Tuesday, March 1, 2005
My 2nd favorite actress, Lauren Bacall (Katharine Hepburn being my first) is re-releasing her autobiographical book, By Myself and Then Some today. It's actually a combination of her first two books, "By Myself" and "Now" but with a continued afterword. By Myself is my favorite autobiography, it was wonderfully written and very captivating even the parts before she was a star or married to Bogart.
Now, on the silver anniversary of its original publication, Lauren Bacall was at Barnes & Noble on 48th street signing copies of her updated memoir. So I switched my days at work and headed to the store with my first edition copy of By Myself for her to sign. I also bought her new combined book too.
The line of people wrapped around the outline of the first floor and a few unlucky late arrivers were stuck outside in the snow. The crowd was pretty diverse, surprisingly there was actually more men than women present, plus a lot of French speaking women and a group of Asian men. The age range was probably 25-75.
With the sides of her hair pulled back, the Manhattan resident and classic actress looked amazing at the age of 80. On the floor next to her was her little papillon, Sophie, eating some doggy treats and watching intently as she signed hundreds of books.
The man ahead of me in line asked Ms. Bacall if she liked the colorized version of her film Key Largo. She said she did not, and that adding color to a black and white film ruined it. She said the colors looked fake and weren't meant to be there. She also added that she didn't like the color version of The Big Sleep either.
Another woman in an accusatory voice asked when we would see her on Broadway again. Bacall quickly responded, "Ask the writers, they aren't writing anything."
When it was my turn I told her how much I liked her book and blah blah, I really don't remember for sure. My time with her was sort of rushed because a publicist from Harper Collins started talking and the woman behind me was already sliding her book on the table and the staff at B&N were urging me out of the signing area. Photos were not allowed :(
The following Cameron Crowe quote rang true for me:
"Heroes usually belong at arm's length--on a bookshelf, in a record collection. At a heroic distance."
NY Times Article: AT HOME WITH LAUREN BACALL -- To Have and Have Not