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✰ On her debut with Bogart in To Have and Have Not

One of the reasons it worked so well [was] because I was still quite innocent underneath the veneer of sultry wisdom. I believe that my underlying innocence, in combination with the suggestive dialogue and the attitude I struck, made it better than it would have been had I been a woman of the world. I didn’t know anything back then, including what I was doing. Everything I did in To Have and Have Not was pure instinct. I was only 19 years old, and far from an experienced actress . . . . [Director Howard] Hawks really knew what to do, and he’s the one who should be given the credit for that.

“I tell the truth, which has gotten me into a lot of trouble, but that’s the way I am. That’s how I’ve dealt with my life. I’m not about to change now.” ✰ On her romance with Bogart, which began on that film set

There is a chemistry that happens between people, and you cannot possibly explain it. What happened between Bogey and me was certainly not by design. First of all, I would never have anyt hing to do with a married man. It would just never occur to me. But we were there together, and we had fun together, and our personalities kind of clicked. The next thing we knew, we were getting caught up in something. I mean, it didn’t happen the first minute, and it was hard for him, too, for he was not a playboy. . . . He was not a man who screwed around, and to do it when he was married to someone else was a horror to him. . . . He probably never believed for a minute that it could work, either. He was 25 years my senior, and I was so young. He told me later that he figured I would leave him in five years. . . . He was a lot more entertaining than anyone else I ever met, I can tell you.

✰ On failing after an early success in films

They put me up on the top rung of the ladder, and then they pulled me down, and I spent the next 20 years trying to get back up. . . . You never

can get back up, you know. Once you have that great impact at the beginning and then fall on your face, you can never achieve the same level of success, because the first time you do it, you’re new. The kind of excitement you generate when you’re new simply does not return. Overnight, I went from anonymity to being on almost every magazine cover in the world. I was an instant star. I learned very early on not to believe any of it. . . . I hadn’t absorbed the success by the time I was a failure, for all of it happened within a year. In one year my life was over. . . . It was all very cruel, for at the very beginning they had made me into something I wasn’t, this brilliant and sophisticated star. . . . Who can live up to that kind of expectation? Nobody.

✰ On her return to New York and her second marriage

[Bogart] died in 1957, and I sold the house [they shared in Holmby Hills, California] and moved away in 1959. . . . Having had a great life there, I just had nothing to keep me. I hadn’t been thought of as an actress for many years by that point. I was thought of simply as Bogey’s wife. My career was less than startling, shall we say. . . . Having had everything go so well for me, I just felt it was time to leave. . . . I came back to where my roots were. I suppose I met Jason Robards. . . . at the end of 1959. Gradually, but not immediately, I started seeing him. . . . Nothing is comparable to anything. It was totally different. I don’t think it serves Bogey or Jason or me to compare them. One has no bearing on the other. It ended in divorce in 1969. . . . But that was no real problem. . . . We were just incompatible. Sometimes things just don’t work out, that’s all, and this just didn’t work out. . . . I’m not going to discuss Jason in any negative way whatever. . . . He is the father of my son Sam, and I’m not knocking him at all.

✰ On her philosophy of life and love

I think there is such a thing as destiny, and that to a degree is what is meant to happen. But I also think that you can direct your life, make choices to alter your life. . . . I am not living exactly the way I want to, but as long as I have freedom and don’t have to worry about paying the rent, I’m okay. Working is, I feel, the most important thing for me to do, since it keeps me functioning. . . . I don’t sit around thinking that I’d like to have another husband; only another man would make me think that way. I might be willing to consider it if someone wonderful came along, but I really don’t expect it. I just don’t think there are too many wonderful men out there. ✦ OCTOBER 2014 • AVENUE MAGAZINE | 69

Profile for AVENUE Magazine

AVENUE October 2014  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...

AVENUE October 2014  

Founded in 1976, AVENUE is a must-read among the city’s most discerning, stylish and savvy audiences. As Manhattan’s oldest society magazine...