Bijou Postwar Years - Top of the Bill

     Bogart:In Defense of My WifeBogart

Overnight Lauren Bacall's name became a byword, then came the blast of criticism.

Here, her Bogie takes up the challenge.

WHEN Photoplay asked me to write an article about my wife my first impulse was to say, "Nothing doing." Who am I to be writing articles for the magazines? And why should I write about Betty when Betty is perfectly capable of writing about herself if she wants to, though I don't think she would want to. Betty doesn't pack a portable typewriter and furthermore she's no egotist.

Betty took quite a beating from the critics for "Confidential Agent." Nobody but myself really knows how she took this beating--what she went through in the shock and surprise of it. It was an experience that tested her mettle, and because she is a girl with plenty of courage and with plenty of the right stuff in her, she met the test and licked it.

That's why I decided to write this article. I want to tell something of what I know of Betty's character and I think it deserves to be told, for Betty's sake if for no other reason.

BacallWhat I want to point out at the beginning is that Betty had to learn two great lessons practically overnight, the lesson of how to handle oneself in the face of immediate and unexpected success, and that other lesson of how to take immediate and unexpected failure. Few people get both of these experiences so close together, and even an old-timer like myself would have a tough time accepting and adjusting in such a situation. I think that Betty proved herself a champion the way she took it in her stride and didn't cry for help.

Remember that "To Have and Have Not" was her first picture. She had come to Hollywood from New York, prepared for a long battle of hard work and hard knocks. Any sensible person starting out on an acting career should expect such things. Betty did. Then overnight she had a success which put her right in the big league. Betty went from what was


from Photoplay, June 1946

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