March 24, 1997: The Day Lauren Bacall Was Robbed of an Oscar

After over 40-plus years as one of Hollywood's leading ladies, Lauren Bacall - who died on Tuesday (August 12, 2014) aged 89 - had to wait until 1997 for her first Oscar nomination. The 72-year-old had turned in a tour-de-force performance in Barbra Streisand's The Mirror Has Two Faces - out-acting the screen legend herself, as well as Jeff Bridges and Pierce Brosnan.

Lauren BacallThe Inimitable Lauren Bacall [Getty/1954]

Bacall was considered a shoo-in to win the Academy Award (think Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln) after winning best supporting actress at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards, but things didn't go to plan on the night. As has happened so often since, the Academy picked its movie of the year - The English Patient - and ran with it, dishing out awards for what seemed like the entire cast. Though what on paper appeared a mere formality became one of the biggest shocks in Oscars history - the French actress Juliette Binoche winning best supporting actress for Anthony Minghella's romantic drama. Bacall's attempt at "I'm happy for you" applause became one of the most talked about moments of the ceremony. 

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During an interview with The Guardian in 2005, Bacall said she was "hurt more than anything" by a lack of appreciation of her films. 

It was a sucker punch for the Bronx born actress, who would fail to land another notable award nomination. With the advances in animation, she began putting her smoky, inimitable voice to good use, appearing in Howl's Moving Castle and Scooby-Doo.

More: check out our Lauren Bacall picture gallery


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Lee Adams's picture

Lee Adams

Excellent article, Lauren was a true Hollywood great

1 month 6 days ago
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