Classic movie actress Lauren Bacall has died at the age of 89.
The legendary actress, known for her smoky voice and sultry looks, died Tuesday from a stroke. According to family, she passed away peacefully in New York. Bacall had decades of movie successes and was also known for her marriage to Humphrey Bogart, until his death in 1957. Hollywood and the world will greatly miss the classic dame that starred in dozens of films alongside some of the era’s biggest names.
Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in the Bronx, New York to Natalie and William Perske. She worked as a teenage fashion model before acting and appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar as well as in magazines like Vogue. The graceful blondie took lessons at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1941 and made her acting debut on Broadway in 1942, at the age of 17.
It was when film director Howard Hawks spotted Bacall on her famous Harper's Bazaar cover that she was signed into personal contract. He brought her to Hollywood, and she never left!
Her big time break was her lead role in the Bogart film To Have and Have Not in 1944. From there, she continued to make films with Bogart such as The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). She showed off her comedic side in How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.
Her stunning and unforgettable career landed her tons of awards and honors. She earned a Tony Award for Applause in 1970 and won Woman of the Year in 1981. She won a Golden Globe Award for The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) and an Academy Award nomination. In 2009, she was selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to receive an Academy Honorary Award "in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.”
In 1945, Bacall married actor Humphrey Bogart, had two children and stood by his side for 12 years, until his death in 1957. She was 20 and he was 45 when they married. After his death, she briefly dated Frank Sinatra. She then married the actor Jason Robards in 1961 and had a son, Sam Robards, but the two divorced in 1969.
Lauren Bacall was an emblem of classic Hollywood and she will be greatly missed. We will never forget that iconic onscreen moment when she taught Bogart to whistle. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow."
Photo Credit: PR Photos