Film star Lauren Bacall dies at 89

first_imgLauren Bacall, a bewitching actress whose husky voice and smoldering onscreen chemistry with her husband Humphrey Bogart made her a defining movie star of the 1940s and who decades later won Tony Awards in the Broadway musicals “Applause” and “Woman of the Year,” has died at 89.Robbert de Klerk, co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, confirmed the death in an email.Bacall was one of the last surviving major stars of the studio system, which flourished from the silent movie era to the dawn of the television age. She was a willowy, ash-blond fashion model when veteran film director Howard Hawks plucked her from the pages of Harper’s Bazaar in 1943 and molded her seductive screen persona.Hawks gave Bacall, then 19, an electrifying film debut: as a sexy and insolent woman of mystery in “To Have and Have Not” (1944), based on an Ernest Hemingway story and set in the Caribbean during World War II. The movie shaped her public identity: a woman as sexually confident as she was formidable, or in Bogart’s words, “steel with curves.”In the film’s best-remembered scene, Bacall sidles up to Bogart, who plays a hard-boiled charter boat captain named Steve. She kisses him, then says, “It’s even better when you help.”As she prepares to leave his hotel room, she tells him, “You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”last_img read more