Hollywood screen legend Lauren Bacall has died of a massive stroke. She was 89.
“With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall,” the Humphrey Bogart estate confirmed in a brief statement on Twitter on Tuesday.
Born Betty Joan Perske – “a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx,” as she later put it – Bacall electrified Hollywood in her 1944 screen debut To Have and Have Not, when she famously met Bogart and “taught him how to whistle”.
“The change in their relationship was so gradual as to be unnoticed by the crew at first and possibly by the stars themselves; Bacall later called it “almost imperceptible”, an excerpt from the biography Bogart and Bacall said.
Known for her distinctive husky voice, Bacall was discovered at 19 by director Howard Hawks, who plucked her from the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and fashioned her from a model into a smouldering actress.
Bacall, who was one of the last surviving stars from the golden era of Hollywood studios, was considered one of the greatest screen sirens of all time and her sex appeal was evident from her first screen role.
She appeared alongside Bogart in several other famous film-noir hits following To Have and Have Not, including The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo.
She also starred in such movies as The Mirror Has Two Faces with Barbara Streisand, How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Designing Women with Gregory Peck.
Bacall married Bogart in 1945 – she was 20 and Bogart was 45 – and they were together until his death in 1957.
She had a brief engagement to legendary singer Frank Sinatra before marrying Academy Award winning actor Jason Robards Jr in 1961 and having one son. She divorced Robards in 1969 after his struggles with alcoholism.
Bacall is the only Oscar winner to have married two other Oscar winners.
— with AAP/ABC