Lauren Bacall: She tamed Bogie and tempted us
Lauren Bacall, a smoldering model-turned-actress who hit the silver screen as a teen in 1944 and went on to play a series of tough-girl roles, died of a stroke-related issue Wednesday, the Humphrey Bogart Estate announced. She was 89.
One of the sexiest and fastest-rising stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Bacall’s cover photo on Harper’s Bazaar caught the eye of A-List director Howard Hawks, who, as the story goes, taught Bacall her famous sultry growl, changed her name (she was born Betty Joan Perske) and cast her opposite husband Humphrey Bogart in her debut To Have and Have Not, the couple’s first of four films together.
The movie forged her identity — as Bogart once said, “steel with curves” — and “Baby” and “Bogie," whose chemistry was undeniable, married in 1945. She was 20; he was 25 years her senior.
After Bogart died of cancer in 1957, Bacall became engaged to Frank Sinatra and weathered a stormy marriage to actor Jason Robards Jr. The legendary actress later returned to New York, where she grew up, to take her talents to the stage. There, she won Tonys for 1970’s Applause and 1981’s Woman of the Year. She also earned an Oscar nomination for her role as Barbra Streisand’s narcisisstic mother in the 1996 romance The Mirror Has Two Faces.
Bacall leaves behind two adult sons and a daughter.