Lauren Bacall, Legendary Actress of Stage And Screen, Dead At 89

BacallThe Hollywood icon passed away in New York on Tuesday, reportedly suffering a stroke according to USA Today. Bacall, 89, was a larger than life figure known for her husky voice and sensual performances. Originally a model and stage actress, she was cast in her break-out role by director Howard Hawks in 1944’s To Have and Have Not opposite Humphrey Bogart. Bogart was 44 and unhappily married when the pair met. While Bacall was only 19 at the time, the pair quickly fell in love. “Bogie and Bacall” were married in 1945 and were together for 12 more years until Bogart’s death in 1957. Her career thrived throughout many periods of her life, as The LA Times notes

“[Bacall] costarred with many of the eras 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." […]

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 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.” 

Bacall did go on to receive an honorary academy award in 2009. Though awards and nominations were merely icing on the cake:

"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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  1. Always loved her talent. RIP.

    Posted by: JSB | Aug 12, 2014 9:35:43 PM

  2. I don't know how many more of these I can take. So much of my past and love is now gone. These icons are like gods to me, and when they die, it destroys part of who I am.

    Posted by: Robert | Aug 12, 2014 9:41:16 PM

  3. This woman was truly the last person that can be described as a "STAR". She is the last of the studio stars, the kind we shall never see again. She was also what can be lovingly referred to as a great "broad".

    Posted by: I wont grow up | Aug 12, 2014 9:46:08 PM

  4. A very bad year for celebrities. It's been like two or more a week all year long.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 12, 2014 9:54:27 PM

  5. Sad news. She was terrific in one of my very favorite movies, "The Big Sleep" (the first version) and she's really good in the Douglas Sirk classic "Written on the Wind".

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Aug 12, 2014 10:22:33 PM

  6. Not one of my favourite actresses. By many accounts, overbearing and difficult. Suspended by her studio many times for turning down too many movie scripts. With that low voice and look, drag queen material. Wouldn't have made it without marrying Bogey. Meh.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Aug 12, 2014 10:31:32 PM

  7. Sad. But the woman LIVED. Hers was truly a life lived to the fullest (unlike David's life, which might as well be death it's so unlived).

    As I Won't Grow Up said, she was a great broad and a true star. And an icon. RIP.

    Posted by: Tyler | Aug 12, 2014 10:50:34 PM

  8. Bacall invented gay chic even before there was a gay community.

    Posted by: petey | Aug 12, 2014 10:52:43 PM

  9. She was to my mind a classy lady. Stylish, subtle in restraint, full of suggestion without vulgarity, panther like as she moved, with a sinister twinkle and latent humor. I've known people who have met her and all reports agree she was a fine person.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Aug 12, 2014 10:54:44 PM

  10. Bacall's character in "Young Man with a Horn" was lesbian, but she later said that she was so naive back then that she didn't realize her character had left her husband (Kirk Douglas) for another woman.


    Posted by: Rexford | Aug 12, 2014 11:27:02 PM

  11. Not a "Meryl Streep" actress but a true Star. She was stunningy beautiful and classy. RIP Ms. Bacall

    Posted by: Owens | Aug 12, 2014 11:55:53 PM

  12. The Big Sleep and Dark Passage are 2 of my favorites. I think she is absolutely gorgeous.

    Posted by: scudpipe | Aug 13, 2014 12:51:34 AM

  13. She was the leading lady in the first Broadway show I ever saw, "Cactus Flower", on my high school NYC trip in my junior year. At the time, I had no idea of the privilege it was to see a legendary icon perform live. #RIP

    Posted by: JonnyNYNY2FLFL | Aug 13, 2014 12:53:58 AM

  14. Later in my life, I saw her in many of her classic roles, but the first thing I remember, and will probably love the best, is that cheesy early-90s movie "All I Want for Christmas." She and a VERY young Thora Birch sing "Baby it's Cold Outside," my first introduction to what has become one of my favorite holiday songs. We'll miss you, Ms. Bacall. Requiescat in pace.

    Posted by: L'Herb | Aug 13, 2014 1:06:15 AM


    Actually, if you had studied her career, you would know that marrying Bogart actually hurt her film career. Howard Hawks had been grooming her for stardom, but after she became involved with Bogart Hawks sold her Warner Bros. contract and that almost finished her film career.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 13, 2014 1:20:06 AM

  16. @I Won't Grow Up: You said "This woman was truly the last person that can be described as a "STAR". She is the last of the studio stars, the kind we shall never see again."

    But---I'll respectfully disagree, because Doris Day is still living and she was one of the very biggest of the studio stars, particularly in the 1950s and early 1060s. At this point in time, I would say that Doris (now at age 90 or 92, depending on your sources) is the most major star from Hollywood's golden age still living.

    Sigh... it's sad, but that era is truly over, and almost none of the greats are left.

    (Trivia: Doris and Bacall did co-star in one picture, "Young Man with a Horn.")

    Posted by: octobercountry | Aug 13, 2014 2:26:37 AM

  17. Interesting fact about her death... she was the last living member of this esteemed group:

    "Greta Garbo, and Monroe
    Deitrich and DiMaggio
    Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
    On the cover of a magazine

    Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
    Picture of a beauty queen
    Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
    Ginger Rodgers, dance on air

    They had style, they had grace
    Rita Hayworth gave good face
    Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
    Bette Davis, we love you"

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 13, 2014 7:23:32 AM

  18. She was an amazing woman, and I hope she is remembered by all. I remember her going on an awesome rant on Larry King about how the Republicans have ruined this country since 1900. It was priceless.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 13, 2014 7:31:15 AM

  19. Olivia de Havilland, at 98 still lives! She is truly the last great living star of Hollywood's Golden Age.

    But, Lauren was not only a iconic actress, but an out-spoken political activist for progressive and Democratic causes. That's why some considered her difficult.

    Posted by: Jonnycakes | Aug 13, 2014 7:32:19 AM

  20. Don't forget that Ann-Margaret, Kim Novak, Debbie Reynolds, Angie Dickinson, Tippi Hedron, Joanne Woodward, and Angela Lansbury are all still alive. Just because you're not mentioned in a Madonna song doesn't mean you aren't notable.

    Posted by: Hrm | Aug 13, 2014 8:04:19 AM

  21. We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall. RIP,Betty.♥

    Posted by: peter | Aug 13, 2014 8:37:01 AM

  22. One of the last true movie stars! Beautiful and dramatic, what a voice she had! RIP.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Aug 13, 2014 9:27:51 AM

  23. I also was going to mention Olivia de Havilland. There are still a few studio stars left.

    Posted by: jmgjmg | Aug 13, 2014 9:34:40 AM

  24. Here's a link to clip of her in her last movie. She could still wipe the floor with everyone else.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 13, 2014 9:38:21 AM

  25. Robin Williams, Luren Bacall how sad, such talent.
    Don't these things happen in threes, who will be next?

    Posted by: EJC | Aug 13, 2014 10:01:00 AM

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