Lauren Bacall, Hollywood's Icon of Cool, Dies at 89
The sultry and sexy actress was electric in the 1940s films “To Have and Have Not” and “Key Largo” opposite her husband, Humphrey Bogart
By Mike Barnes and Duane Byrge
Lauren Bacall, the willowy actress whose husky voice, sultry beauty and all-too-short May-December romance with Humphrey Bogart made her an everlasting icon of Hollywood, has died, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. She was 89.
Bacall died Tuesday morning of a stroke in her longtime home in the Dakota, the famous Upper West Side building that overlooks Central Park in Manhattan.
Bogart and Bacall were one of the most popular Hollywood couples, onscreen and off, and their 11-year marriage was the stuff of romantic lore. In 1981, their love provided the lyrics for Bertie Higgins’ 1981 pop hit “Key Largo” — “We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall.”
They met just before they filmed her first movie, To Have and Have Not (1944), directed by Howard Hawks, her mentor. Although only 19, Bacall and her smoldering cool was the perfect match for the 44-year-old Bogart and his tough guy-persona.
Her best-remembered films, many of them considered classics, were with Bogart: To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).
After Bogart died at age 57 of esophageal cancer in January 1957, Bacall had a romance with Frank Sinatra. Days after she accepted his marriage proposal in 1958, The Los Angeles Herald reported on the impending nuptial on page 1 and Sinatra broke things off, refusing to speak to her for two decades.
She then was married to Oscar-winning actor Jason Robards from 1961 until their divorce in 1969. Their son, actor Sam Robards, survives them.
Bacall received her only Oscar nomination for her supporting role as Barbra Streisand’s mother in The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996). She was the recipient of an honorary Academy Award in 2010 “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures,” but that moment did not lead to pleasant memories — she said she always regretted failing to mention her children Sam, Stephen and Leslie in her acceptance speech.