Saturday, September 16, 2006

Today is the birthday of a true Hollywood legend: the one and only Lauren Bacall. Today the grand lady is eighty-two years old. Of course she is known for her husky voice and sultry looks she was born on this day in 1924 in New York City. Her father and mother separated when she was six and she never saw her father after the age of six! She formed a close and tight bond with her mother. The movie that brought this amazing actress instant fame was the classic "To Have and Have Not" Bacall was nervous in front of the camera so director Howard Hawks suggested that she tilt her head and pull her hair over one side of her face. Tthen then told her to press her chin against her chest and tilt her eyes upward to face the camera. The effect became known as "the look"-- Bacall's trademark! Of course, she also met actor Humphrey Bogart on the set of this picture and their long relationship began! When she was still twenty years of age in 1945, she was asked to pose for a picture and sit on a piano that was being played by President Harry Truman! The photos caused a deep scandal and a big embarrassment for the President! She was a big part of 1953's "How to Marry A Millionaire" in which so co-starred with another legend-- Marilyn Monroe! Bacall was known to turn down scripts that she didn't find interesting and that philosophy gave her the reputation around Hollywood that she was "very difficult". Her saving grace in the late 60's when her film career waned was Broadway. Her Broadway plays included "Goodbye Charlie" (1959) "Cactus Flower" (1965) "applause" (1970) and Woman of the Year (1981). She became very pro Democratic and a very big liberal! After Bogart's death in 1957, Bacall had a relationship with Frank Sinatra. She was later married to actor Jason Robards from 1961 to 1969. Some amazing things. In 1953, (at the premiere for "How To marry a Millionaire") she refused to press her hand footprints in the cemented forecourt of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre-- the only major female film star to ever do so! One of her most famous movie lines came from her first major picture "To Have or Have Not" when she quipped to Bogart's character "You know you don't have to act with me, Steve! You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Not thing! Oh, maybe just whistle! You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow!" Miss Bacall had far reaching influence in modern culture too! In the song "Rainbow High" from Andrew Lloyd Weber's and Tim Rice's "Evita" the main character Eva Peron orders her stylist to "Lauren Bacall Me". Today is another famous birthday as well: the wonderful Peter Falk, better known as Detective Columbo. He is seventy nine years old today. Whata great actor. One of my favorite films of his is Neil Simon's "Murder By Death"-- one of the funniest pictures you will ever see! Tim Doran and i are ghoing to an important Music Supervisor convention in Studio City on Tuesday night! Should be very interesting!

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