Today we are remembering actress Lauren Bacall, who sadly passed away on August 12th 2014.
Bacall was an icon of the silver screen with an illustrious career spanning nearly 7 decades. Some of her biggest acting screen credits include: “The Big Sleep,” “To Have And Have Not,” “Key Largo” and the 1953 romantic comedy “How To Marry A Millionaire” co starring Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.
Bacall wrote of her impressions of Monroe and Grable in her autobiography ‘By Myself… And Then Some.’
“I returned home to prepare for my role of Schatze in ‘How To Marry A Millionaire.’ Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable were to be in it as well – it was about three girls looking for millionaire husbands, and it was funny, witty and even touching. I hadn’t really known either of my co-stars before and hoped the association would be a good one.
As Cinemascope was a new experiment for everyone, it was difficult. One had to keep actors moving and not too close together, as the screen was long and narrow. You shot longer scenes in Cinemascope, five or six pages without a stop, and I liked that – it felt closer to the stage and better for me. Betty Grable was a funny, outgoing woman, totally professional and easy. Marilyn was frightened, insecure – trusted only her coach and was always late. During our scenes she’d look at my forehead instead of my eyes; and at the end of the take, look to her coach, standing behind Jean Negulesco, for approval. If the headshake was no, she’d insist on another take. A scene often went to fifteen or more takes, which meant I’d have to be good in all of them as no one knew which one would be used. Not easy – often irritating. And yet I couldn’t dislike Marilyn. She had no meanness in her – no bitchery. She just had to concentrate on herslf and the people who were there only for her. I had met her a few times befor, and liked her. Grable and I decided we’d try and make it easier for her, make her feel she could trust us. I think she finally did.”
‘She came into my dressing room one day and said that what she really wanted was to be in San Francisco with Joe DiMaggio in some spaghetti joint,’ Bacall wrote later. ‘They were not married then. She wanted to know about my children, my home life – was I happy? She seemed envious of that aspect of my life – wistful – hoping to have it herself one day.’
‘There was something sad about her – wanting to reach out – afraid to trust – uncomfortable,’ Bacall observed. ‘She made no effort for others and yet she was nice. I think she did trust me and like me as well as she could anyone whose life must have seemed to her so secure, so solved.
She passed away at the age of 89 in her New York apartment in 2014.