Stardom isn’t a profession. It’s an accident.
Supremely confident, husky voiced and beautiful, Lauren Bacall wowed audiences from the moment she made her film debut aged just 19.
Starring opposite Humphrey Bogart in her very first movie – To Have and Have Not – the model-turned-actress delivered one of cinema’s most famous ever lines: “You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow,”
Bogart, 25 years her senior, became the love of Bacall’s life, and the pair wed a year after their first movie together became cinema gold.
Betty – the actress’s given name which she always preferred friends to call her by – and Bogie made three further box office hits together including The Big Sleep before his death in 1957. Both had also taken a principled stance against the anti-Communist witch-hunts of the time.
Bacall continued to work steadily on both stage and screen into her old age, winning an honorary Oscar in 2009.
“I’m not tough, and I never have been,” she once said, summarising how she had survived in Hollywood for so long. “I suppose over the years I've built up kind of a veneer to protect myself because I have functioned on my own for a long, long time, and I have never had a lot of flunkies preceding me to clear the way.”