Lauren Bacall, original name Betty Joan Perske, (born September 16, 1924, in New York City, U.S. – died August 12, 2014, New York), American actress known for her portrayals of provocative women who hid their soft core underneath a layer of hard-edged pragmatism.
Bacall started modeling in 1941 and supplemented her income with jobs as a theatre usher and as a hostess at the Stage Door Canteen, which kept her next to the Broadway theatre scene that she loved. In 1942 she appeared as an ingénue in the George S. Kaufman -directed Franklin Street, but the play closed before reaching New York. Bacall’s photo on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar in 1943 caught the attention of the wife of film director Howard Hawks . Cast in Hawks’s To Have and Have Not (1944) as the leggy sardonic beauty who gives Humphrey Bogart a famous lesson in whistling, the 19-year-old Bacall was an overnight sensation.