But in at the exquisitely tender age of 19, she was also projecting an indelible screen persona: that of the tough, quick-witted American woman who could fight the good fight alongside her man.
Humphrey Bogart, the star of Casablanca, was an obvious choice to play the lead male character - a world-weary loner who sets out to avoid politics and women but ends up being ensnared by both.
Williams and some female singers were tested to dub for Bacall because of fears she lacked the necessary vocal skills.
Yet even that action allows her to remain in control — she dictates pace and length, playing on his apparent unwillingness to engage. The only similarities include the title, the name and a few personality traits of the main character Harry Morgan, the name of Marie, the name of Eddie, and the name and character traits of Johnson.
He succeeded better that he could ever have imagined. Struck by Perske's sultry beauty and strong personality, Hawks saw her potential immediately and intended to make her an instant star, under the name Lauren Bacall.
Her openly sexual invitation although not too open, Hawks had to get this past the censors marks her out as a woman who asks for — and gets — what she wants. He also states that although elements of Hemingway, Faulkner, and Casablanca can be found in the film, it represents Hawks's capacity for expression, claiming it is, "beyond doubt, exactly the work its director intended it to be, and would have been nothing like this in the hands of anyone else.