Remembering Lauren Bacall in All Her Fierce Glory
On Tuesday, the planet lost yet another legend when Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89. Bacall, born Betty Jane Perske, was strong and outspoken at a time, and in an industry, when women weren’t encouraged to voice their opinions.
She was discovered as a model in Vogue magazine, and made her first film, with future husband Humphrey Bogart, by the age of 20. Together they had two children and became one of Hollywood’s most fabled couples, before he lost his battle to cancer. Bacall was just 32 at the time. She re-married Jason Robards, had another child, won an honorary Oscar, penned a stunning autobiography and continued to work professionally well into her 80s.
To say she was a badass is a crass understatement. Bacall was a staunch political activist, a supporter of her fellow female actresses, a raw talent and the kind of person you’d want to follow around with a tape recorder. Her seemingly effortless witticisms were a trademark of her career. She was a force to be reckoned with, and she left us, not only with incredible performances, but with really striking words to live by. Here are some of them:
On being proud to be a woman: “Women. . .have much more character, a greater sense of honor and conviction. Men behave as if they’re 3 years old all the time. Jesus, I don’t want to be anybody’s mother. “On unrequited love: “If a man isn’t interested in me as I am then it’s just too bad. Frankly, anyone who is mixed up with me is damned lucky. “
On unattainable beauty standards: “Everything in this country has got to be good looks and unlined faces and thin bodies and people running around in skirts slit up to their ass. It has nothing to do with thinking or with being a human being. There is life in mature people; it’s not all over at 24½”
On fame: “Stardom isn’t a profession; it’s an accident.”
On making no apologies: “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.”
On believing in yourself: “I am not a has-been. I am a will be.”On true beauty: “I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”
: “The truth is we’re only here for a minute. But what a minute!”