You've probably already heard Lauren Bacall died yesterday
. At eighty nine years old, she had a long life and she worked all the way up to the end--imdb lists her among the cast of a movie coming out next year. This is even more remarkable when you consider she started when she was nineteen, in 1944, in To Have and to Have Not
, her first of a string of collaborations with the man she married the very next year, Humphrey Bogart.
A beautiful actress finding success so young, one might assume she was cast as a kitten, a childlike mind in a sexy body for a man to dominate, but nothing could be further from the truth. The excitement in her chemistry with Bogart was all about a playful, ongoing contest between two very clever minds.
She was always sharp as a knife and she reminded us intelligence was a beautiful thing. Her along with Barbara Stanwyck or Katharine Hepburn or Joan Crawford . . . Bacall's death has made me think, where are young actresses like that to-day? One could argue for Tilda Swinton, maybe Cate Blanchett. Those two so rarely get the front and centre roles Bacall routinely got, though--or they usually play villains.
Even when Bacall was playing comedy or a character who wasn't necessarily a genius she still seemed like the smartest person in the room. Here she is telling Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe how it's done:
In addition to starring in movies with Bogart, Bacall performed with him in an adventure radio serial, many episodes of which you can download here