Lauren Bacall on Life After Humphrey Bogart's Death: 'I Floundered Then and I do Flounder'

The legendary actress talks with Diane Sawyer about life, death, and love in a 1994 "Primetime Live" interview.
11:13 | 08/13/14

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Transcript for Lauren Bacall on Life After Humphrey Bogart's Death: 'I Floundered Then and I do Flounder'
It's not that unusual for a celebrity to write a book about the lessons of life. But usually -- filled with -- assurances you know -- kind of like a smile is all you need that kind of thing. Well if it's fact kind of advice you like you've come to the wrong place. Lauren Bacall is the youngest of that constellation of actresses Hepburn and Davis -- work. Who created the American got -- someone strong glamorous and self reliant. Her story is of triumph but it's also about getting knocked down and then having to get back up again and -- way -- telling it is vintage -- call on some battle. Right to the point. Not know. Stopping traffic I'm sorry but you're -- -- I have not Q why is it. It's still stopping traffic at seventy forever -- -- -- -- That terrible word young said he hated. The reason. I hate. I hate the focus in America and it. The necessity. To be perfect. Physically. In my own profession. That want to see who's coming up with young. You look good for you -- -- yeah I do fact because I'm I'm breathing hard rocking demonstrate what's the difference -- being. They age -- are now on being nineteen. Well I don't swing my hips I guess that's one thing. Peru just look at her. The girl every girl secretly wanted to being independent. Of little dangerous. Products you -- -- -- -- But she was also an illusion a model discovered by chance -- a director's wife saw her picture and a magazine. And told her husband the girl was a star. A nineteen year old innocent so scared she lowered her chin to keep from shaking you -- you don't ethnic. We have to say anything to do. -- that combination of fear and nerve a look was born. One afternoon the biggest star in Hollywood walked into -- dressing room and without warning leaned over and kissed her. Even bailing out. It was 1945. When they married a 46 year old Humphrey Bogart teared up booking on his young wife all. But he was Smart enough to give her a long leash for her crashes. Adlai Stevenson Leonard Bernstein's. I don't think -- some money -- Oh man looks at me well -- not a robot if I didn't know that -- would tell. Him. The great thing about it was that he knew that he would marry -- girl 25 years his junior. And he knew. That I had no experience in life and that I would meet people that would affect me. In different way. I mean -- attractions to other people don't and William. -- the house so I hope. -- about -- -- that's happened doesn't mean do a damn thing about it but it happens. He was her teacher and great love. And then in 1956. Just after they made this costume test for their fifth movie together he went to the doctor. Have learned he had cancer of the throat. For a year they lived with the pain and ignored the inevitable. I think that the person who has the disease. -- who was -- hell is the one. Who tells you how to -- In Boeing's -- never discusses. He played it as though he'd had a -- -- -- you know you begin to think that it this way of life. And that it will continue that way but your routine and we'll continue. That you will. Get up in the morning in the -- will be there -- -- -- you have husband and and you go to work and then you come back -- there -- being. I never thought of a specific and that. And Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were over they -- -- lasts they would allow us. Friends to -- -- because they came almost all of us having. Expense the world -- and Pat -- And said yeah. Where another way. And Boca me bring it down it is that package that is and looked at him. And -- said. -- experience. He died the next morning. She was a mother of two children all alone. That you -- Flounder a lot of hot. -- -- -- -- I do flounder I'm in like with men Bogart didn't prepare for how tough the game would be. -- -- -- all affected that the boat -- Every one effect. And I suppose that kept -- -- back in December 2 -- that. It took it -- in the sense that a lot like what are you like in love. -- the slob. -- lot of the dog -- while I am a total. Reject. I am not -- I don't I don't play the game. Say I'm no good at the game. I can play -- for the first twenty minutes from them. Let -- know -- you really fear that's but I really like -- -- nobody really wants to do that. In her new book now she writes about the younger man the married -- the loneliness and between. And no mention of the man who right after Bogart's death -- her and then publicly dumped her because of this item -- -- gossip column. More pessimistic but Sinatra. -- That's all. It was the change. Now -- again he wants ability to speak to me anyway I think he certainly wants me after this discusses he doesn't speak to. And -- still. I don't it's a ridiculous I don't care -- -- -- years I had a fabulous time with -- he was he was raped. He helped me through -- really rough time. Obvious to -- -- -- but I also think that he. Realized that he couldn't cope with that he couldn't follow -- -- equipment. The what I would expect him today. But he never -- And that was the that was what her -- -- Deal with it. I cool ride a lot. But that's when I left California. Because of that yet. Personally professionally the girl of the decade was knocked out cold. Over the next ten years she auditioned like everyone else -- for part he's the bad ones. -- She writes of her career I've had many more down the knobs but some dazzling knobs. Even when she tried to stage first time out but critics gave the play a drubbing. But at 41 she got back up and -- the book call was still -- star -- in cactus flower and the musical applause. Belting out I'm alive a big opening number that seemed written for her. And it looked as if she had a second chance at real romance to. In 1961 she married actor Jason Robards. He drank they fought. It ended after a stormy eight years with another child to raise on her own. What it -- about parenting. About parenting. That it's a no win situation. I think it. I think it's a -- -- I think you never can really do it all right. No matter how hard you try you always want to give your children what you didn't have. And make life better for them in your five. But that's not been more. In her book she writes I'm an actress I lecture I write the final truth is this I -- alone. No one will allow are considered the fact that that could -- you know on the it's on except to -- -- give me that the you know. Though there must be a long line waiting for you honey reeling then. -- -- I -- notice that a lot of I want to go to a movie and I think. Moment -- -- -- have to call up a couple say. You know you can't just call the white may be who -- friendly which is -- lives. -- So that it there's a lot of that. Well. That's Iraq but just let -- walk into a party and see how they clamor around reducer is now merchant gets -- home for a part. I know I. Haven't that couldn't get Baghdad's. Our idea of -- -- proud Papa after a fifty year career woman still vital still fighting in the world where the rules and the rules have changed. I don't wanna see anyone -- it won't make it anymore it's going to elect. I don't want to see anyone in the acts in the middle of the acts on screen. I -- -- watch anyone else doing it and if somebody came to noon and -- Five million dollars tiny amount of nudity. But it's essential to the store and -- who would not make good time. But will always had this picture. Fifty years ago it was in every paper in the world. The new girl in Hollywood came to the National Press Club in Washington and dared to climb aboard the piano but startled vice president. A moment his daughter will never forget. -- -- -- -- Just on television may have a lot at issue is not I guess what he's. I understand that the piano which is -- -- here but upstairs. That. Lauren Burke both found not angling her legs. Mother incidentally was not amused by that -- -- I'll bet she -- has been popping up I'm just sitting Donovan I got rob. What you -- -- -- intends. Certain you know. I like to be fifty. The act ever the flinty realists and for the semi this is exactly the ever the shimmering girl who stepped right out of our dream. It's hard to believe that it all happened in May just because somebody else. Chris who do have a sense -- the I've lived through that.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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