Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lauren Bacall

The sad news keeps coming. Lauren Bacall, née Betty Joan Perske, a salesman's daughter who became one of the pre-eminent women of Hollywood in the middle to late twentieth century, died today of a massive stroke at the age of 89. As a boy and young man, I was entranced by her combination of toughness and tenderness, which she shared with another favorite of mine, Katherine Hepburn.

The video above shows her displaying both qualities, playing opposite her frequent film partner and later husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944), based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway. She was nineteen years old when she was cast for this part.