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15 things you didn't know about Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall, the legendary film and stage actress who was known for her distinctive husky voice and sultry beauty, died Tuesday at the age of 89 in a New York City hospital of an apparent stroke according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lauren Bacall, circa 1944.
Photo Courtesy Warner Bros. / The Hollywood Archive

Born Betty Joan Perske in the Bronx in 1924, Bacall was an Academy Award-nominated actress known for roles in films like The Big Sleep, Key Largo, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Fan and The Mirror Has Two Faces as well as for her marriage to Humphrey Bogart.

Now lets take a look at some 15 (or so) lesser-known facts surrounding the life of this Hollywood Icon.

Born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, When she was 6 her parents divorced and her mother adopted the surname Bacal. Lauren added an L to it to avoid her name rhyming with crackle.

Inspired by seeing Bette Davis in films, she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she went out with Kirk Douglas, who was there on a scholarship. As girls weren't accepted for scholarships she was forced to leave after a year and got a job modeling swim wear then gowns while in the evenings she worked as an usherette.

Bacall lived in the same New York apartment building (The Dakota) as Beatle John Lennon when he was shot and later died on December 8, 1980. When interviewed on the subject in a recent UK TV program hosted by former model Twiggy, Bacall said she had heard the gunshot but assumed that it was a car tire bursting or a vehicle backfiring.

Was crowned "Miss Greenwich Village" in 1942.

Used her mother's maiden name of Bacal, but added an extra "L" when she entered the cinema.

Shortly after Humphrey Bogart's death, she announced her engagement to Frank Sinatra to the press. Sinatra promptly backed out.

Is one of the initial "Rat Pack" with Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, David Niven, Irving Paul Lazar (aka "Swifty" Lazar) and their close friends.

From 2009 until her death in August 2014, she was the only surviving legend mentioned in a popular phrase from Madonna's 1990 #1 hit song "Vogue". Other legends mentioned: Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Grace Kelly, Jean Harlow, Fred Astaire, Rita Hayworth and Bette Davis, who all died before the release of the song. Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Joe DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn and Lana Turner all died in following years.

Her appearance on a cover of Harper's Bazaar magazine at 18 years of age led to her first film role; she was spotted by the wife of director Howard Hawks, who gave her a screen test and cast her in To Have and Have Not (1944). The role was actually based on and named for Hawks' wife at that time, Nancy Gross 'Slim' Hawks.

When Howard Hawks discovered her, he gave her the choice to work with either Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart. Bacall was very tempted to work with Grant, but Hawks ended up casting her with Bogart in To Have and Have Not (1944), and one of Hollywood's greatest romances was started.

According to her autobiography, "By Myself and Then Some", Bacall lost her virginity to future husband Humphrey Bogart at age 19 when they began an affair, with the then married Bogart, in February 1944.

At the funeral for her husband, Humphrey Bogart, she put a whistle in his coffin. It was a reference to the famous line she says to him in their first film together To Have and Have Not (1944): "You know how to whistle, don't you? You just put your lips together and blow.".

Along with Veronica Lake, Julie London, and Rita Hayworth she was one of four inspirations that helped compose the Jessica Rabbit character.

She was the only Academy Award winner to have been married to two other winners (Humphrey Bogart, Jason Robards).

Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1997).

For more, visit IMDB, and Turner Classic

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