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June 2012
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Actress Bacall dies at 89

NEW YORK - Lauren Bacall, the slinky, sultry-voiced actress who created on-screen magic with Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" and "The Big Sleep" and off-screen magic in one of Hollywood's most storied marriages, died Tuesday at age 89.

Bacall, whose career brought two Tonys and a special Oscar, died in New York. The managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart Estate, Robbert J.F. de Klerk, said that Bacall died at home, but declined to give further details.

She was among the last of the old-fashioned Hollywood stars and her legend, and the legend of "Bogie and Bacall" - the hard-boiled couple who could fight and make up with the best of them - started almost from the moment she appeared on screen. A fashion model and bit-part New York actress before moving to Hollywood at 19, Bacall achieved immediate fame in 1944 with one scene in her first film, "To Have and Have Not."

Leaving Bogart's hotel room, she murmured:

"You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."

She was less than half Bogart's age, yet as wise and as jaded as him. Her sly glance, with chin down and eyes raised, added to her fame; she was nicknamed "The Look." Bogart and Bacall married amid headlines in 1945, and they co-starred in three more films, "The Big Sleep" (1946), "Dark Passage" (1947) and "Key Largo" (1948). Their marriage lasted until his death from cancer in 1957.

She appeared in movies for more than a half-century, but not until 1996 did she receive an Academy Award nomination - as supporting actress for her role as Barbra Streisand's mother in "The Mirror Has Two Faces." Although a sentimental favorite, she lost to Juliette Binoche for her performance in "The English Patient."

She finally got a statuette in November 2009 when she was presented with a special Oscar at the movie academy's new Governors Awards gala.

Bacall was always a star. With her lanky figure and flowing blonde hair, she was seemingly born for checked suits and silk dresses. On television talk shows, she exhibited a persona that paralleled her screen appearances: She was frank, even blunt, with an undertone of sardonic humor.

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