Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall dies

Wednesday 13 August 2014 23.01
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Lauren Bacall starred in many movies with her husband Humphrey Bogart
Lauren Bacall starred in many movies with her husband Humphrey Bogart
Bacall on stage during the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in 2006
Bacall on stage during the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in 2006
When Bogart died from throat cancer in 1957, Bacall placed a whistle in his coffin
When Bogart died from throat cancer in 1957, Bacall placed a whistle in his coffin

Legendary actress Lauren Bacall, an icon of Hollywood's golden age who lit up the silver screen in a series of classic movies opposite her husband Humphrey Bogart, died last night aged 89, her family said.

"With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall," the Bogart estate confirmed in a brief statement on Twitter.

US media reports said Bacall had died after suffering a massive stroke at her home in New York yesterday morning.

Born Betty Joan Perske - "a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx," as she later put it - Bacall electrified Hollywood in her 1944 screen debut 'To Have and Have Not', when she famously met Bogart and "taught him how to whistle".

With her smouldering gaze and deep, husky voice, she soon became a scorching-hot property both in Hollywood and on Broadway.

Bacall spent much of the rest of her life coming to terms with her early superstardom, which grew into a seven-decade screen and stage career.

Beginning in the Golden Age of Hollywood, it would include wartime dramas and film noir with Bogart, action movies with John Wayne, a romance picture with Gregory Peck and a comedy with Marilyn Monroe.

She cemented her sultry bombshell status in To Have and Have Not, when she cooed to Harry 'Steve' Morgan, played by a smitten Bogart: "You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."

The line gave her instant silver-screen immortality and the American Film Institute pronounced it the 34th greatest movie quote of all time.

When Bogart died from throat cancer in 1957, Bacall placed a whistle in his coffin.

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