Screen legend Lauren Bacall, most famous for her on-and-off-screen romance with Humphrey Bogart, passed away on Tuesday evening at the age of 89 after suffering a massive stroke at her home in Manhattan. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart to The New York Times.
Though Bacall detested the word legend, she is one of the most iconic actresses to come out of Hollywood’s Golden Era, and in particular, film noir. Her signature deep, throaty voice spoke famous lines like “Anyone got a match?” and “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? Just put your lips together and blow.” Her signature “Look,” chin down with eyes peering seductively upwards, has been often imitated but never matched.
While some of Bacall’s early roles were focused on her intense sexuality, she also brought a certain tough-girl charm to her performances. While Marilyn Monroe made fun of herself by playing dumb, Bacall flirted by making fun of the men she was courting. She fell in love, but never seemed all that vulnerable while doing it.
Bacall began her career under the tutelage of Hollywood Golden Era director Howard Hawks. Hawks’ wife Slim saw a modeling shot of Bacall on the cover of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar and brought the 18-year-old to Howard’s attention. He then cast her opposite Humphrey Bogart in her first film, the 1944 adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not. On the set of that film, Bacall fell in love with Bogart though he was 25 years her senior and married to another woman at the time.