Category: Famous People

Her name was Betty Joan Perske but the world will remember her as Lauren Bacall. She was born September 16, 1924 in the Bronx section of New York. Like many young girls she dreamed of her name in giant letters across the marquis of Broadway. To help that dream come true she studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. It helped and she found herself performing on Broadway in minor rolls but she didn’t make it to the top.

To keep money coming in she exchanged lines on a script for curves in magazines and became a model. She had the looks and she used them well. Her big break came in March 1943 when her picture graced the glossy cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Mrs. Howard Hawks took one look at the woman and showed her husband. Her Hollywood producer-director husband agreed and in one month Bacall had a seven year contract from Warner Brother’s in her hot little hand.

Perhaps the studio sensed something but either way their pairing her with leading man Humphrey Bogart yielded pure magic in her screen debut, To Have and Have Not. The two were fire on the silver screen and the now famous and much quoted line, “If you want anything, all you have to do is whistle,” spelled it out. Her line, “It’s even better when you help,” to a returned kiss from Bogart informed viewers that they were witnesses to much more than film simply rolling from one reel to another.

The true reality was the 19-year-old Bacall and the 45-year-old Bogart were falling in love during the film’s shooting. By the following year they were married and together they would make three more films together. Each with a slightly different tone but each with the same smoky come hither look from Bacall that would earn her the name, “The Look.”

Over the years she made more movies but they were sporadic as the studio presented her with parts and pictures she refused to do. Eventually Warner Brother’s suspended and fined her. From there she moved on to 20th Century Fox and other studios. During the 50’s her career was in a slump but always Bogart stood beside her, loving and encouraging. She became content with simply being a supportive wife and caring for their two children, Stephen and Leslie. When he diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 1956 she devoted herself completely to him. He died the following year and for a time she went into depression.

She remarried in1961 to Jason Robards, Jr. and together they had a son (actor Sam Robards.) Unlike her marriage to Bogart, which was complicated but good, her marriage to Robards was stormy. No longer able to deal with Robards’ violent behavior when drunk she left and they were divorced in 1969.

At the end of the 60’s she returned to Broadway where she appeared in the successfully received play Cactus Flower. Then in 1970 her youthful dream came to fruition in the form of a play entitled Applause (a musical remake of the film All About Eve) for which she won the Tony. After an eight-year absence from the movies she returned in 1974 but she didn’t give up on appearing in plays. In 1981 she had another hit when the play, Woman of the Year, rose to the top. In movies she found another triumph when she was nominated for the first time for best supporting actress in the 1996 film The Mirror Has Two Faces. In 2009 she received an honorary academy award.

Miss Bacall made her last film in 2012. She died of old age 35 days before her 90th birthday on August 12, 2014.


A List of Her Most Memorable Rolls:


  • To Have and Have Not (1944)
  • Confidential Agent (1945)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Dark Passage (1947)
  • Key Largo (1948)
  • The Shootist (1976)
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) – Academy Award Nomination (Best Supporting Actress)
  • The Forger (2012)



The Film Encyclopedia by Ephraim Katz 4th Edition Ó 2001 Bacall, Lauren, pg. 73

Chicago Tribune Wednesday August 14, 2014, Section 1, Page 14

Chicago Tribune Thursday August 15, 2014, Section 4, Page 1,6

Two lucky ladies sat in the Rockford stands watching the Ice Hogs take on the Chicago Wolves last night on Valentines Day. Their luck was a product of good ideas and timing as they entered into a contest for the best 6 words or less to go on conversation hearts. The idea, to say what they would tell to their favorite Ice Hog player.

As the game progressed it looked like it was all Hogs. A few seconds beyond the first minute and a half the puck was in Chicago’s net. The Hogs had struck. A few minutes later the puck found its way there again. With 2 nothing Rockford it was supposed to be a slam-dunk. Then all of a sudden disaster seemed to strike as the Wolves came back. They had renewed their energy and then it was 2-2 as they closed the gap and tied the game.

Later the Wolves put yet another puck in Rockford’s net. This one, many fans agree should not have counted. After all, the Hog’s goaltender Kent Simpson was interfered with and the net rocked off its moorings.

Somehow the officials called it good while a little while earlier they had called the same move by the Hogs a penalty, which gave the Wolves their second goal in the resounding power-play.

Down one the Hogs fought back amid rounds of penalties on both sides.The majority of the penalty minutes belonged to the Hogs as they battled on 5 on 3. Back on an even keel of players the Hogs put their third goal on the board. Again the Wolves tied the game and it looked like a game of wills. For every goal there was a goal to tie. Now the game had become 3-3.

Then, as the third period was winding down to the final five minutes the Hogs came on top again. It looked like the game was over as the clock ticked of the last seconds. Seven, six, five, four, three, SCORE! The Wolves had tied the game again with only 3.5 seconds remaining on the clock. The game went to over time and then the shootout. Round after round passed until sudden death was the only way out. It took eight rounds to decide the contest, as the score of the shoot-out mirrored the score on the ice 4-4. The game ended when in the eighth round a Hog player missed and a Wolves player didn’t.

Some might say the Rockford Ice Hogs were robbed but the reality was that it was a very hard fought fight. Both teams were good and gave as good as they got as the slippery puck skated across the ice and became the ultimate champion of the game with the most ice time. Well done Chicago and Rockford. Your fans are proud of you.

To see highlights of the game click on the below link:

Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions Parade

Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions Parade (Photo credit: UAJamie1)

Life can change in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. That is what happened this night. One moment we were down and the next we were up. Adrenaline raced through veins as shocked and pure unadulterated joy surged.

It was game six of the Stanley Cup finals. The score was three games Chicago Black Hawks to two game Boston Bruins. If the Hawks won a game, they won the cup. If the Bruins won the score would be tied three games each requiring a game seven tie breaker.

In the first section the score was 1-0 Bruins. The Hawks were down by one but they couldn’t get the puck out of their zone. The battle to the death was on but neither team knew it. Then five minutes into the second section the Hawks evened the score. They fought hard but no second goal came. It would take the third and final section of regulation Hockey to decide the superior team.

Section three started wild. Both teams were hurting due to injured but they seemed to have acquired a new strength. Checks were prevalent and the puck flew from one end zone to the other. It seemed to live behind the net but it was still found most often behind the Hawk line. Players checked and cross-checked, punches flew here and there and no penalty was called for most.

Then hope was dashed for a Hawk victory as a goal shot by Cory Crawford the Hawks goalie and made the score the horror of their dreams at 2-1 Bruins. They dove into the game with renewed strength but the Bruins were adamant about keeping their score. Minutes ticked away until any last hope vanished for a game six victory and tournament ending game for the Hawks.

Then with only 1 minute, 17 seconds on the board the puck flew around Tuukka Rask and into the net tying the score. It was a sure thing that like three of the five games played they were headed into over time. A shot here and a miss, another shot and a miss. It wasn’t working. Then within fifteen seconds of the tying score the puck again sailed by Rask and with 58 seconds on the board the score had changed from 2-1 Bruins to 3-2 Hawks. There was a quick shuffle as the puck ricochet across the ice from one zone to the other and then the buzzer sounded.

The Chicago Black Hawks had won their 5th Stanley Cup in their franchise career and the second in three seasons, and t

hey’d won it on the opponents home base on bad ice that was known to slow them down. They’d beat the odds to become Stanley Cup Champions!



Highlights of Game 6 in the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship Game

  • The game was full of falls and spills. Once the Bruins net was dislodged by two players involved in an argument behind it who almost knocked it forward trapping Rask. Later the same net had to be adjusted when it became dislodged again.
  • About a dozen times the buck bounced off the ice and went over the protective netting causing play to stop.
  • The puck even jumped over the wall to barely miss hitting the Bruins manager. Opps…
  • Twice sticks were broken and the game didn’t stop.
  • Hawks’ captain’s stick was torn from his hands but no penalty was called.

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Years ago people were known for more than their last picture. Some were academy award winners, some weren’t but they all had something in common. They were remembered for who they were because they were somebodys.

In the teens and 20’s you didn’t always have to say an actors name for someone to know who you were talking about. If you said, ‘the tramp,’ everyone knew you were referring to Charlie Chaplin, just as Buster Keaton came to be known as, ‘the great Stoneface.’ Mary Pickford was, ‘America’s sweetheart,’ and Clara Bow will always remain, ‘the It Girl.’ John Barrymore was known as, ‘the great profile’ and Lon Chaney Sr. was, ‘the man of a thousand faces.

But it wasn’t just nicknames that reminded us of who they were, there were the trademarks. Laurel and Hardy had us rolling with their famous antics regarding their hats. Who would Groucho be without his glasses and cigar or Harpo without his horn? Would we feel the same way about Mae West if she didn’t sashay into the room and tell us to, “Come up and see me sometime.”

There was a mystic in those early years of Hollywood. It was a time when character actors ruled. Though today we might not recognize the names of Edward Brophy, Guy Kibbee, Thelma Ritter, Virginia O’Brian or Nat Pendleton, we will recognize their faces on the silver screen. They’re the ones who brought comedic relief during those staggeringly serious moments.

Where have these treasures disappeared too? Where are the Valentino’s of the world? Will we see another Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire team again? What happened to Mel Blanc’s type of cartoons? Where is the real Hollywood and what do we have to do to get it back?

Nothing is the same as it once was. What once was, is now lost.

___ J. R. R. Tolkien

            What say you? Do you feel cheated? Do you feel had?

If you live in the Chicagoland Area, voice your opinion. Go to the Portage Theater on Milwaukee Ave. for the next 6 consecutive Friday nights. They will be hosting the Silent Film Society of Chicago’s Silent Summer Film Festival. I guarantee a night to remember. Be sure to arrive early and listen to the live jazz bands performing hits of a bygone era. I know you’ll enjoy it and that you’ll have the time of your life when that organ starts pumping to accompany the movie.

Silent Film Society of Chicago

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