Lauren Bacall, an iconic actress of Hollywood's golden age who lit up the silver screen in a series of classic movies opposite her husband Humphrey Bogart, has died aged 89, her family has said.
"With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall," the estate of the Bogart family said on a verified Twitter account on Tuesday.
US media reports said Bacall had died after suffering a massive stroke at her home in New York on Tuesday morning.
Born Betty Joan Perske - "a nice Jewish girl from the Bronx," as she later put it - Bacall electrified Hollywood in her 1944 screen debut "To Have and Have Not", when she famously met Bogart and "taught him how to whistle."
I travelled 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.
Bacall, with smoldering gaze and deep, husky voice, spent much of the rest of her life coming to terms with her early super-stardom, which grew into a seven-decade screen and stage career.
She was only 19 when Hawks cast her in her first movie, 1944's "To Have and Have Not," as an American girl who shows up at a seedy hotel in Martinique. She won a place in Hollywood history with her sexy query to Bogart , "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together - and blow."
Bacall and Bogart were married the next year after he ended his turbulent third marriage to actress Mayo Methot. Bacall and Bogart went on to star together in "The Big Sleep" (1946), "Dark Passage" (1947) and "Key Largo" (1948).
She appeared in more than 30 other movies, including "Young Man With a Horn" (1950), "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953) and "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974).
Still, Bacall's movie career was rocky. In such films as "Confidential Agent" (1945) and "Bright Leaf" (1950), she essentially played the same role as in "To Have and Have Not."
A comic turn in "How to Marry a Millionaire" earned applause but few of her other films were memorable and she became the self-proclaimed "den mother" to her two children, Stephen, and Leslie, and a regular crowd of Bogart's drinking buddies.
Bacall worked occasionally in films in the 1960s and '70s, notably in "Harper" (1966) opposite Paul Newman, the all-star Agatha Christie hit "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974) and "The Shootist" (1976), which was John Wayne's last film.
Her career revived in fits and starts through the 1980s and 1990s, culminating in her first Oscar nomination for her supporting role as Barbra Streisand's domineering mother in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Bacall won the Golden Globe and several other honours for the role but the Oscar continued to elude her.
After her film career cooled, Bacall returned to the stage.
She won best actress Tony Awards for "Applause" in 1970 and "Woman of the Year" in 1981. Over the years she had transformed her persona from a willowy temptress with a come-hither look to a shrewd and worldly woman.
Of her career and life, Bacall once said, "I travelled 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."
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 pictures."
Source: Reuters And AFP