Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Damn, what a horrible way to start the week! First it was comedian Robin Williams, lost yesterday, apparently to suicide, at age 63. Now comes the news that actress Lauren Bacall--born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx, New York, in 1924--has passed away at age 89.
A former theater usher and fashion model, Bacall first came to prominence in 1944, when, at age 19, she starred with 44-year-old Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not, a film based loosely on Ernest Hemingway’s 1937 novel of the same name. Her famous double entendre-laced line, delivered to a smoking, reclining Bogie--“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and … blow”--knocked out movie-going audiences everywhere, and had no less impact on Bogart himself. At the time he was already on his third marriage, to actress Mayo Methot, but he divorced her the next year to wed Bacall, or “Baby” as he called her. The pair were together only until his death in 1957, but if Bogie’s ghost is still anywhere around today, he’s whistling for her to join him today.
You can watch a Turner Classic Movies tribute to Bacall here.
READ MORE: “Lauren Bacall (1924-2014), Hollywood Legend and Style Icon,” by Noel Murray (The Dissolve); “Lauren Bacall, Sultry Movie Star, Dies at 89,” by Enid Nemy (The New York Times); “Lauren Bacall, Legendary Actress, Dies at 89,” by Ryan Parker and Dennis McLellan (Los Angeles Times); “The Magnetic Mystique of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall,” by Soraya Nadia McDonald (The Washington Post); “Lauren Bacall’s Guide on How to Become a Successful Model in New York City, 1941” and “Was Lauren Bacall the World’s Most Glamorous Newsie?,” by Greg Young (The Bowery Boys); “Fond Farewells: Pleasant Dreams, Mrs. Bogart,” by John “J.F.” Norris (Pretty Sinister Books); “Tribute to Lauren Bacall (1924-2014),” by Scott (The Nick Carter & Carter Brown Blog); “Reactions to Lauren Bacall’s Death: Great Beauty, An Iron Backbone” (Deadline Hollywood); “Last Bacall” (Pulp International); “Historian Explains Lauren Bacall’s Cool: ‘She’s Got That It Factor With a Capital I,’” by Jessica Goldstein (Think Progress); “Lauren Bacall: Sept. 16, 1924-Aug. 12, 2014,” by Jon M. Wessel (Eleven-Nineteen); “What the Media Isn’t Telling You About Lauren Bacall (and Humphrey Bogart),” by Clancy Sigal (Salon).