Bacall, Bogart and Howard (1994)

An excerpt of Lauren Bacall’s 1994 Fresh Air interview.

Gross: Before you ever really experienced love you were acting out the movie version of romance and then you started having the romance with the person who you were acting it out with on-screen.

Bacall: The only romance was the most romantic experience I have ever had in my life – far surpassing anything that I might’ve dreamed of or imagined. It was quite amazing. I mean, when you are young and when it’s your first love and you are just carried away by it and when that’s all you can think about. And, you see, Bogie was a kind of man who believed in taking care of a marriage and taking care of a relationship – he believed you had to work at it and keep it fresh and fun and interesting. And he did.

Gross: He was already a movie star to you right?

Bacall: Oh, yes, absolutely.

Gr0ss: So you had a sense of him as an icon as well as as a man?

Bacall: No. Not as an icon. He was not my favorite movie star.

Gross: Did you tell him that? (Laughter).

Bacall: Yes. He knew it. No, Leslie Howard was my favorite. He knew that. But he had worked with Leslie Howard in “Petrified Forest” which was funny, you know. And no, he wasn’t an icon when I met him. I mean, this was after “Casablanca” and he was a big star but certainly not what he is today which is this legend, this incredible icon now. I mean, he is bigger than ever.

Read more: In Acting And In Life, Lauren Bacall ‘Loved The Idea Of Adventure’ on WKU Public Radio