Oscar-nominated legend Lauren Bacall passed away on Tuesday at the age of 89. Known for her romance to leading man Humphrey Bogart, political activism, and career in the Golden Age of films, the actress suffered a stroke in New York City on Tuesday night.
The entertainment industry loses another great, but Bacall leaves behind a stellar career and reputation. This includes her debut film To Have and Have Not (1944) based on the Ernest Hemingway novel, where she was first paired with on and off screen beau Bogart. Two years later, the duo starred together in the mystery thriller adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, followed by appearances in Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948). Bacall’s subsequent films starred alongside some more of Hollywood greats, including Kirk Douglas and Doris Day (Young Man with a Horn), Gary Cooper in Bright Leaf, and the comedy How to Marry A Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable.
After Bogart’s death in 1957, Bacall’s career was really in full throttle, working regularly. Other noteable performances were in Murder on the Orient Express and John Wayne’s last film The Shootist. Not only did she make her mark on the big screen, but Bacall was the recipient of two Tony awards in 1970 and 1981 for Applause and Woman of the Year, respectively.
It wasn’t until 1993 when Bacall’s film efforts were rightfully recongnized by awards committees, where she earned the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes. In 1997, she was nominated for her first Academy Award for the romantic comedy The Mirror Has Two Faces, as Barbra Striesand’s mother, which resulted in Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award wins.
Bacall also published two books, the autobiography By Myself (1978), Now (1994), and By Myself and Then Some (1995), all of which document her experiences in the spotlight, her friends and family life, as well as disputing the label of “legend” that she so fittingly deserves given her trademark sultry voice and tucked-down chin stare that has inspired ingenues in Hollywood decades later. Her most recent accolade was in 2009 where she was awarded the Governors Award at that year’s Oscars to recognize her contribution to the Golden Age of motion pictures.
While the lights of Hollywood are shine a little lower this week, we can remember and honor Bacall’s memory through her legacy on film, stage, television, and in her books. She has been quoted as saying, “I’ve been very lucky in life,” which couldn’t be truer for the viewers of her work.