Applause! Remembering Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall at premiere of K-19 :The Widowmaker (2002). Image via Everett Collection.

Lauren Bacall at premiere of K-19 :The Widowmaker (2002). Image via Everett Collection.

It’s been a harrowing week for the entertainment industry with the sudden loss of Robin Williams followed by yesterday’s passing of Lauren Bacall. Like Williams, Bacall was known for her glimmering film persona, starring opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Big Sleep, Key Largo, and To Have And Have Not. They married in 1945. A New Yorker through and through, Bacall resided at the famous Dakota.

Bacall appeared on Broadway six times, most recently in the 1999 production of Waiting in the Wings with such theatrical luminaries as Rosemary Harris and Dana Ivey. But she stormed the stage in two musicals—winning Tony Awards for both. Applause was based on the 1950 film All About Eve and Bacall portrayed Margo Channing. In 1981 she starred as Tess Harding in Woman of the Year.

Bacall’s performance in Applause has been immortalized in gay bars across the country, as homage to a carefree time and penchant for polyester. The production was captured in a 1973 telecast.

Bacall’s performance from Woman of the Year at the 1981 Tony Awards. Nobody seemed to mind that she couldn’t sing or dance—she still wowed the audience with her magnetic persona.

—Matthew Wexler from over at The Broadway Blog

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