Lauren Bacall, one Hollywood’s last icons from its Golden Age, has died.
The actress reportedly suffered a massive stroke Tuesday morning, an unnamed family member told TMZ. She was 89.
News of Bacall’s death was also confirmed by the estate of her late husband, silver screen legend Humphrey Bogart.
The New York City-born actress married Bogart at the age of 20 after the pair began dating on the set of “To Have and Have Not” in 1944, her first big Hollywood picture.
The age difference was significant – he was 25 years her senior – and he was also married at the time.
Bacall was known for her husky, smooth voice and sultry delivery of dialogue and it was on the “To Have and Have Not” set when she performed one of the most memorable lines in her career: “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
Bacall and Bogart share a scene in the 1944 classic, “To Have and Have Not.”
The couple’s romance blossomed. Bogie left his wife and the two wed in 1945. They remained married until Bogart’s death in 1957.
She was later engaged to Frank Sinatra and tied the knot with actor Jason Robards Jr. in 1961.The two divorced after eight tumultuous years of marriage.
Bacall’s ambidextrous career was divided between the silver screen and theatre. Among her most famous films are titles that include “The Big Sleep,” “Key Largo,” “How to Marry a Millionaire,” and “Murder on the Orient Express.”
And when her talents eventually graced Broadway, she won Tony awards for her performances in “Applause” and “Woman of the Year.”
In 2009, Bacall was presented with an Oscar statuette at the Governors Award ceremony for her contribution to cinematic arts. Award presenter actress Angelica Huston praised Bacall for the “unique combination of intelligence, humour, mystery, allure, and just plain magic” she brought to the screen.
“So many women take these things as very challenging: how to run a career and have a life too. You know, so many stars in Hollywood were defeated by getting one but not the other,” said Academy governor Martha Coolidge about Bacall's ability to balance stardom and the demands of family at the time of the honour. “And I think that Lauren’s achievements in all these areas are really admirable.”
Toward the end of her life, Bacall opened up to Vogue in the magazine’s March 2011 issue about her status as one of the last remaining silver screen stars:
“My son tells me, ‘Do you realize you are the last one? The last person who was an eyewitness to the golden age?’ Young people, even in Hollywood, ask me, ‘Were you really married to Humphrey Bogart?’ ‘Well, yes, I think I was,’ I reply. You realize yourself when you start reflecting—because I don’t live in the past, although your past is so much a part of what you are—that you can’t ignore it. But I don’t look at scrapbooks. I could show you some, but I’d have to climb ladders, and I can’t climb.”
Bacall is survived by three children.