Hollywood icon Lauren Bacall, 89

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This November 14, 2009 file photo shows US actress Lauren Bacall arriving for the 2009 Governors Awards at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO

This November 14, 2009 file photo shows US actress Lauren Bacall arriving for the 2009 Governors Awards at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California. AFP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Legendary actress Lauren Bacall, an icon of Hollywood’s golden age who lit up the silver screen in a series of classic movies opposite her husband Humphrey Bogart, died Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) aged 89.

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“With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm the passing of Lauren Bacall,” the Bogart estate confirmed in a brief statement on Twitter.

US media reports said Bacall died after suffering a 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.”

With her smoldering gaze and deep, husky voice, she soon became a scorching-hot property both in Hollywood and on Broadway.

Bacall spent much of the rest of her life coming to terms with her early superstardom, which grew into a seven-decade screen and stage career.

Beginning in the Golden Age of Hollywood, it would include wartime dramas and film noir with Bogart, action movies with John Wayne, a romance picture with Gregory Peck, and a comedy with Marilyn Monroe.

She cemented her sultry bombshell status in “To Have and Have Not,” when she cooed to Harry “Steve” Morgan, played by Bogart: “You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

The line gave her instant silver-screen immortality, and the American Film Institute pronounced it the 34th greatest movie quote of all time.

When Bogart died from throat cancer in 1957, Bacall, who had two children with the legendary actor, placed a whistle in his coffin.

Born in New York on September 16, 1924, Bacall was the only child of a salesman and a secretary, Jewish immigrants from Poland and Romania who divorced when she was five.

She eventually took her mother’s maiden name, Bacal, and modified it slightly when her acting career took off.

AFP

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