So, tonight’s the Oscars? Who cares. Coincidentally, here’s a review in
today’s Chicago Sun-Times of one Oscar non-winner’s latest memoir. Not exactly heavyweight
reviewing, but it pays for a few groceries. “Lauren Bacall, still salty at 80”
When Lauren Bacall writes that her singing voice ranges “somewhere between B minus sharp and
outer space,” she’s being candid and funny. It’s not every stage star with two Tony Awards for
best actress in a musical whose vocal talent offers so little promise. (OK, Harvey Fierstein
excepted.) Still less would one admit it.
But Bacall, who is one of a kind, always made the most of what she had, as this memoir
proves for the second time. The first time was more than a quarter century ago, when By
Myself was originally published to much praise, including a National Book Award.
That memoir ended with the early 1980s, half a dozen years after her return to New York
from abroad and a decade after her divorce from her second husband, Jason Robards Jr. She had
married Robards after the death of her first husband, Humphrey Bogart, and a post-Bogie love
affair with Frank Sinatra, who’d asked her to marry him but suddenly “chickened out” (her term)
when his proposal made the gossip columns. Not that we’re keeping score, but let’s face it —
Bacall certainly has — her serial love life is one of the most fascinating aspects of her
Go read the rest. It’s reprinted here.