Tag Archives: Lauren Bacall

Goodbye Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall

What a week it’s been. First on August 11 2014 the talented comedian and actor Robin Williams committed suicide aged 63. Then on August 12, screen legend Lauren Bacall died from a stoke at the age of 89.

Williams fetaured in so many memorbale films it would be difficult to mention them all. His role in Dead Poet’s Society brought me to tears, The Birdcage and Mrs Doubtfire made me laugh out loud and Insomnia brought out a new side to the actor in an unsual villian role. Then there’s all his roles in family friendly films such as Aladdin, Jumanji and Hook. Perhaps one of his most memorable movies for me is Good Will Hunting. As the therapist to Matt Damon’s character, he was given a great dramatic role that won him an Oscar (and on a personal note this was also the first film I saw in the cinema that was rated 15 and I was only 13 at the time-what a rebel!).

Bacall was one of the last living icons from Hollywood’s golden age. I was actually named after her (if it wasn’t for Lauren Bacall I would have been named Clementine). With fantastic roles in How To Marry a Millionaire and The Big Sleep she proved herself to be a Hollywood legend. Perhaps Bacall’s most iconic role was her debut in To Have and Have Not opposite her future husband Humphrey Bogart. Effortlessly cool and filled with more class in her little finger than most modern starlets have in their entire bodies, they don’t make actresses like Bacall anymore.

Whatever the circumstances of their deaths, the screen will be a sadder place without them and both will be greatly missed.

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My Icons of the Big (and Small) Screen: Part One

Back when she was known as Betty Bacall, Howard Hawks’ wife Nancy saw her on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar and urged her husband to sign up the young star. He took her to Hollywood, changed her name to Lauren and a star was born.  Thrown into To Have and Have Not as her first film opposite Humphrey Bogart where she developed her ‘look’. To cover up her nerves she would have her chin down on her chest and lifted her eyes upwards, audiences fell in love with her, as did her co-star Bogart.

Bacall has always been an icon of mine not just because she is my namesake (although on hearing that’s who my father named me after I sought out to see her in this film), but she used her nerves to work for her making her seem effortlessly cool. Her distinctive low voice, cool dress sense and unmistakable talent make her an icon. Her character “Slim” is clever, sexy and funny. She is more than a match for the hero of the film. And then of course there’s this line:

“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”

Nothing else to say.

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