It’s official, amigos, the golden age of Hollywood glamour is gone forever with the passing of Lauren “Betty” Bacall today at the age of 89. Truly one of a kind, Bacall’s smoldering beauty lit up the screen for over 70 years but the thing she’ll probably most be remembered for is her voice. Oh, that voice!
I think my favorite Lauren Bacall movie is probably Key Largo, but I will always have a soft spot for that big ball of convulated craziness that is The Big Sleep. Even Raymond Chandler (who wrote the novel) used to joke that he couldn’t make heads or tails of that story. But when you’ve got a 19-year old Lauren Bacall making her screen debut opposite Humphrey-flicking-Bogart, who cares?! A true classic in every sense of the word!
I’m just glad old Betty finally got an Oscar before she died too. It might not have been the one she was hoping for — Bacall’s Best Supporting Actress loss to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient in 1996 is still considered one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history — but Bacall did take home a richly-deserved honorary Academy Award in 2009. So, rock on classy lady…and please give my regards to Bogey!
Like the rest of the world, I was deeply troubled to hear of the untimely death of Robin Williams on Monday. My brother and I were huge Mork & Mindy fans — Mrs. Yeti and I even made a pilgrimage to the old Victorian house they used on the show in Boulder, Colorado! — and I have always had a soft spot for Williams' later dramatic work as well. Expecially The Fisher King! I think of that gorgeous dance sequence every time I'm in Grand Central Station…truly magical shit!
But perhaps my favorite film in the Robin Williams cannon of awesomeness is Disney's Aladdin. Having watched it dozens of times with Greta over the years, I can honestly say that the movie only gets better with repeated viewings, and the songs are still some of the best Disney jams ever.
But the true standout in the film is that crazy-ass genie with the heart of gold. If ever a part was tailor made for an actor, it was that. Funny, sad, self-deprecating and completely lovable, Williams' voice performance as the genie might just be his best work ever.
And though I'm still terribly sad about his death — and the horrible details of it all — I gotta tell ya, the magic of that amazing genie will live on forever. It really is a performance for the ages.
While listening to another beautiful tribute to Williams on SiriusXM's EWRadio this afternoon, Greta finally asked me who died. And though I spared her the details, I told her that a very famous actor named Robin Williams had died rather suddenly and that the whole world was sad about it. She asked me what movies he made and I told her that she would probably know him best as the genie from Aladdin to which she replied: “Wow, he was a good actor with his voice too!”
Truer words were never spoken. RIP you sweet, sad man…you will be sorely missed.