Legendary Actress Lauren Bacall Dies At 89

(NBC) Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced actress whose marriage to Humphrey Bogart was the stuff of Hollywood legend, died Tuesday of a stroke in New York, the Bogart estate told NBC News. She was 89.

Robbert De Klerk, co-manager of the estate, said Bacall died early Tuesday and suffered no pain.

Bacall, born Betty Joan Perske in New York in 1924, was a little-known 19-year-old fashion model when she was cast opposite Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" in 1944. Her impact was immediate, and with one memorable line: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." She became an instant star.

The following year, she and Bogart, 25 years her senior, were married. They remained a storybook couple until Bogart died in 1957, starring together in a series of film-noir classics that included "The Big Sleep" and "Key Largo."

Bogart won the 1952 Academy Award for Best Actor for his appearance in "The African Queen." In 1961, Bacall married another Oscar-winning actor, Jason Robards Jr. They divorced in 1969.

Bacall was also an activist, opposing the Communist witch hunts of the 1940s and '50s and hosting anti-witch-hunt fund-raisers as early as 1947.

Bacall, known almost universally as "Betty," was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 1996's "The Mirror Has Two Faces," and in 2009, she was given an honorary Oscar as one of the central figures of "the Golden Age of Hollywood."

She also had a long Broadway career, winning Tony Awards for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for "Applause" (1970) and "Woman of the Year" (1981).


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