Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart had an iconic, sometimes scandalous romance that resulted in two children. And these offspring carried on the family line – providing them with grandkids. Furthermore, one of these was a girl named Brooke. The latter is an adult now, and many people think she bears a strong resemblance to her famously beautiful late grandmother.
Humphrey and Lauren had two kids together: Stephen and Leslie. The actress also had another child called Sam Prideaux Robards from her second marriage to actor Jason Robards Jr. There are six Bacall grandchildren altogether – including Brooke’s two brothers Richard and Jamie. However, the former is the only girl in the whole group.
Stephen is the most major representative of the family. He works as co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, which holds a Bogart Film Festival every year and also sells Bogart’s Spirits – bottles of alcohol which have famous quotes from the actor etched into them. And Stephen is also the father of Brooke.
Brooke has a lot to live up to, because almost everything about her famous grandma and grandpa is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Indeed, their tremendous romance has captivated people for years. It all began back in 1944, when the then-19-year-old Lauren met the 45-year-old Humphrey on the movie To Have and Have Not.
The two seemed unlikely candidates for an epic romance. For one thing, there was a 25-year age difference between them, and Humphrey was already married. He was still with his third wife Mayo Methot when he first met Lauren. Furthermore, Lauren reportedly didn’t find Humphrey attractive at first.
Before Lauren met Humphrey she saw him in the movie Casablanca, and the actress wasn’t impressed. Many years later in 1978 she published a memoir called By Myself and wrote about her first viewing of that film. She remembered, “I thought he was good in it, but mad about him? Not at all.”
But on the set of To Have and Have Not everything changed, of course. Lauren got to know the Casablanca star as a friend and she found him warm, witty and sweet. Things between them got increasingly intense until one night Humphrey stopped by the actress’ trailer and ended up kissing her.
Lauren recollected that first kiss in her memoir, too. She wrote, “Suddenly he leaned over, put his hand under my chin, and kissed me. It was impulsive – he was a bit shy – no lunging wolf tactics. He took a worn package of matches out of his pocket and asked me to put my phone number on the back.”
The actress continued, “I [gave him my number]. I don’t know why I did [it], except it was kind of part of our game. Bogie was meticulous about not being too personal, [he] was known for never fooling around with women at work or anywhere else. He was not that kind of man, and also he was married to a woman who was a notorious drinker and fighter. A tough lady who would hit you with an ashtray, lamp, anything, as soon as not.”
Lauren didn’t get hit with anything, but those around her verbally stated their disapproval at the relationship. Her mother was angry about it and movie director Howard Hawks went even further – telling the actress that he would destroy her career if she insisted on continuing the affair with Humphrey. Yet nothing put her off.
Humphrey divorced Mayo Methot in 1945, and by May of that year he and Lauren were married. They held the wedding ceremony on the Ohio farm belonging to author Louis Bromfield. And less than a year later their first child Stephen was born. For reference, Humphrey’s character in To Have and Have Not was named Steve.
Lauren and Humphrey soon conquered the world of Hollywood as a married duo. They went on to act alongside each other in Dark Passage, Key Largo and The Big Sleep. Furthermore, that last movie went down in history as a classic of the film noir genre.
But the marriage was far from perfect. Both husband and wife reportedly had affairs – Humphrey with his hairdresser Verita Peterson and Lauren with the famous singer Frank Sinatra. Alcohol abuse also allegedly featured in the relationship. Stephen himself wrote about this in his 1995 book Bogart: In Search of My Father.
Stephen said in the book that his parents were “insecure people” and wrote, “My mother, fortunately, was not a big drinker. But Bogie, of course, was, and when he drank he would worry and often he would lash out at my mother. Mom says that when Bogie drank too much…he felt remorseful.”
The son of the Hollywood legends went on, “And when [Humphrey] drank too much he often had a temper. She tells me there were times when [my dad] was so loaded he didn’t even know where he was or who she was.” However, Lauren herself though told Vanity Fair in 2011 that Stephen “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
Lauren explained to the magazine, “Steve always felt that nobody could be as perfect as I said Bogie was. But I never said he was perfect, because God knows he was not. Who would want to be married to somebody perfect? I wouldn’t. I think Steve got a lot of things wrong, because he wasn’t there, [but] writing the book made him feel good.”
Lauren then talked about raising the kids, adding, “I don’t like to talk about my children. I don’t think it’s fair to them, and I don’t think it’s necessary. Steve – who was the first child – has been trying to find an identity for himself besides being Humphrey Bogart’s son. It’s a terrible thing to have to rise above that.”
Unfortunately, Lauren and Humphrey never got as much time together as they would have wanted – either as parents or husband and wife. In 1956 the latter’s health began to decline, but he didn’t realize just how serious the situation was until he visited a doctor. Sadly, it turned out that Humphrey had esophageal cancer.
In 1957 Humphrey passed away from cancer at the age of just 57. One Dr. Michael Flynn told the Detroit Free Press newspaper at the time that Humphrey whispered to Lauren “goodbye, kid,” just before he died. Lauren was left a widow at the age of just 33 – with young children to care for as well.
After Humphrey’s death Lauren became engaged to Frank Sinatra, but it didn’t work out. Eventually in 1961 she remarried Jason Robards, but it was reportedly an unhappy marriage and they divorced eight years later. Tellingly, in By Myself Lauren wrote of herself and Humphrey, “No one has ever written a romance better than [the one we had].”
Lauren always sang the praises of Humphrey after his death. The then 86-year-old actress told Vanity Fair in 2011, “I fairly often have thought how lucky I was. I knew everybody because I was married to Bogie, and that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life.”
The acting legend mused to Vanity Fair, “My obit is going to be full of [Humphrey] Bogart, I’m sure.” And indeed only a few years after that interview she herself passed away. Lauren died of a stroke in August 2014 at the age of 89. Her family tweeted out the message, “With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall.”
Brooke’s brother Jamie Bogart spoke to the website SouthCoastToday.com after his grandmother’s passing. He said that Lauren would always insist on her grandchildren calling her “grand ma ma.” Jamie added, “When you heard her coming down the hall, you got into your position and got seated. You had to have conduct when you were around her.”
Jamie went on, “[Lauren’s] expectations for what us regular folks could achieve wasn’t always realistic to us; she lived a unique life that not many people get to live. She wanted the rest of us [in her family] to be able to experience life the way she saw it. She was always kind of prompting us to do more – achieve more.”
“[Lauren] never talked about her own life, she was busy telling you about yours,” Jamie continued. “She liked to mention Bogie, though.” He concluded, with sadness, “There won’t be another like her. That’s what I’m thinking about today, just cherishing her. Because there won’t be a sequel.”
Stephen too has spoken about his life with Lauren. In March 2019 he told Fox News, “She would talk about [Humphrey] all the time. It was almost like, ‘What would your father think?’ or, ‘Your father believed in treating people correctly.’ And that’s what she wanted me to do too… She wanted me to remember that he didn’t like to lie.”
The interviewer then asked Stephen what would have attracted Humphrey to Lauren. And he responded, “She was pretty good looking… But I think it was her strength. She was a strong woman. She didn’t take crap from anybody. He thought she was very talented as well, but she could also keep up with him.”
Stephen then touched upon Humphrey’s parenting, saying that although the actor was an often-absent father he was a good one. He remembered, “[My dad] would take me down to [his boat] the Santana. Eventually, finally, when I learned how to swim, we would go out on the boat. I remember going to Catalina Island and swimming back… to the Santana. I made it and he was very proud of me at that time because he knew that I knew how to swim. That kind of pride sticks with you.”
Stephen had always had plans about how he was going to raise his own children. In a November 1995 interview with The New York Times Humphrey’s son was asked why he had written a book about his father. Stephen answered, “Well, one reason is financial…I have two kids and they’ve got to go to college.”
Now there’s a whole new generation of Bogart-Bacall descendants, and chief among them is Brooke. Furthermore, she bears no small resemblance to her famously beautiful grandmother. In 2008 before Lauren passed away, the then-19-year-old modelled for the front cover of Page Six magazine. The former had also done modeling before making it as an actress.
Brooke revealed a few tidbits about her life in the Page Six interview. She said, “Some people think I’m… an heiress, because of who my grandparents are, but I’m not like that at all.” Brooke added that she had a college lacrosse player boyfriend and was signed to Major Model Management.
Brooke explained that she used Photo Booth on the iBook to take and critique her modeling shots. She told Page Six, “I can see my different expressions and how I look from different angles… If I want to look flirty, I think of my boyfriend. If I want to look sad, I think of my dog Chip, who we had put to sleep last year.”
In the interview Brooke also spoke about her grandparents. She had of course never met Humphrey, as he had died long before her birth, but she’d seen him in films such as To Have and Have Not. Brooke had also picked up on the fact that her famous grandmother had never quite managed to get over him.
Brooke was later subjected to body shaming from some corners of the internet after her cover feature came out. The website Jezebel – which advertised itself as having a feminist leaning – published an article about her which said, “… Is [Brooke] even skinny enough to be an heiress/model? Not really!”
The article went on, “[Brooke is] now signed to Major Model Management – a real thing! I Googled! – and we’ll surely be seeing more of her – or like, ha ha, less of her – in the coming months. And I can’t think of a more worthy candidate for the newest spot in that ever-expanding room of the collective pop cultural psyche we reserve for talentless blonde dilettantes from moneyed suburbs, can you?”
But it was very much Brooke who had the last laugh in the end. In 2012 she became involved in a relationship with a man called Mike Audette. Four years later an engagement announcement appeared in the Massachusetts newspaper The Sun: the pair were getting married.
The announcement began, “Dennis and Dorothy Audette of Tewksbury announce the engagement of their son, Michael B. Audette, to Brooke Anne Bogart, daughter of Barbara Bogart of Brooklyn, [New York City], and Stephen Bogart of Naples, [Florida].” Brooke’s mother Barbara – née Barbara Bruchmann – divorced Stephen back in 2010 after 25 years of marriage.
The article went on, “The bride-to-be is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University. She is employed as a social worker by Mandala Healing Center, West Palm Beach, [Florida]. Her fiancé is a graduate of Tewksbury Memorial High School. He is employed as an admissions counselor by Palm Partners, Delray Beach, Fla. An October wedding is planned.” Brooke and Mike did indeed marry, and they are still together at the time of writing.
Brooke also embarked on a new job. In January 2019 she announced on her Facebook page that she had become an independent stylist with the nail company Color Street. She wrote, “I never thought I would be doing anything like this but here I am.” She was promoting products that were “vegan, formaldehyde-free, paraben-free, gluten-free and cruelty free which is really important to me with my beauty products.”
And Brooke also became a mother herself. She’s never revealed her son’s name to the media, but a few photographs of him exist on the internet and there’s one interesting thing about him. Just like his mother, the little boy bears a strong resemblance to Lauren Bacall. He shares her beautifully pointed ears.