relevant (or, as you say, “relatable”) for her entire public life!

Most others “have their time” and then become memories and afterthoughts to all but their most ardent fans. But not Lauren Bacall! She was “there” (for complete lack of a better descriptive word or phrase) for the whole ride!

This is all the more amazing because, if you consider placing in some sort of order the “best”, or most well-known, of the Humphrey Bogart films, hers (arguably) don’t even make what I regard as the “Top Three”: “Casablanca”, “The Maltese Falcon”, and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre”. “To Have and Have Not” might very well be # 4. But, on the other hand, I don’t think the public as a whole liked “Dark Passage” nearly as much as I did.

Yet, there she was, just a big a legend as Bogie!

That’s quite the achievement!

TC said...

Lauren Bacall, Robin Williams, James Garner, and Skye McCole Bartusiak (the actress who played Mel Gibson's daughter in "The Patriot"). This has been one long, rough summer.

Bacall had a long and impressive career. And I think young people today (and young women in particular) find her "relatable" because she came across as independent, intelligent, and assertive. Those qualities are not unusual in young women now, but they were not so common back in the "old days."

In the 1930's through the 1950's, it seemed like the only intelligent and assertive women in movies were the villainesses, e.g., the scheming femmes fatales in film noir crime dramas. The heroines were "nice girls," usually bland and dependent on their husbands or boyfriends. Bacall could play good and bad women, but she could also do something different. Her characters in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep" (to name two examples) were good people, but they weren't some boring Mary Sue. She helped prove that women don't have to be airheads to be "good," and that for a woman to have a brain is not "bad."

She also deserves credit for having a career of her own, despite having been married to one of Hollywood's biggest (and most iconic) stars. She was a star in her own right, not just "Mrs. Bogart."

BTW, there is even a connection to comic books: Will Eisner was a Bacall fan, and she was a strong influence on P'Gell, a recurring villainess/femme fatale in "The Spirit."

Joe Torcivia said...

It has indeed been “one long, rough summer”, TC.

And, I just heard we lost Arlene Martel, who played T’Pring on one of the best episodes ever of STAR TREK!

You’ve also nicely explained WHY Laruen Bacall still resonates today!

On Will Eisner… YEAH! Can you blame him?