I was on Broadway in a little show called The Life and one of my co-worker’s was Sam Harris (you know from Starsearch back in the days when Ed McMahon hosted). He invited us to his home for a party over the holiday season.
When I arrived, sitting on a sofa in his living room were Liza Minnelli and Lauren Bacall. It was absolutely nuts!!! I was like what is my life right now!!!! Ms. Bacall was breathtakingly beautiful in a classic, movie star sort of way. I can’t really explain it. It was like a halo followed her around.
Of course, I was introduced to Lauren Bacall while watching old movies with my Mom. We were watching the film that launched her career at the tender age of 19 years old from the being on a cover of Harpers Bazaar and relationship with husband/movie idol Humphrey bogart – To Have and Have Not. The scene where she ask for a light of her cigarette was famously parodied in several early morning Looney Toon cartoons and it would make me howl every time.
As an enormous fan of All About Eve, I adore the fact that Bacall won a Tony Award (C) for her role in the musical version Applause. It was classic musical theatre.
However, it was after 50 years in the film industry that she was nominated for her first Supporting Actress Oscar (c) as Barbra Streisand’s Mom in 1997’s The Mirror Has Two Faces. Though considered the front runner that year, she didn’t win and was honored with a Governor’s Award for Life Achievement in 2009.
Bacall’s 1978 autobiography “By Myself,” written without the aid of the usual ghostwriter, translated that gravel voice onto the written page and became a bestseller.
She also penned “Now,” in which she wrote about her career, family and friends since ’78 but which she declined to call an autobiography. In the book, she wrote, “I’m called a legend by some, a title and category I am less than fond of.” Lauren Bacall was one of the last sirens of the silver screen and she blazed it with the best of them. She was class personified…a movie usher at 17…a movie star at 19…a movie legend…forever.