|Everything she wore still looks so current don't you think?|
Here's the whistle video (it's at the end). Wasn't just everything about her a curly flourish - from her green eyes to her lips to her glossy hair. Even her signature was a curly flourish!
You've probably realised my blog is very "brush with fame." No horse's mouth stuff here, no actual meetings with celebrities. Here we talk to people who walked past their house once five years ago. Who served them a cup of tea last year. So much more telling, I feel...
|With Humphrey Bogart and their children|
|Wow. With Humphrey Bogart in Dark Passage|
And so in that very spirit: here's my Betty Bacall story. When I first moved to London, my friend got a job nursing Lord Somethingorother who had owned a telly studio there (all us Kiwi girls were most impressed he'd made Coronation Street, though the family banned staff from watching soaps in his presence). Anyway, poor Lord S. had advanced alzheimers (called the nurses effing "whores" when they took him out of the bath). His old friend Betty Bacall turned up all the time to visit, much to the nurses' delight. Sorry that's it. That's all I've got.
Angelica Huston in her fantastic autobiography A Story Lately Told mentions Betty as a great friend to her during a discombobulated childhood and turbulent life. Well, I suppose my point is: Betty had compassion.
Yesterday I caught Cy, 10, watching the Kardashians (and I wonder why no one has called me to write a parenting book)
Kim was sobbing: "This vacation is turning into a nightmare!!!"
Cy called to Kim: "That's nothing! You haven't been away with my family!!"
Cy asked me: "Mum, can I have a few minutes on your computer? I need to look up why Rob Kardashian put on so much weight."
"What was it?" I asked Cy after he'd read through a few articles.
"Depression" answered Cy "he never got over his father's death and then Bruce and his mother broke up." Cy sighed: "Poor guy."
Compassion. My kids don't have it for each other. But they do have it for reality tv stars. Baby steps.
I love that brush with fame stuff. My aunt's aunt was married to Vincent Price. That's my classic Hollywood tale. They don't make them like Bacall anymore do they (though I agree that Cate, at times, comes close.)ReplyDelete
Your kids make me laugh. 10 is such a funny age. Whenever I try to tell my daughter about life she says "don't worry about explaining it, I'll just google it later." Where do they come up with this stuff?
haha! I love that! Googling can replace everything i learned in school that;s for sureReplyDelete
love your celebrity story!!! Your kid sounds hilarious, and empathetic.ReplyDelete
Here's looking at you kid x
Sorry, I have no celebrity stories, other than my friend who is a writer and her husband who is a movie producer. :)ReplyDelete
I still don't understand America's obsession with the Kardashians. :D
Love this, kids just crack me up xReplyDelete
Love this! As you know, she was my favourite - so spunky and so gorgeous. The loves and tribulations of the original rat pack would teach the kardashians a thing or two about living with a little panache, wouldn't they?ReplyDelete
I would say they could teach them a thing or two about discretion and actually having a talent besides surgically enhanced looks.Delete
I've never watched Kardashian (I'm too obsessive, I can't allow myself to watch reality shows as i would never emerge from the Tv room) but I do read celebrity mags and i know them as if I've watched every show
Once again Cy cracks me up, what a great kid.ReplyDelete
Loved your Lauren Bacall story.
Welcome back Dani!Delete
I know exactly what you mean when you say that everything she wore looked so current. I'd happily wear those fabulous sandals in the second photo. I always think Grace Kelly's outfits look kind of modern too.ReplyDelete
That white dress she has on is incredible tooDelete
Funnily enough, I've worn quite a few vintages dresses and they are unbelievable scratchy - mind you they were from local op (opportunity) shops and def not couture
Well if watching the Kardashians can be educational in any respect, that must be a good thing!ReplyDelete
A Facebook friend said Betty Bacall was rude to her in a boutique in London where she was working once. That's my celebrity story for the day!
Love your stories!
And that CY.............OMG!!!!!
An old ex-prizefighter I used to help look after was born in Chicago's Old Town to Assyrian immigrants and as a boy worked (with his elder brother) as a busboy at the famed Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel where all the old Hollywood stars and celebrities would go while in Chicago. He always told me this one story forgetting he had already told me many times. One day the German chef called for 'Neno' (my friend) and his brother Billy to the door that leads from the kitchen to the dining room and told the two boys: "You see that young lady over there" and King and Billy looked over and as they each told me many years later they saw the most beautiful girl they had ever seen in their lives, The chef continued: "She's a model from New York City and she's about to become a big movie star. Her name is Lauren Bacall" That night after they finished work the two boys went home and told their parents (who always waited up) about the famous movie stars they had seen and told them of this girl Lauren Bacall. A few months later the whole family went to the picture show and saw a matinee with their father's favorite actor Humphrey Bogart and when the young ingénue appeared on screen they turned and told their father "That's the girl from the Pump Room".ReplyDelete
Wow, GSl, your friend Neno spotting her through the door - that is a real moment in cinematic history. I bet she really shone. The girl from the pump room was spotted in a magazine by the wife of the producer from To have and Have Not and the wife said - you have to have this girl in a movie.ReplyDelete
it's funny that so little was really known about actresses, models at this time. Maybe we know too much about them now and the allure is gone?
And wait! You were a prize-fighter?
No, I wasn't a prize fighter although I did spar and work out at a boxing gym about 25 years ago. My late friend 'Neno' (above) was an up and coming middleweight in the early '50s who "coulda been a contenda and had class" until a redhead stole and broke his heart. I'm going to feature him in an upcoming post this Fall after I get my hands on a pic.Delete
Oh I look forward to reading about him, hope you can find that photo of him.Delete
Sadly, we lost Ms.Bacall and Robin Williams at the same time. Not a good week. Thanks for filling us in on Betty's life. She must have been a wonderful person. So many have spoken about Mr. Williams. Just too bad that some of us share similar afflictions.ReplyDelete
And Cy; wonders never cease, do they. That is really wonderful! And touching.
Blessings and Bear hugs!
Yes I didn't have time to write something about Robin Williams who has lived across the bay from us in San Fran though I've only once seen him and it was at a restaurant in Sausalito.Delete
Actually remembering that now it was embarrassing as I actually went up to a table he was seated at with Dustin Hoffman and asked them for a photo. They asked me to wait until they finished and they would take a photo outside. They did let me take a photo when them and its still somewhere at my parents's house.
Quite cringing when i think back to that...
Anyway what i was going to say was I've found it amazing that people on FB are posting that suicide is "selfish".Delete
That is as ridiculous as saying people who get cancer are selfish.
People who take their own lives are so depressed they can see no other path.
These are wonderful photos, some I've never seen. That hair, those eyes... she was just a grand gal.ReplyDelete
Cy is a swell kid!
Hi lane, he's swell sometimes. Othertimes (word) a swelling in my head...Delete
Your fellow is hilarious! Google is a verb in my house too! Everything she wore was classic and classy. Quite the dame! We should all age so gracefully.ReplyDelete
I know, she looked amazing even at 89!Delete
Your kids are hilarious!! I love your brush with fame story too. So real, so raw.ReplyDelete
I'm always struck when watching old movies how 'delivered' the lines are. Modern acting has changed style somehow (I have no idea what I'm talking about really, having never studied acting, but the movies just seem more forcefully acted in a way). x
They were really delivered esp by old Bette Davis. And in all the Howard Hawk movies where they chattered five? nine? (what is that expression/ to the dozen.Delete
Now I find when i watch current and newly out movies on TV because of the clarity 9s that HD? everything looks like a TV show and you can see the actors almost too clearly. I guess their delivery is the same, almost too like everyday life sometimes. Influenced by all those shows and movies where the actors are allowed to ad-lib like in Neighbors which I just saw
She was a marvellous woman, so beautiful and strong. One of my definite favourites. Your son is precious, so funny!! xxReplyDelete
I first saw her in To Have And Have Not when I was a young girl and she has been my favorite ever since. I read that she said she was very nervous during the filming and had to lower her head slightly to mask her shaking. Then It became her signature look and she kept it up. I remember that she was amused by this.ReplyDelete
Then there is the quote by Bogie that I will always remember (and perhaps everyone has heard it?):when he was very ill she stayed at home with him by his side rather than attending the galas, and parties and putting her face out there. When someone asked him about it he answered 'That's how you tell the difference between the women and the dames in this town"
That's so cool Bebe. A bit like Diana who put her head down in shyness and then it became her signature move.Delete
(Or more strangely, when Marlon Brando used to read his lines off a fruit bowl because he couldn't remember them and everyone thought he was so esoteric)
Jody she had so much style didn't she? I love that she kept the same look throughout her life. I did read that Slim Keith discovered her in Bazaar and told Howard Hawks, her husband to screen test her. She then dressed Lauren in a lot of her clothes and they gave Slim's look to her. They became great friends too.ReplyDelete
Cy busts me up.. Funny what these kids are thinking! xo
Still laughing at Cy's comment you haven't been away with my family.ReplyDelete
Lauren Bacall that's a real celebrity with class, style and sophistication sadly missing in many of today's celebrities or am I sounding my age or worse still turning into my mother