Natalie (fairchilds) wrote in wednesdaydreams,

Hollywood's Golden Couple: Bogie & Bacall

The term "Hollywood's Golden Couple" is thrown around far too frivolously around nowadays. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's love story on a Hollywood set is now a classic act among celebrities, but when it comes to being a real 'Golden Couple', both Bogie & Bacall still reign supreme because few couples can hold their own on-screen, as well as maintain a sizzling hot chemistry with just dialogue.

Humphrey Bogart met Lauren Bacall when she was just a teenager--- she was 19 and he was 45. He was unhappily married in his 3rd marriage and she had been brought up to not to have nothing to do with married men--- "I was brought up to not have anything to do with married men, of course, I didn't pay a lot of attention to that, did I?" Lauren laughs.

Bogart nicknamed Bacall "Baby," and that name stuck with her for life. She had been a model since she was sixteen and had acted in two failed plays. Howard Hawks, the director of To Have and Have Not called in Bacall after seeing her on the cover of Harper's Bazaar. Reportedly he said, “I just saw your test. We’ll have a lot of fun together”. Bogart initiated a romance some weeks into the filming and this marked Bogart's first on-screen romance with a leading lady.

Bogie & Bacall: The Golden Years

When Americans first saw Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall together, they knew the two were made for each other. "He was very apprehensive about the age difference. But it didn't bother me. I thought we suited one another perfectly." Lauren says in an interview with CBS.

"You know you don't have to act with me, Steve.
You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle.

You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow."

"You know Steve, you're not very hard to figure, only at times. Sometimes I know exactly what you're going to say. Most of the time. The other times... the other times, you're just a stinker."

- To Have and Have Not (1944)

The Wedding

Bogart and Bacall were married on a farm in Lucas, Ohio on May 21, 1945 three months after his divorce from Methot became final.
The May 21 wedding, held at novelist Louis Bromfield's Mansfield, Ohio, farm, then a hideaway for Hollywood's smart set, was one of 1945's romantic high points.

Bacall, wearing a pale pink suit, delayed her entrance down the grand staircase for one last trip to the john as a single woman. Bogie, who joked that he was her ''something old,'' fortified himself with a martini. They became man and wife while tears streamed down the groom's face and a boxer dog named Prince sat on the marrying judge's feet. After kissing his bride at the altar, Bogie, still choked up, blurted out, ''Hello, Baby.'' Years later Bacall said, ''I hugged him and was reported to have said, 'Oh goody.' Hard to believe, but maybe I did.'' (paragraph taken from Entertainment Weekly)

Mr. and Mrs. Bogart

Bogie & Bacall starred in 4 films together--- To Have and Have Not, Dark Passage, Key Largo and The Big Sleep, and on-screen, went their separate ways in the '50s as Lauren went on to do films such as the comedies How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Bogart went on to do his Oscar-winning role in The African Queen with Kate Hepburn. Off-screen, their marriage was a happy one in spite of their differences.


Steven Humphrey Bogart was born in 1949, Steven was named after Bogart's character in To Have and Have Not. Daughter Leslie Howard Bogart was born in 1952, named after British actor Leslie Howard who was responsible for Bogart's first big break in Hollywood.

Their life together eventually came to a bittersweet end after 13 years of marriage. As Lauren worked on Designing Women with Gregory Peck, she had to cope with Bogart's failing health, who was struggling with throat cancer. He died in 1957, leaving Bacall--- "Baby" a widow at 32.

My Favorite Bogie and Bacall pictures

"The man had an incredible personality. …He was a great reader of books…and -- wherever he was, people were laughing, always. …He had every quality that…I never thought of before in any man. I adored him and I had a great life with him."
- Lauren Bacall, on Humphrey Bogart

Buried with Humphrey Bogart is a small golden whistle, which he had given to Lauren before they were married. On it was inscribed: "If you want anything, just whistle" as a reference to the film that brought them together.

For me, no other Hollywood couple will ever match the charm, chemistry, intensity and story that was Bogie & Bacall. They were 2 of the most fearless actors I've ever seen, and on-screen, their chemistry was beyond. In a film about mystery and murder that had gone tragically convoluted, both Bogie & Bacall managed to salvage it by turning the film into The Bogie & Bacall Show. Although they were married for a short-lived 13 years, it is my belief that those were the best of both of their lives.
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