Lauren Bacall – Screen Legend Dead at age 89

lauren-bacallIn addition to gracing fans with her presence on the Silver Screen, Lauren Bacall was the widow of the late great actor Humphrey Bogart. Confirmation of the star’s death was provided by the Humphrey Bogart Estate with a statement that read, “With deep sorrow for the magnitude of our loss, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall”. According to insiders, Bacall died as the result of a massive stroke.

Bacall was actually born Betty Joan Perske in September of 1924 to Jewish parents who were Romanian immigrants. Just five years after landing on Ellis Island, her parents divorced. Soon after, her father disappeared from her life, prompting an unbreakable bond with her mother. Although Bacall started acting at age 17 in Johnny 2×4, a popular Broadway play, it was her modeling and famous cover shoot for Harper’s Bazzar magazine at age 19 that captured people’s attention. With her immeasurable beauty and low, sultry voice, she quickly developed a loyal following.

However, it was only after signing on with Warner Bros. in 1943 and having her first movie debuted in 1944 that the world truly fell in love with Bacall. Her breakout movie, To Have and Have Not allowed Bacall to star alongside Humphrey Bogart who would eventually become her husband. Some of the other movies in which she played a key role included The Big Sleep, Key Largo, How to Marry a Millionaire, which also starred the late Marilyn Monroe, African Queen, Designing Women with Gregory Peck, and The Mirror has Two Faces, a role that landed her a Golden Globe Award, as well as a nomination for an Academy Award.

Bacall and Bogart married in 1945 at the country home of Louis Bromfield, a close friend and Pultizer Prize winning author. Even though Bogart was 25 years her senior, the marriage produced both a son and daughter, and a close loving relationship that lasted until he passed away in 1957 from esophageal cancer. Not long after Bogart’s death, Bacall and Frank Sinatra had a relationship, which abruptly ended after a leaked story in a gossip column but then in 1961, she married actor Jason Robards, Jr. and gave birth to another son. That marriage ended in 1969 due to Robards’ problem with alcohol.

Bacall left her mark on the early film era, being ranked number 20 out of 25 actresses on the “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Stars” list in 1999 and receiving an Academy Honorary Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Bacall’s talent and presence on the screen was often compared to that of Kathryn Hepburn and Bette Davis and although she had not acted for years, her legacy lives on.

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