The leading-lady of american cinema reportedly suffered “a massive stroke” at her home on Tuesday morning.
“With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall,” the estate of the Bogart family posted on a verified Twitter account.
Known for her iconic sultry look and deep husky voice, Bacall was an oscar winning film and stage actress and model.
Born in New York in 1924, the public knew her as Lauren but in fact she was born Betty Joan Perske, the only child of immigrant parents. Her parents later divorced and she adopted her mother’s maiden name Bacal.
Like many women of her generation she dreamed of being a broadway star, starring in small roles on stage before modelling for Harper’s Bazzar. It was there that she was first noticed by the wife of director Howard Hawks. Hawks gave her the screen name Lauren as well as her first big break at age 19 in the 1944 film ‘To Have and Have not’ starring alongside Humphrey Bogart.
The starlet famously married Bogart, the Hollywood film great in 1945. At the time, Bacall was just 20 years of age and Bogart 45, having divorced his third wife only a year before. The pair made many successful films together and had two children, Stephen Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Bogart.
The pair remained together until Bogart’s death from esophageal cancer in 1957.
Bacall has a well-publicised brief romance with crooner Frank Sinatra before marrying Jason Robards Jr. in 1961. They divorced in 1969, after enduring an eight year stormy marriage thanks to Robards alcoholism – they had one son Sam Robards.
The 89-year-old starred in more than 30 films during her rocky career. Of her career and life, Bacall once said, “I traveled by roller coaster, a roller coaster on which the highs were as high as anyone could ever hope to go. And the lows! Oh, those lows were lower than anyone should ever have to go – 10 degrees below hell.”
She published two memoirs of her life and times and in 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded her an honorary Oscar “in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pcitures.”
Bacall is the only Oscar winner in history to have been married to two other Oscar winners.
Bacall pictured here with Humphrey Bogart on the set of the film ‘The Big Sleep’, 1946.