Lauren Bacall

Another light from the Golden Age of Hollywood has gone out with the sad news that actress Lauren Bacall has passed away aged 89. It is thought she suffered a stroke at her New York home. Born in Brooklyn in 1924, Bacall made her screen debut in 1944’s TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, directed by Howard Hawks. Aged just 19 she delivered the immortal line:

“You know how to whistle don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

The “Steve” in question, Humphrey Bogart, was to play an enduring role in her life – the pair got married and became one of the most famous couplings in movie history until Bogart’s death in 1957. They made several films together, including THE BIG SLEEP. She went on to marry fellow actor Jason Robards.

Her long career had something of a renaissance when director/star Barbara Streisand cast her in THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES in 1996, for which the veteran star won a Golden Globe. In recent years she branched out into more unconventional fare, taking parts in Lars Von Trier’s DOGVILLE and Jonathan Glazer’s BIRTH. Bacall notoriously became irritated when asked by TV presenter Jenni Falconer: “What was it like working with the screen legend Nicole Kidman?” The relatively green Kidman co-starred in both movies.

Bacall’s son issued the following message via the Bogart Estate’s Twitter account:

All of us here at THN send our condolences to her family and friends, she was a unique actress who left her indelible mark on the movie world and everyone around her.