Lauren Bacall in 1944/Warner Bros
Lauren Bacall, the New York model who became an overnight movie star at age 19 after appearing opposite Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not,” died Tuesday of a stroke at her home in the Dakota building in Manhattan. Bacall was 89. Her films included "The Big Sleep," "Key Largo" and "How to Marry a Millionaire," and she also starred on Broadway and on television. (Late in her career she played herself on an episode of "The Sopranos.") Director Howard Hawks had signed Bacall and slipped her into "To Have and Have Not" to start her career. "When she became insolent, she became rather attractive,” Hawks reportedly observed later.
Bacall was around show business the rest of her life. She married Bogart and had two children with him, and later married Jason Robards and had a son, actor Sam Robards, with him.
You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.
The New Yorker known as Betty Bacall had a long and illustrious life, from her early days as Howard Hawks' discovery in such films as "To Have and Have Not" (clip below) and "The Big Sleep" to later successes in Hollywood and on Broadway. In 2009 the Academy awarded Bacall, still stunningly beautiful at age 85, an honorary Oscar presented by her old Academy of Dramatic Arts pal Kirk Douglas. "Never fear, Kirk is here," she recalled him telling her.
"People said Bacall was tough," said Douglas. "She's a pussycat with a heart of gold. I'm sure Lauren Bacall will teach the Oscars how to whistle." When Douglas had a threadbare coat, she got him a thicker one. He admitted that he tried to seduce her, but they became friends instead. Anjelica Huston, who was born while her father John, Humphrey Bogart and Bacall were on faraway location in Africa filming The African Queen, was visibly moved as she thanked Bacall for being her "mother, friend, guide, teacher." Here's the video clip.
Bacall waved her Oscar overhead, crowing, "I can't believe it, a man at last!" She went on, "I've been very lucky in my life, luckier than I deserve. At the age of 19 to have been chosen by Howard Hawks to work with a man like Humphrey Bogart... It ended up being Bogart that was my great luck. He was not only a wonderful actor but an extraordinary man. He gave me a life and changed my life." Her children with Bogey, Stephen and Leslie, attended the ceremony.
With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall. pic.twitter.com/B8ZJnZtKhN— BogartEstate (@HumphreyBogart) August 12, 2014