This week brought the passing of a true Golden Age treasure. Lauren Bacall died at age 89. As a humongous Humphrey Bogart fan, the passing of Lauren Bacall carries a deeper sting. The two become a huge Hollywood couple, but they were also a rare one actually built on and maintained by their strong love. They would stay married until Bogart’s death in 1957.
Bacall was born in the Bronx, New York and mostly raised by her mother. Her parents divorced when she was 5-years old and her father took off. As a teen she landed a few noticeable modeling jobs and earned a role on Broadway. But it was filmmaker Howard Hawks who would give her her big shot. He cast this relatively unknown opposite Humphrey Bogart in “To Have and Have Not”. The rest is history.
Bacall established herself as a sultry and sexy actress with a uniquely husky voice and a pair of eyes that would melt you. She would go on to make three more fantastic films with Bogart including “Key Largo”, “The Big Sleep”, and “Dark Passage”. Later she would work alongside such big names as Gregory Peck, Marilyn Monroe, Gary Cooper, Betty Grable, John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, and Paul Newman just to name a few.
Bacall’s movie career slowed down in the 60’s and 70’s but she still found the occasional standout role. She would earn her first Oscar nomination in 1997 for “The Mirror has Two Faces”. She would eventually lose the statue in what was considered by many to be a shocking upset. The Academy would later recognize her with their lifetime achievement award. It was most deserving. Bacall was a sizzling screen actress who made her impact with the big stars while only 20-years old. She went on to have a wonderful career giving us so many films we can look back on and enjoy. She not only captured Bogart’s heart, but the hearts of millions of cinema fans throughout the decades. We’ll miss you Betty!