Lauren Bacall, one of the most legendary women in Hollywood’s Golden Age, has died at the age of 89. A family member has reported the cause of death to be the result of a massive stroke Bacall suffered early Tuesday morning in her New York home.
Bacall rose to fame in 1944 when she starred alongside legendary actor Humphrey Bogart in the classic film To Have and Have Not. Although Bogart was at the time married to actress Mayo Methot, the two fell in love and married a year later. Following this, they appeared in three additional movies together; The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo. They also took part in the television adaptation of The Petrified Forest, alongside Henry Fonda. They stayed together until Bogart’s death in 1957. Four years later, the actress married actor Jason Robards, whom she divorced in 1969. She did not remarry after this event.
Other than her roles alongside Bogart, she made a name for herself in the 1950’s with appearances in such films as How To Marry A Millionaire, a comedy in which she worked with icon Marilyn Monroe, and Written In The Wind, a tear-jerker film written by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson. She became known as “The Look” due to her nervous habit of pressing her chin against her chest, followed by tilting her eyes upwards to face the camera. One of her most raved about performances was her role as a femme-fatale in the 1950 hit Young Man With A Horn, also starring Kirk Douglas and Doris Day.
Despite her talent, Bacall had reportedly earned a reputation for being difficult to work with, due to her nature of being extremely picky when it came to being part of a film. The actress reportedly would simply want no part in a production of anything she did not find interesting. This led to her roles, copious as they were, to not be as frequent as they might have been. Also included in the actress’s autobiography, she rejected an invitation from Hollywood Boulevard’s Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (now TCL Chinese Theatre) to create hand and footprints in the cement outside the venue at the Los Angeles premiere of How To Marry A Millionaire.
Bacall was also a star on the Broadway stage, a place she began to spend much of her time after her career began to die down in the 1960’s. She received two Tony awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical; one was awarded for her appearance in 1970’s Applause, and the other for 1981’s Woman Of The Year. The actress only appeared a handful of movies in her later years, although her performance in the 1996 film The Mirror Has Two Faces won her a both Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. In 2009 she won an Academy Honorary Award. One of her last projects consisted of a voice cameo on the hit FOX animated comedy Family Guy, in which she played a friend of lead character Peter Griffin’s mother.
Bacall is survived by three children; Stephen and Leslie Bogart, and Sam Robards. The latter child is also in the acting business, having made his debut in the 1982 film The Tempest. The late actress’s friends and family say she will be missed.
by Rebecca Grace