updated 09/30/2011 AT 1:40 PM ET
•originally published 08/12/2014 AT 8:05 PM ET
Lauren Bacall, the sultry presence who first hit movie screens in 1944 and then went on to play a series of sophisticated, tough-as-nails roles for the next six decades – even in real life – has died, it has been confirmed to PEOPLE.
“Ms. Bacall passed away peacefully at her home in New York City earlier today,” Robbert de Klerk, co-managing partner of the Humphrey Bogart estate, said Tuesday evening. Bacall’s son, Stephen Bogart, personally told him the news.
She was 89 and a longtime resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Launched by a Harper’s Bazaar cover when she was a 19-year-old model, the former Betty Joan Perske, born to Jewish immigrants in New York City, was signed by Warner Bros. in 1943.
Whatever she may have lacked in acting experience, the willowy teen made up for with a certain grace that was made camera-ready by the great director Howard Hawks. Lauren Bacall, as she had been renamed, modeled her character in 1944’s adaptation of a Hemingway novel, To Have and Have Not, after Hawks’s stylish wife, Nancy “Slim” Keith, and delivered the immortal line to the grizzled Humphrey Bogart, who was 25 years her senior: “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”
A star was born. So was a legendary off-screen romance.
“Everyone could see their love right there on celluloid,” their son Stephen Bogart told PEOPLE in 1996. “He was the great love of her life, and she his.”