Lauren Bacall reflects on her acting career and political interests.

On the publication of her memoirs 'Lauren Bacall By Myself', Hollywood actress Lauren Bacall talks about her life on and off the silver screen.

American actress Lauren Bacall (born Betty Perske) got her big break when she was spotted in a Vogue shoot by Nancy ‘Slim’ Hawks, the wife of film director Howard Hawks. Howard Hawks signed her on a seven year contract when she was just 18 years old.

Her first role in a Hawks film was in ‘To Have and Have Not’ where there was a palpable chemistry between her and actor Humphrey Bogart.

Howard Hawks had a clear vision for how he felt Lauren Bacall should look and sound. The director liked women to behave like men in an exchange.

Clearly that was his dream woman, so, he used what I had and made me like that, and I haven’t been able to get away from it.

Even if she had not been discovered. Lauren Bacall is confident she would have made something of her life as she is a very driven person.

In her late 20’s Bacall began to take political stances. She actively campaigned for US Presidential candidates Harry S Truman and Adlai Stevenson II. Both she and her husband Humphrey Bogart were part of a delegation of Hollywood stars that travelled to Washington to protest at the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings.

As a teenager Lauren Bacall fell in love with a Kirk Douglas and they have remained friends throughout their lives. In spite of holding opposing political views she also adores actor John Wayne. The only person she is negative about in her book is the singer Frank Sinatra. 

He behaved like a complete shit.

However she does not like to dwell on the past as she has too many other important things to do in her life.

This episode of 'Folio' was broadcast on 15 February 1974. The reporter is Patrick Gallagher.