Actress Lauren Bacall dies at 89

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Lauren Bacall, the smoky-voiced movie legend who taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in To Have and Have Not, has died at the age of 89, according to her family.

Details of the location and the cause of her death were not immediately available. Her death was confirmed by Robbert de Klerk, the co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate. Her daughter, Leslie Bogart, said no other information was available.

Bacall launched her career with the 1944 film that turned Bogie and Bacall into one of Hollywood’s legendary couples on screen and off.

They were married from 1945 until Bogart’s death in 1957.

She was born Betty Joan Perske on Sept. 16, 1924, in New York.

Bacall was a fledgling New York stage actress and a model whose pictures in Harper’s Bazaar came to the attention of director Howard Hawks, who placed her under contract and cast her opposite Bogart in the wartime drama To Have and Have Not.

Bogart and Bacall were teamed up in three more Warner Bros. movies, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo.

Bacall also co-starred in Young Man With a Horn with Kirk Douglas, Bright Leaf with Gary Cooper, How to Marry a Millionaire with Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe, Blood Alley with John Wayne, Written on the Wind with Rock Hudson and Designing Woman with Gregory Peck.

Bacall returned to Broadway to appear in the 1959-60 comedy Goodbye Charlie, the 1965-68 comedy Cactus Flower and the 1970-72 musical Applause, which earned the actress her first Tony Award.

In 1996, Bacall appeared as the meddling mother to Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces, a role for which Bacall received her only Academy Award nomination as supporting actress.

In 1961 she married the actor Jason Robards. The couple, who divorced in 1969, had a son, Sam Robards, who went on to have a successful acting career in his own right.

Bacall returned to her Broadway roots many times. She appeared in the 1959-60 comedy Goodbye Charlie, the 1965-68 comedy Cactus Flower and the 1970-72 musical Applause, which earned the actress her first Tony Award.

In 1996, Bacall appeared as the meddling mother to Barbra Streisand in The Mirror Has Two Faces, a role for which Bacall received her only Academy Award nomination as supporting actress.

She was considered a shoo-in to take home the Oscar but lost out to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient.

The actress told the Los Angeles Times in 1998 that she wasn’t bitter.

“The part I had in Barbra’s movie was a terrific part just on its own,” she said. “The opportunity to work with her was great, but you know, the whole thing of awards is a nightmare, I think. It has gotten out of hand. There are too many awards.”

She said she was surprised when she received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor in 1997, calling it “a very special honor.”

“Listen, I never went into this business thinking of winning anything,” she said. “I went into it because I loved it and I wanted to be good at it. It was a form of expression for me. I love to hide behind characters. So [any recognition] I get is a perk. It’s just an extra. Just the fact that all that happened to me last year, it is – well – fabulous.”

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