Sad news befalls Hollywood twice in one week. Within hours of the tragic death of Robin Williams (63) we lost a true acting legend, the last remnant of the Golden Age of Cinema, Lauren Bacall (89).
Dying of a stroke and survived by her three children, Lauren Bacall grew old with grace and never once lost an ounce of her feisty femme fatale demeanour. I didn’t follow her career in her later years, only now that she has passed away have I been made aware of her accomplishments and accolades.
Like many silver screen sirens, Bacall will forever been seen in black and white, her sultry bedroom eyes her trademark and her husky tones making her the epitome of the femme fatale. Her dry wit, wry smile and powerful presence forever captured in film. Images of the star in her youth are still striking, that old saying “they don’t make ’em like they sued too” rings true looking at Bacall. She was one of a kind and even as she ages she never lost that sultry look or that husky voice.
I adore watching her in The Big Sleep, as a film noir fan I can’t get enough of the that film. She is the definition of a femme fatale and, as far as I am concerned no others can rival her. Her on screen flirtations with Humphrey Bogart in a number of films blossomed into an off screen romance that lasted eleven years, until his death in 1957. Although several years his younger the pair were the image of a happily married couple, they even had two children together. A true Hollywood romance that to this day defines both their careers. And although she did remarry in the sixties to Jason Robards – which lasted eight years and resulted in one child – her relationship with Humphrey Bogart is the one everyone recalls when they think of Bacall’s early acting career. Bacall survived both her Husbands and never married again after Robards [who died in 2000].
You can see from her films and photos that she was a strong, brave woman with a big heart and a lot of passion. Her unique look makes me long for that bygone era of beauty and grace. There will always be something about Lauren Bacall, who grew old with such grace and vigour that dying of a stroke seems undignified and cruel, something that will forever remain with me in my lowest moments and times where I find myself in need of motivation and inspiration. Like her contemporaries Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth there is something about Bacall that can never be replicated, something that died out with her generation. A naturally glamorous and graceful demeanour supported by sensual femininity that no longer exists.
The beauty of Bacall is timeless and I will forever remember her as that femme fatale that of screen was just as alluring and confident.