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Lauren Bacall, Actor, 1924 - 2014

The iconic actor Lauren Bacall passed away on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, at the age of 89. Born Betty Joan Perske in New York City, becoming Betty Bacal after her parents’ divorce and her mother’s adoption of the second half of her maiden name (though she added the second “L” to her name because the single “L” led to “too much irregularity of pronunciation”). A modeling and stage acting career in New York City led to her discovery by director Howard Hawks and a move to Hollywood, where she made her memorable screen debut in 1944’s To Have and Have Not alongside Humphrey Bogart. Her naturally throaty voice and come-hither looks (which, according to Bacall, originated from physical techniques to keep herself from trembling when acting opposite Bogart) became her trademarks in a long career that had several ups-and-downs and was dominated by her off-screen romance and eventual marriage to Bogart, which ended with his passing in 1957.

Late in her career, Bacall took on voiceover roles in commercials and cartoons, with notable parts as the Witch of the Waste in the English dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, the elderly Grey One in the English dub of Ernest & Celestine, and the Grand Witch in Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King.

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