Hollywood has lost a second iconic voice in less than 24 hours. Lauren Bacall, star of screen, stage and television, passed away at the age of 89 Tuesday.
Born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx, New York in 1924, Bacall was discovered by director Howard Hawks' wife Nancy after she saw a photo of her in Vogue magazine. After flying her across the country for a screen test, Hawks transformed Betty into Lauren and cast her opposite Humphrey Bogart in his classic 1944 drama “To Have and Have Not.” And, as they say, “a star was born.”
Bacall was a fixture of the golden age of Hollywood appearing on screen opposite Bogart, her first husband, several more times including films such as “The Big Sleep” (1946), “Dark Passage” (1947) and “Key Largo” (1948). She also starred alongside Marilyn Monroe in “How to Marry A Millionaire” (1953), with John Wayne in “Blood Alley” (1955), with Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood in “Sex and the Single Girl” (1964) and opposite Paul Newman in “Harper” (1966). She was nominated for a BAFTA for her role in “The Shootist” in 1977 and earned a SAG Award for her performance in “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
Bacall was an upset victim at the Oscars in 1997 when after being nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Mirror” she watched Juliette Binoche win for “The English Patient.” She eventually earned a lifetime achievement award from the Academy at the 2009 Governors Awards.
In her later years, Bacall appeared in such films as Lars Von Triers' “Dogville” and “Manderlay” as well as Robert Altman's “Prêt-à-Porter” and Jonathan Grazer's “Birth.” She also lent her voice to animated films such as “Howl's Moving Castle” and “Ernest & Celestine.” She even voiced a character on “Family Guy.”
The New York native also made a significant impact on the stage, where she won Tony Awards for “Applause” in 1970 and “Woman of the Year” in 1981. Her television credits included “The Petrified Forest,” “The Rockford Files” and a TV version of “Applause.”
She is survived by her son Stephen Bogart, daughter Leslie Bogart and son Sam Robards, from second husband Jason Robards Jr.