Lauren Bacall Remembered: 6 Style Lessons From the Ultimate Screen Siren

Lauren Bacall
American actress Lauren Bacall, circa 1950 Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

While many may remember Lauren Bacall for teaching future husband Humphrey Bogart how to whistle (“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow,” she said in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not), the screen siren, who died on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at the age of 89, leaves endless enduring style lessons — including one on the ultimate sultry gaze, which had a magnetic quality on screen and off.

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Lauren Bacall and Gregory Peck poolside in a scene from the film ‘Designing Woman’, 1957. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

Here, Us Weekly takes a look at the husky-voiced star’s effortless sexiness, which can alternatively be called “A Lesson in How to Have the Man of Your Dreams Eat Out of the Palm of Your Hand.”

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Actress Lauren Bacall feeding cake to husband Humphrey Bogart at their wedding at Louis Bromfield’s farm. Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Bacall’s love and first husband Bogart literally did that on their wedding in 1945 on an Ohio farm owned by Pulitzer Prize winner Louis Bromfield. “I fairly often have thought how lucky I was,” she said in an interview with Vanity Fair in 2011. “I knew everybody because I was married to Bogie, and that 25-year difference was the most fantastic thing for me to have in my life.”

Find Your Perfect Shade of Red Lipstick

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circa 1955: Portrait of American actor Lauren Bacall sitting on a metal bar outdoors in front of a swimming pool. She is wearing a green sweater and red pants. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

With wavy hair, high eyebrow arches and cheekbones that Maleficent would envy, Bacall, who started her career as a model for Harper’s Bazaar, didn’t need much makeup. A vibrant shade of red lipstick was enough to add drama and a flirty element to her look.

The legend, known for her husky voice, also did her own hair. “The wave … on the right side—starting to curve at the corner of my eyebrow and ending, sloping downward, at my cheekbone,” she said in Vanity Fair

Perfect a “Come Hither” Stare That’ll Make Men Weak in the Knees

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circa 1944: American screen star Lauren Bacall lowers her head and gazes up from under her brows with her famously sultry expression. John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

To steady her trembling head on set of her first major film, To Have and Have Not, Bacall pointed her chin toward her chest — then gazed upward at Bogart. From that moment on, her signature sultry stare was born.

Skirt Suits Can Be Hot

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Humphrey Bogart (1889 – 1957) as Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in ‘The Big Sleep’, 1946. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Bacall seductively worked a structured skirt suit like a form-fitted evening gown in The Big Sleep with Bogie in 1946.

Sexiness Is Not Directly Proportionate to How Much Skin You Show

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Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable pose for a portrait on the set of the 20th Century-Fox film ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ in 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Earl Theisen/Getty Images

In How To Marry a Millionaire alongside fellow icons Marilyn Monroe (!) and Betty Grable, both in short shorts, Bacall holds her own in a sleeveless floral tea-length dress.

But Sometimes a Little Bit of Skin Is a Good Thing

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Lauren Bacall’s iconic black cutout dress in 1944 film To Have and Have Not. Courtesy Everett Collection

Long before stars like Emma Stone, Kate Hudson and Halle Berry wore cutout dresses, Bacall showed off her lean figure in a stunning black gown in To Have and Have Not that featured midriff openings and a plunging neckline.

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