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With Passing of Bacall, All Madonna’s ‘Vogue’ Icons Have Died

The death of famed actress Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced starlet known for her sultry sensuality, not only meant the loss of a true Hollywood legend, but also the end of a golden era of icons.
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Pop singer Madonna performs her single ‘Vogue’ with a group of dancers at the MTV Video Music Awards in New York City on Thursday, Sept. 6, 1990. (Credit:Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

As first reported by Slate, all of the 16 Hollywood icons named in singer Madonna’s pop song, “Vogue,” have now died after the passing of Bacall on Tuesday.

The song, released in March 1990, was inspired by the New York City dance community. Voguing is a stylized dance that evolved from the Harlem ballroom scene in the 1980s.

One section of the song contains only spoken words in which Madonna quickly lists off 16 celebrities that are considered part of the golden era of Hollywood: “Greta Garbo, and Monroe / Dietrich and DiMaggio / Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean / On the cover of a magazine / Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean / Picture of a beauty queen / Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers, dance on air / They had style, they had grace / Rita Hayworth gave good face / Lauren, Katharine, Lana too / Bette Davis, we love you.”

The black and white music video was famous for its unique choreography, an homage to classic Hollywood. The video was directed by David Fincher who went on to direct films such as “Fight Club,” “Se7en,” and “The Social Network.”

At the time of the song’s release, some of the stars mentioned had already died, including Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Bette Davis. Now, 24 years after the song’s release, Bacall’s was the final name on the roster.

The following is a list of the legendary stars in the order they are mentioned in the song:

Greta Garbo, 84 (died April 15, 1990)

Marilyn Monroe, 36 (died August 5, 1962)

Marlene Dietrich, 90 (died May 6, 1992)

Joe DiMaggio, 84 (died March 8, 1999)

Marlon Brando, 80 (died July 1, 2004)

James Dean, 24 (died September 30, 1955)

Grace Kelly, 52 (died September 14, 1982)

Jean Harlow, 26 (died June 7, 1937)

Gene Kelly, 83 (died February 2, 1996)

Fred Astaire, 88 (died June 22, 1987)

Ginger Rogers, 83 (died April 25, 1995)

Rita Hayworth, 68 (died May 14, 1987)

Lauren Bacall, 89 (died August 12, 2014)

Katharine Hepburn, 96 (died June 29, 2003)

Lana Turner, 74 (died June 29, 1995)

Bette Davis, 81 (died October 6, 1989)