Broadway Dims Lights Tonight in Honor of Stage & Screen Star Lauren Bacall
The Broadway community mourns the loss of Lauren Bacall, legendary stage and screen star, who died Tuesday at the age of 89. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, August 15th, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.
Ms. Bacall won Tony Awardsâ for her starring roles in two Broadway musicals adapted from classic films: Applause, based on All About Eve, and Woman of the Year, based on the Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn movie of the same name. She also starred in the comedies Goodbye, Charlie; Cactus Flower; and Waiting in the Wings.
"Lauren Bacall had a distinct presence on stage and screen during a career that spanned decades," said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League. "Along with her talent and memorable performances, her timeless beauty and witty intelligence will be remembered. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and fans."
Born and raised in New York City, the young Ms. Bacall studied acting; stood outside Sardi's selling copies of Actor's Cue, a casting tip sheet; ushered at Broadway theaters; and was a hostess at the American Theatre Wing's Stage Door Canteen. Her first Broadway role was a walk-on in the 1942 play Johnny 2 x 4, and then she was cast in Franklin Street, a comedy directed by George S. Kaufman, which closed out of town.
After gracing the cover of Harper's Bazaar she was brought to Hollywood and won a role in the film To Have and Have Not with Humphrey Bogart, whom she married. She appeared in Bogart movies The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo, and had comedic roles in How to Marry a Millionaire with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, and Designing Woman with Gregory Peck.
In her 70s, Ms. Bacall began lending her distinctive voice to television commercials and cartoons, and between 1995 and 2012 she was featured in more than a dozen films, including The Mirror Has Two Faces, in which she played Barbra Streisand's mother. The role brought her an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress and soon after a Kennedy Center Honor. In 2009, she received an honorary Academy Award "in recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures." She also won a National Book Award in 1980 for the first of her two autobiographies, "Lauren Bacall: By Myself."
Ms. Bacall returned to New York in 1958 and, three years later, married actor Jason Robards, Jr. She lived in the Dakota, on Central Park West, until her death. She is survived by her sons, Stephen Bogart and actor, Sam Robards; her daughter, Leslie Bogart; and six grandchildren.
Photo Credit: Linda Lenzi