NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As Hollywood mourns the loss of another star—legendary actress Lauren Bacall who died of a stroke at 89 years old Tuesday CBS 2 took a look back at her career and life.
As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, Bacall was born in the Bronx as Betty Joan Perske. Her parents were Jewish immigrants and she was the first cousin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
She began modeling until she caught the eye of a casting director.
Bacall was only 19 when she became a star in 1944 in her first film “To Have and Have Not.”
She captured the hearts of America and her leading man, 45-year-old Humphrey Bogart, and her future husband.
After marrying Bogart, the couple starred in many films together until he died in 1957 of cancer. She was briefly involved with Frank Sinatra and later married Jason Robards.
Bacall perfected her trademark chin-down-eyes-up look and admitted it came to be by accident.
“I always would shake, I really was nervous, I had no confidence in myself and so I found my head would shake and I found the only way I could keep it still would be to just hold my head down and look up,” Bacall said in an interview.
She won Tony Awards for her performances in “Woman of the Year” and “Applause,” opposite “Blue Bloods” star Len Cariou. The two remained friends for more than 40 years.
“I have many fond memories,” Cariou told CBS 2 by phone, “her guts, her sense of humor.”
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She received an Oscar nomination for the movie “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”
For decades, she lived in The Dakota on the Upper West Side where news anchor Rick Folbaum would see her walking her dog late at night.
“I did one time tell her that I was a big fan of hers and she said, ‘I think our dogs are big fans,’ and that was the case,” Folbaum said.
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While she was a very private person, those close to her say she had a great sense of humor which she shared in 2009 when she was presented with an honorary Academy Award.
“The thought when I get home that I’m going to have a two-legged man in my room is so exciting, I can hardly stand-up,” Bacall joked in her acceptance speech.
Her fans said she will be missed.
“Wonderful actress, beautiful lady,” Francyse Bourcel said. “So it’s the end of an era I guess.”
“A very nice woman who could be feisty but in a good way, in a fun way from people around the neighborhood who knew her,” fan John McKinley said.
Bacall is survived by three children and six grandchildren.
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