Friday, December 10, 2010

ADDENDUM: I can't believe I forgot Betty!

As I was lying in bed last night, thinking (as I often do) about classic movies, I realized the biggest error of omission I made in yesterday's post about long-lived classic stars. While I haven't seen very many of this star's films, the quality of the ones I have seen and the reputation of those I have not surely should have qualified her for a place on the list.

I'm speaking, of course, about Betty Joan Perske, better known as Lauren Bacall.

Born on September 16th, 1924, Bacall started out as an occasional stage actress and fashion model before making one of the most sizzling debuts in film history, teaching a love-struck Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in To Have and Have Not (1944). Her off-screen pairing with Bogart was legendary, and they teamed up a few more times on-screen in the classics The Big Sleep (1946) and Key Largo (1948), and the less-successful (in my opinion) Dark Passage (1947). She starred alongside a number of other great stars, such as the man we feted yesterday, Kirk Douglas (in 1950's Young Man with a Horn), as well as Marilyn Monroe, Rock Hudson, and Gregory Peck, before experiencing a bit of a dry period in the '60s and '70s.

But Bacall hasn't simply faded away. She continues acting and providing voice work to this day, famously appearing in Danish provacateur Lars von Trier's films Dogville (2003) and Manderlay (2005), lending her voice to the American dub of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (2004), starring with Nicole Kidman in Birth (2004), and has at least two films slated for release in 2010 (according to her IMDb page, at any rate).

So, anyway, accept my apologies for leaving Betty Bacall off of yesterday's list. Still going strong at 86, Bacall is certainly one of the greatest classic stars we're fortunate enough to still have with us today.

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