Lauren Bacall Dead at 89

Star of stage and screen died of a massive stroke

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 12, 2014 7:28 PM CDT

(Newser) – Actress Lauren Bacall, who shot to fame in the 1940s and remained a cultural icon, died at home today in New York City of a massive stroke, a family member tells TMZ. She was 89. The co-star of classic films like To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948), she was also known for her "low, provocative voice" and famous marriages to Humphrey Bogart and Jason Robards, Entertainment Weekly reports. On stage, she won Tony Awards for her roles in Applause (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981), then garnered an Academy Award nod in Barbra Streisand's The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) and won an honorary Oscar in 2010, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Born Betty Joan Perske to a Jewish family in the Bronx in 1924, Bacall saw her film career launched by a Harper's Bazaar magazine cover at age 19. Told by director Howard Hawks that she would star alongside the likes of Bogart or Cary Grant, "I thought Cary Grant, great," she said later. "Humphrey Bogart‚ yuck." But her 11-year marriage to Bogart was one of Hollywood's most celebrated, ending with his death to esophageal cancer in 1957. Her stormy marriage to heavy-drinking Robards lasted from 1961 to 1969. In later years, she continued acting in films, used her voice for TV commercials, and even played herself in an episode of The Sopranos. "She never got locked in any time warp," said director Robert Altman. "Think about how many social and attitudinal changes that have occurred, and yet Bacall has always remained unique."

This 1965 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall at her home in New York.
This 1965 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall at her home in New York.   (AP Photo, File)
FILE - This June 8, 1979 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall, center,  with Henry Kissinger, left, and actor Henry Fonda at a party to launch her autobiography,By Myself at the Palace Theater in New York. Bacall, the sultry-voiced actress and Humphrey Bogart’s partner off and on the screen,...
FILE - This June 8, 1979 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall, center, with Henry Kissinger, left, and actor Henry Fonda at a party to launch her autobiography,"By Myself" at the Palace Theater in...   (AP Photo/Ron Frehm, FIle)
FILE - This March 7, 2010 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall backstage during the 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Bacall, the sultry-voiced actress and Humphrey Bogart’s partner off and on the screen, died Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 in New York. She was 89.
FILE - This March 7, 2010 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall backstage during the 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Bacall, the sultry-voiced actress and Humphrey Bogart’s partner off and on the...   (AP Photo/Vince Bucci, FIle)
This May 1945 file photo shows actor Humphrey Bogart, left, with his wife actress Lauren Bacall.
This May 1945 file photo shows actor Humphrey Bogart, left, with his wife actress Lauren Bacall.   (AP Photo, File)
This Jan. 14, 1981 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall rehearsing with Eivind Harum, for the musical Woman of the Year, in New York.
This Jan. 14, 1981 file photo shows actress Lauren Bacall rehearsing with Eivind Harum, for the musical "Woman of the Year," in New York.   (AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis, File)
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Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not."   (YouTube)
Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in "The Big Sleep" (1946).   (YouTube)

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