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Random Facts About Lauren Bacall

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Took journalism classes while in high school in the hopes of becoming a reporter. When she met Bette Davis, whom she admired greatly, she switched her ambitions to acting.

Contrary to some reports, Bacall did not have a vocal disorder. However, a type of one has been named after her and Humphrey Bogart. Bogart-Bacall Syndrome (or BBS) is a form of muscle tension dysphonia most common in professional voice users (actors, singers, TV/radio presenters, etc) who habitually use a very low speaking pitch. BBS is more common among women than men and has been blamed on the social pressure that professional women feel to compete with men in the business and professional arenas. The syndrome got its name from the low-pitch speaking tones that both actors used in their performances.

Random Facts About Lauren Bacall

Daughter Leslie Bogart born August 23, 1952. She was named after actor Leslie Howard, who helped Bogart get his breakthrough role in the play, The Petrified Forest.

Having lost her job as a showroom model and quit acting school for lack of funds, the teenage Bacall found work as a Broadway theater usher. George Jean Nathan voted her the prettiest usher of the 1942 season in the pages of Esquire.

Random Facts About Lauren Bacall

Her appearance on a cover of Harper’s Bazaar magazine at 18 years of age, led to her first film role; she was spotted by the wife of director Howard Hawks, who gave her a screen test and cast her in To Have and Have Not (1944).

Her autobiography, By Myself, won a National Book Award in 1980

Her marriage to Humphrey Bogart occurred at the Pleasant Valley area of Richland County, Ohio home of Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm (now within the township of Lucas, Ohio). The home is now an Ohio State Park.

Random Facts About Lauren Bacall

Her screen persona was totally based and modeled after Howard Hawks’s wife, Slim. She even uses her name in To Have and Have Not.

In 1951, Bacall co-starred with Bogart in the radio drama Bold Venture, playing the caustically affectionate Sailor Duval.

Is known for speaking out her mind and her sarcastic remarks on her colleagues and peers. She has also delivered some of the most iconic lines in movie history.

Is mentioned along with former husband Humphrey Bogart in the 1980s song Key Largo (We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall).

Is portrayed by Kathryn Harrold in TV movie BOGIE (1980)

Katharine Hepburn, her long-time friend, is the godmother of her son, Sam Robards.

One of the initial Rat Pack with Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Irving Paul Lazar (aka Swifty Lazar) and their close friends.

Originally wanted to be a dancer.

Shortly after Humphrey Bogart’s death, she announced her engagement to Frank Sinatra to the press. Sinatra promptly backed out.

Son Stephen Bogart born January 6, 1949. He was named after Humphrey Bogart’s character from To Have and Have Not (1944).

Still undiscovered, Bacall volunteered as a hostess at the New York chapter of the Stage Door Canteen, working Monday nights when theaters were closed.

Random Facts About Lauren Bacall

Used her mother’s maiden name of Bacal, but added an extra L when she entered the cinema.

Was staying in the same New York apartment building as Beatle John Lennon when he was shot (and later died on 8th December in the Roosevelt Hospital) in 1980. When interviewed on the subject in a UK TV programme hosted by former model Twiggy, Bacall said she had heard the gunshot but assumed that it was a car tire bursting or a vehicle backfiring.

Was crowned Miss Greenwich Village in 1942.

Was paid $125/week for To Have and Have Not (1944).

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Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess

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Xena Warrior Princess

What was not to love about Xena? As Lucy Lawless says: “Xena is a bad-ass, kick-ass, pre-Mycenaean girl.” Evildoers, clearly, must stand down, but not only bad guys (and girls) have Xena-phobia. Even heroes quake when she swings her broadsword.

Originally created as a syndicated complement to Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena pretty much kicked Herc to the curb. It was like when the Bionic Woman made us lose interest in the Six Million Dollar Man–only more so.

Unlike Lindsay Wagner’s early half-woman, half-machine, Xena wasn’t prone to frailty. Nor did she need robot parts. In fact, the Warrior Princess never lost. If she’s down, it’s not for long.

Plus, she was in touch with the dark side: This big-boned bruiser had definite moments of blood lust, as well as lust of some other varieties. Garbed in a leather miniskirt and armed with her trademark razor-edged, boomerang-action chakram, we watched Xena single-leggedly kick down entire platoons of Roman soldiers.

Sure, there were murmurings about Xena and her softer female sidekick, Gabrielle (actress Renée O’Connor). So what if they liked to conserve bathwater by doubling up? And what’s wrong with close friends frenching once in a while?

Then again, maybe it was true–and there’s anything wrong with that.

Actress: Lucy Lawless
Show: Xena: Warrior Princess
Character: Xena

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Classic TV Revisited: McMillan And Wife

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McMillan And Wife

Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James, McMillan and Wife was a super cute crime-solving saga from the 1970s made for the NBC’s Mystery Movie series.

Who were they?
Hubby was the debonair San Francisco police commissioner Stewart McMillan.

And wifey?
Sally was a foxy, rather scatterbrained dame with a knack for finding corpses.

Worked down the morgue did she?
Hardly. Sally’s finds were usually in some glitzy mansion which the couple were frequenting for a weekend cocktail party. She also had a habit of getting her life threatened or being kidnapped.

Who was in it?
Tragic Hollywood star Rock Hudson no less. He took on Stewart McMillan in his first TV role, after years as a matinee idol with movies such as Giant.

Tragedy?
Fans of the lantern-jawed star were dismayed when he went public about having Aids. He had long kept his homosexuality secret. He carried on working in ’80s glam drama Dynasty, but make-up could not disguise the deterioration of this once-statuesque man. He died in 1985, aged 59.

What about Sally?
That role fell to raven-locked Susan Saint James. The Ali MacGraw lookalike was previously in shows such as Alias Smith And Jones and The Name of the Game.

Other characters
A vital ingredient to McMillan And Wife was sharp-tongued housekeeper Mildred, played by Nancy Walker. Somebody needed to keep the place tidy while they gallivanted about solving crime.

Famous guest stars?
Kim Basinger

The couple’s conception?
Like Hart To Hart, the idea was borrowed from Dashiell Hammett’s Thin Man books of the ’30s.

Gritty crime drama?
Hardly. These were cosy whodunnit cases, where the brutality of murder was never portrayed. The show was more about the interplay between McMillan and Sally.

Had viewers arrested?
Certainly in the US. It was the fifth highest-rated show in 1972 and 1973.

Fate of the golden couple?
Susan Saint James quit in 1976 over a contractual dispute. Nancy Walker also packed away her duster as housekeeper Mildred.

The dame’s exit was a fatal blow?
Certainly for the character of Sally – she was killed off in a plane crash. But Rock soldiered on with new assistant Sgt Steve DiMaggio (Richard Gilliland). The show became McMillan.

A winner?
Audiences dwindled and the plug was pulled.

Distinguishing features?
Cosy pillow talk, cocktail parties, Rock Hudson, pyjamas and numerous corpses.

Do say
Let’s go to bed. Turn the light out, darling.

Don’t say
Must you eat toast in bed, darling. Apologies, but I’ve got terrible flatulence. Separate bedrooms.

Not to be confused with
My Wife Next Door, Harold Macmillan, The Merry Wives Of Windsor and Mr And Mrs.

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Classic TV Revisited: The Royal

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The Royal

The Royal was an ITV drama commission and was inspired by its sister programme Heartbeat.

The lowdown: This nostalgic family drama is set in the swinging 1960s and centres on the staff of a cottage hospital in Yorkshire. Newly qualified doctor David Cheriton (Julian Ovenden) is determined to make a difference to the world and arrives at St Aidan’s Royal Free Hospital in Elinsby full of big ideas. But he clashes with the hospital’s secretary TJ Middleditch (Ian Carmichael) who is determined to run things his way. Then there is the Matron (Wendy Craig) who rules her nurses with a rod of iron and tries in vain to stop them being distracted by the handsome arrival.

Memorable moments: Watch out for former Heartbeat favourite Bill Maynard who crosses dramas and continents as Claude Jeremiah Greengrass. Greengrass has returned from a Caribbean holiday with a mystery illness but that doesn’t stop him trying to earn a fast buck. It doesn’t take long before Claude attracts Matron’s ire.

Trivia: The Royal is a family affair for real life husband and wife Robert Daws (Ormerod) and Amy Robbins (Weatherill). No fewer than seven members of their clan have appeared in the series including their daughters and stepson.

Michelle Hardwick, who played receptionist Lizzie, says her favourite moment in the whole series didn’t come on screen but in the actors’ green room. She says: “I was sitting in there with Wendy Craig and Honor Blackman and we were having a lovely conversation. I sat back and thought ‘Wow, this is great, I can’t wait to tell my gran’.”

A modern day set version called The Royal Today aired 7 January – 14 March 2008.

First broadcast: 2003

Starred: Wendy Craig, Ian Carmichael, Michael Starke, Robert Daws and Julian Ovenden

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