Late Hollywood actress had a town connection

Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
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An iconic post-war Hollywood actress who died this week had an unlikely connection to Hemel Hempstead.

The silver screen’s smouldering starlet Lauren Bacall, who died aged 89 following a stroke at her New York home on Tuesday, laid the foundation stone for the town’s former Odeon Cinema in 1959.
The stadium-style cinema, on Marlowes, opened a year later on August 29, 1960.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall

Bacall was known for acting alongside the legendary Humphrey Bogart, to whom she was married until his death in 1957.

She made her leading debut in the 1944 film To Have And Have Not, and her performance in the movie The Mirror Has Two Faces more than 50 years later earned her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination.

Hemel Hempstead’s Oden closed down towards the end of the century when a new multiplex – now Empire Cinema – opened in Jarman Park, and became a bingo hall.

It was converted into J.D. Wetherspoon pub The Full House, still standing on the site, which opened on July 21, 1998.