Friday, September 16, 2005

1924 Lauren Bacall's birthday

Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx. Her parents divorced when she was six, and her mother, Natalie, adopted the last name Bacal, a variation of her Romanian maiden name. Betty, who later adopted the name Bacal and changed the spelling, went to private school in Manhattan. She studied dancing and acting and later worked as an usher in Broadway theaters. Eventually, she began winning small roles in Broadway plays.
It was her work as a model, however, that launched her film career. She appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar and caught the attention of director Howard Hawks' wife. A month later, Hawks signed Bacall. She became a star with her very first movie, To Have or Have Not (1944), opposite Humphrey Bogart.
During the film, the two fell in love. In 1945, they married. They continued to co-star in hit movies, including The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). But in the 1950s, Bacall felt she wasn't getting the roles she deserved from Warner Bros. The studio suspended her, and she later worked for other studios.
Bogart died of cancer in 1957. Bacall remarried several years later, to actor Jason Robards, but the couple eventually divorced. Bacall found herself landing fewer juicy film roles as she got older and returned to live theater in the 1970s. She won a Tony Award for her role in Applause in 1970. She scored another triumph in Woman of the Year in 1981. In 1996, she received her first Oscar nomination, playing the mother of Barbra Streisand's character in The Mirror Has Two Faces.
1949 Road Runner debuts
Warner. Bros. introduces the Road Runner in the cartoon short "Fast and Furry-ous." Like the sounds of countless other Warner Bros. cartoon characters, the Road Runner's cheerful "beep, beep!" was provided by Mel Blanc.


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