In an interview with Jeremy Isaacs in 1995 (via The New York Times), Lauren Bacall said, “I had one great marriage.” She didn’t name which one, but her consistent expressions of affection for her years with Humphrey Bogart didn’t leave it much of a question. Her marriage to Jason Robards Jr., by contrast, was rarely mentioned by the press. Bacall occasionally seemed upset about that, but she also never waxed romantic about her second marriage the way she did about the first.
Robards, the son of silent film actor Jason Robards Jr., followed his father into show business and eventually caught a break through his work in “The Iceman Cometh.” Given his profession and an assumed physical resemblance to Bogart by some journalists, the story presented in some quarters was that Bacall had fallen for a substitute. It was a charge Bacall deeply resented. “My time with Jason bore no resemblance to my life with Bogie, none,” she told Vanity Fair. “He didn’t look anything like Bogie, and he didn’t behave anything like Bogie. He didn’t think anything like Bogie.”
They were married for eight years. The wedding itself, in 1961, was complicated by their not having legal documents at the ready. They had one child together before Bacall ended things, in part over one trait Robards had in common with Bogart: alcoholism. By choice, Bacall kept a cordial distance afterward.
If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).