Lauren Bacall, star of such film classics as The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and Murder On The Orient Express has passed away at the age of 89. A woman whose career on both stage and screen was as legendary as it was luminous, Lauren Bacall was active for a solid 70 years in the entertainment industry, with her most recent work being on a Family Guy episode entitled Mom's The Word. The cause of death is suspected to be a stroke, suffered this morning at her New York home.
The Humphrey Bogart Estate made the announcement this evening, posting a photo of Bacall accepting her Academy Honorary award at 2009's Oscars, as well as the following statement:
With deep sorrow for the magnitude of our loss, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall.
Her big start in film was in 1944, with the Howard Hawks motion picture To Have And Have Not. You might know it as the film that brought the world this classic film moment.
Oddly enough, it was director Hawks' wife who did the actual "discovering" of Bacall, leading her to suggest that her husband screen test her for the film that would that also introduce her to her then boyfriend/eventual husband Humphrey Bogart. The two would marry a year later, and would be married until Bogart's death in 1957; after which she was married to fellow legend Jason Robards for an eight year period between 1961 and 1969.
If Lauren Bacall could be described in two words, those two words would be "smoldering beauty." Sass and poison were her stocks in trade, as she had the opportunity to burn up the screen with actors like Kirk Douglas, Rock Hudson, and of course, Bogie himself. Off the screen, Bacall was a very political woman, firmly entrenched in the Democratic Party and known to stump for both Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy. She passed on scripts she didn't like, though that didn't stop her from getting panned. In every phase of her career, she was in command and most certainly in demand. She even made music history, as she was the one who coined the name of her husband's infamous entourage, which would later be inherited by Frank Sinatra himself – The Rat Pack.
In recent years, Bacall has played in such films as The Mirror Has Two Faces, Howl's Moving Castle, and Ernest And Celestine, with an Academy Award Nomination in 1997 for Best Supporting Actress in The Mirror Has Two Faces. Her legacy, both personal and professional, will be as remembered as they were robust. Lauren Bacall is survived by her three children: Stephen Bogart, Leslie Bogart, and Sam Robards. We send our most sincere condolences to her family and friends, and if you would like to pay your virtual respects, please direct them to The Humphrey Bogart Estate's official website, Twitter and Facebook pages. All three are co-managed by Stephen Bogart himself.