Lauren Bacall, legendary actress, dies at 89
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.
Her death was confirmed by Robbert de Klerk, the co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate with her son Stephen Bogart.
“She passed away peacefully earlier today in New York,” according to family, De Klerk said.
In a statement released on social media, the Bogart Estate expressed deep sorrow and “great gratitude for her amazing life.”
Reached by telephone at her Santa Monica home, her daughter, Leslie Bogart, said the family was not sharing any additional information at this time.
Bacall launched her career with “To Have and Have Not,” the 1944 film that turned “Bogie and Bacall” into one of Hollywood’s legendary couples on screen and off.
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.
Her first mention in the Los Angeles Times came in 1944 in a column by Hedda Hopper who noted Hawks was “doing a rave about his wife’s discovery Lauren Bacall” for his wartime drama “To Have and Have Not.”
“Lucky Girl,” Hopper wrote. “She’s making her debut opposite Humphrey Bogart.”
Bogart and Bacall, who married in 1945 and were together until his death 12 years later, were teamed up in three more Warner Bros. movies, “The Big Sleep,” “Dark Passage” and “Key Largo.”
She also costarred with many of the era’s biggest names, Kirk Douglas in “Young Man With a Horn,” Gary Cooper in “Bright Leaf,” Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry a Millionaire,” John Wayne in “Blood Alley,” Rock Hudson in “Written on the Wind” and Gregory Peck in “Designing Woman.”
In 1961, she married the actor Jason Robards. The couple, who divorced in 1969, had a son, Sam Robards, who went on to have his own successful acting career.
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 her a Tony Award.
In 1996, Bacall appeared as the meddling mother to Barbra Streisand in “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” a role for which she 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 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.”
Times staff writer Susan King contributed to this report.
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