Lauren Bacall: The Life of a Hollywood Icon

Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall & Betty Grable in ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ (1953)

Lauren Bacall, the Hollywood starlet who starred in some of the most popular films of the 1940s and 50s, has died at the age of 89 in New York.

Having began her career as a teen model, Bacall eventually was granted a screen test with Warner Bros. During the screen test, Bacall would hold her chin down and tilt her eyes up towards the camera. This ‘look’ became Bacall’s trademark throughout her career.

Having passed the screen test, Bacall completed her first film, To Have and Have Not, in 1944. Her co-star in the film was Humphrey Bogart, who Bacall began a relationship with.

The following year, Bacall and Bogart married at the home of author Louis Bromfield. Bacall was 20, and Bogart was 45. They had two children and remained happily married for 11 years, until Bogart’s death from cancer in 1957.

The range of films that Bacall completed throughout the 1940s and 50s include The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948) with Humphrey Bogart. She also appeared in Young Man with a Horn (1950) with Kirk Douglas and Doris Day, How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, and Designing Woman (1957) with Gregory Peck.

Bacall was also in a relationship with Frank Sinatra for a while after being widowed, and was married to the actor Jason Robards Jr. from 1961 until 1969.

Although Bacall’s career slowed down in the 1950s, she did continue acting, although in less films than she appeared in throughout the previous two decades.

In 1997, Bacall was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Mirror Has Two Faces. Bacall did not win, but was presented with an Honorary Academy Award for her body of work in 2009.

Throughout her career, Bacall will be remembered for her trademark look and her sultry, femme fatale characters. As one of the last links to the Golden Age of Hollywood, it is likely that Bacall will remain one of the greatest, and most glamorous, Hollywood actresses of all time.

“I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.”

Lauren Bacall, 16th September 1924 – 12th August 2014

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About writingsuzanne

History graduate. Freelance writer and reviewer. Passionate about film, theatre and music (film soundtracks!).
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4 Responses to Lauren Bacall: The Life of a Hollywood Icon

  1. JF says:

    Kirk Douglas wrote in his book that LB was a wonderful person. They were friends for many years.


  2. Carol says:

    I love her and I miss her. I remember the day she died, I cried like a baby.


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