Today may be the start of grouse season, but I’m more interested in another a much more elegant bird, the Swan. One of these rare graces flew away only yesterday.
Her name? The inimitable enviably chic Lauren Bacall.
The legendary silver screen actress personified a rare kind of ‘sultry cool’. Throughout her life and her career, this Swan remained a lady through and through, whether angling for a big fish in the Big Apple or hunkering down in blustery and steaming Key Largo.
The reason I am honouring her today on Shebug Stories is because of a delicious1953 comedy she starred in, ‘How to Marry a Millionaire.’
Many of you, myself included, weren’t even born then. But if you have not seen it because you live half way across the world or on the opposite hemisphere from Hollywood, find it. If you are a fresh-faced nineteen-year-old, download it, or better yet, just rent it.
You’ll be transported to a promising and shiny New York City and visually glide into a penthouse overlooking Central Park. You’ll meet her roommates, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable, Shebugs you cannot help but root for.
Feast your eyes on the glamour, howl at the quips, delight at their daring-dos and soak in Bacall’s renowned husky tones.
The Swan, however, was not born with the best voice in the business. She failed a screen test on account of her high-pitched voice. No push over, Lauren Bacall honed hers with sheer determination and shatterproof discipline.
At the tender age of nineteen, Bacall’s scene was also her first. In 1944, she made her debut in To Have an Have Not, when she famously taught Humphrey Bogart how to whistle. The two fell in love before America’s eyes and would remain so till Bogart’s death.
A real love story.
Lauren Becall will be lighting up the skies from above like only true stars can.