I obviously didn’t know the lady personally, but I never cared for her screen first name and nobody who knew her ever called her that, so she’s always been Betty to me. Lauren is kind of a frou frou name and Betty is the name of a tough broad. And what a broad. She died just a few hours ago at the age of 89.
We all loved her voice, legs, and attitude. Howard Hawks always maintained that he was looking for a girl who was just as insolent as Bogart to play opposite him in To Have Or To Have Not. It worked: Betty *was* just as insolent as Bogie and a star was born.
One of my favorite Bacall moments was when she did a cameo on The Sopranos. Christopher and Little Carmine went West to pitch their bad horror flick Cleaver to Ben Kingsley. They met Ms. Bacall at an awards show luxury lounge where the celebs are given all sorts of fabulously expensive swag. Christopher was not amused and at the end of the episode he mugged Betty and stole her swag. Heartless bastard: she could have kicked his ass in her prime. Here’s the clip wherein the legend dropped some F-bombs:
Dr. A and I have all the Bogart-Bacall movies on DVD. In fact, Key Largo is our hurricane season film. We usually only watch it when New Orleans is menaced. It looks like a mercifully slow season this year, but we may have to watch it anyway to honor Ms. Bacall’s passing. She will be missed.
What a dame. What a broad.