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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview with Lauren Bacall

Aired May 6, 2005 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, an hour with an outspoken legend, an icon of sultry sensuality. Gracing the silver screen for more than half a century. She is one of Hollywood's greatest love affairs and she's one of my favorite people. She met Bogie at 19, married him at 20, later was involved Francis Albert, too. What a life, what a woman, what an hour, the one and only Lauren Bacall is next.
We welcome Lauren Bacall to LARRY KING LIVE, a return visit. Hasn't been with us in six years.

LAUREN BACALL, ACTRESS: No. Really?

KING: You were but a tyke.

BACALL: I was but a tyke, a tiny tyke.

KING: And you were mad. I mentioned Francis Albert and didn't mention Jason Robards.

BACALL: I wasn't mad, I just said Jason was very important in my life. Frank was Frank.

KING: Now you write an enormous best seller "By Myself." 1980 it wins the national book award. You follow it up with another best seller called "Now." And now we have "By Myself and Then Some." What's going on?

BACALL: What's going on is that I was told and I was convinced that it was a good idea to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the publication of "By Myself" my autobiography and then to add to it, bringing it up to date, talking about the last 25 years, which have not been quite as eventful as the first 25.

KING: Didn't "Now" do a lot of that?

BACALL: No. "Now" had nothing to do - it was not autobiographical. It was a different kind of book. It was unfortunately sold in a very peculiar way. It was not to be a continuation of "By Myself." It had no relation whatever to it. It was just a book that I wrote about different things in life that I thought about. This "And Then Some" is the continuation.

KING: Takes us from 1980 'til now?

BACALL: Yes or '79, yes, 'til now.

KING: So what's life been like? BACALL: Oh, fabulous.

KING: You've had an extraordinary -- you have to admit, the people you've known ...

BACALL: Well, the people I've known I must say are extraordinary. When I think about some of them, I can't believe that I knew them all. And I think the reason I knew most of them at the beginning was because they were of Bogie's generation, 25 years my senior, not mine. But they were the most talented people of all.

KING: Bogie's people.

BACALL: Harold Arlen (ph) and Ira Gershwin and ...

KING: And is this "By Myself" included in this book or is this a whole brand new book.

BACALL: No. The title of it is "By Myself ..."

KING: So we get that whole book.

BACALL: You get that and then some.

KING: How did Betty become Lauren?

BACALL: I was Betty Bacall always. And Lauren was Howard Hawks.

KING: He named you?

BACALL: He named me. He liked the sound of it. And I said, well, all right. I felt a little odd about it. I don't understand all that name changing business anyway.

KING: You like Betty?

BACALL: Well, I don't like it, but it's the way it was. So you know. Stuck with the way things are.

KING: Was this for your first film?

BACALL: Yes.

KING: Howard Hawks said, change your name.

BACALL: No, he felt that Lauren Bacall was better sounding than Betty Bacall. He had a vision of his own. He was a svengali. He wanted to mold me. He wanted to control me. And he did until Mr. Bogart got involved.

KING: You met being in the same movie, right?

BACALL: (INAUDIBLE). Yes. That's how we met.

KING: Was it instant?

BACALL: No, not at all.

KING: You were much younger, of course?

BACALL: Yes, 25 years. I was 19. I would introduced to him, how do you do? How do you do? Then we started to make the movie. And of course, I was hanging on Howard's every word because I was under contract to him. And that was -- I was a nervous wreck anyway. And Bogie was great. And he kidded around with me. And fortunately for me, I have a sense of humor and have always had that. That has stood me in very good stead. So we kind of played back and forth, which was just acting, just for fun.

And I don't know what happened. I don't know. About three or four weeks into the movie, it began to change a little bit. And actually, he made the overtures. I did not. I would never have done that. He was, after all, was a married man. I was brought up not to have anything to do with married men.

KING: Did you begin to sense it while doing scenes?

BACALL: Well, I just -- no, it was actually at the end of a day's work that he began -- he came in and kissed me good-bye -- good night, rather. And I thought, oh, that's odd. But then I didn't think anything of it. And it just kind of gradually -- well, you can't explain these things, Larry. You know, things happen.

KING: Lauren Bacall, the book "By Myself and Then Some." One of the great ladies of the American screen and theater. We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: You think I'd ever let them know where you were?

HUMPHREY BOGART: Could be.

BACALL: That's why you won't tell me?

BOGART: Yes, that's why.

BACALL: No, it isn't. You won't tell me because you think I'll come there. You think I'd follow you.

BOGART: You'd be insane to fool me.

BACALL: Is it insane to pick you up on the road? Was I crazy to let you stay here?

BOGART: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Lauren Bacall. The new one "By Myself and Then Some." This is, of course, the original "By Myself," the National Book Award winner, the runaway best seller. And the years hence. And speaking of that, we have an old friend of Lauren's, a little surprise for her on the phone. You are there, sir?

KIRK DOUGLAS, ACTOR (on phone): Hello. You know, I met her -- she was Betty Bacall then. I met her in dramatic school. She was about 15 years old. I was an old experienced man.

BACALL: And then you owe your career to me, remember that.

KING: Did you ever work together?

BACALL: Yeah, of course. "Young Man with a Horn."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DOUGLAS: What a swell combination you were. You said you wanted experiences, Amy. Well, here's one for you. I'm leaving you.

BACALL: I'd like to kill you.

DOUGLAS: You almost did. You're a sick girl, Amy. You better see a doctor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DOUGLAS: We were a great team together.

BACALLS: And "Diamonds," yes. We love each other very dearly, don't we?

DOUGLAS: Listen, before you cut me off what is the name of her book? I want to get it.

KING: "By Myself and Then Some."

DOUGLAS: Oh, I like that. "By Myself and Then Some."

BACALL: You know I'm then some, don't you, Kirk?

KING: Thanks, Kirk. And be well.

DOUGLAS: Thank you. And see you sometime, Betty.

BACALL: Yes, my darling, I love you.

DOUGLAS: I love you.

KING: What a man. BACALL: Oh, I love him.

KING: He keeps on keeping on.

BACALL: Stroke, helicopter crashes, every terrible thing has happened. He's got such courage.

KING: And what an actor.

BACALL: But he was always -- at the American Academy he was a marvelous actor. Had he not gone into movies on the stage, he would have been one of the great actors.

KING: Did you like the stage as much?

BACALL: Oh, I loved it. That was my original dream, anyway, to be on stage. I think the stage is an actor's place because actors, it belongs to you.

KING: Once the curtain opens ...

BACALL: When the curtain goes up, it's ours. It's ours to project what the playwright wants to stay to an audience, what to convey and to get a response from the audience immediately. Movies are great fun and wonderful when they're good. But you never get to see them till six months after they're finished. So you never get a sense of whether they're really well liked or how good they are. And you don't really know what the finished product is going to be like, because it's a director's medium.

KING: How they edit. You were a smash on Broadway, right? You had that big hit?

BACALL: Well, I had three big hits, if you'll excuse me, sir. "Cactus Flower," which was a comedy. That was any first tremendous hit on Broadway. Then came my first musical "Applause." then came "Woman of the Year," my second musical.

KING: Loved that, too.

BACALL: So I spent really roughly 20 years of my life have been in the theater.

KING: Why didn't you get the movie of "Cactus Flower."

BACALL: Just lucky.

KING: That's funny.

BACALL: You know, you just don't get -- I have never "Goodbye, Charlie" was first play that I came to New York in with the first leading part, George Osteroth (ph) play. And I didn't get that either. In the movie. I don't know. You never know.

KING: But you were a movie star.

BACALL: The powers that be.

KING: You should have gotten it. When you think about it. It wasn't like you were theatrical only.

BACALL: It doesn't matter. I created the part and played it well. Played them all well, I think. I'm proud of my time in the theater. But the powers that be have different ideas.

KING: Were you a singer? Were you always a -- of course, you sang.

BACALL: No, I was a dancer, though. Not a professional dancer. But I studied dancing for 13 years. And loved to dance. Always wanted to dance with Fred astaire.

KING: Did you have to be taught to sing then?

BACALL: Well, no, I'm very musical. Otherwise I could nerve in a musical.

(MUSIC)

BACALL: And so not really taught to sing but able to carry a tune. So I squeaked through.

KING: When you are in a Broadway hit, is it different for you every night?

BACALL: Well, of course, it is.

KING: Because the audience is different.

BACALL: Yeah, the audience is different. You never see the same show twice, never. And although we -- you have to be disciplined and you have to stick to what the final cut was, you know. And I mean one is not supposed to start creating on stage and throwing all the other actors off. So, and especially in a musical because the orchestra keeps going no matter what happens. They never stop. And so it's just the most wonderful experience. It's really thrilling. And I have been very, very lucky to have been in such great shows and "Applause" of course was the great highlight for me.

KING: Your old friend Sinatra said that theater would have bored him by the time it got to the third night.

BACALL: Well, his attention span was not long, shall we say.

KING: Did you stay angry at Frank?

BACALL: No. I can't be bothered.

KING: He was going to marry you, then not marry you.

BACALL: You know, life is too short for that.

KING: He must be in "Then Some." BACALL: No.

KING: He's not in "And Then Some".

BACALL: No, no. He's before.

KING: You didn't go to his funeral?

BACALL: No. I wasn't invited. And I wasn't here, anyway. I live in the East.

KING: But you didn't live with ...

BACALL: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I mean, I was very upset at the time. But I mean at the time anything would have upset me because I was in no condition after Bogie died to think realistically about anything.

KING: Bogie died as he lived right? He died with class.

BACALL: Only. He was an extraordinary, extraordinary man. I mean, I've been extremely lucky. God, I have no complaints at all.

KING: Jason Robards.

BACALL: Jason, great actor, truly great actor. And we had a marvelous time together. We did the best we could. You know. He had a slight problem. And we couldn't rise above it, unfortunately.

KING: Enjoyed the bottle.

BACALL: But we had -- I don't even know if he enjoyed it, but he was hooked on it. And it really almost destroyed him. And fortunately did not.

KING: Lauren Bacall is our special guest. The book "By Myself and then some." we'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: You've forgotten one thing. Me.

BOGART: What's wrong with you?

BACALL: Nothing you can't fix.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: Hello, Steve.

Your devotion to it.

You've got to listen to me, please.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: She's one of my favorite people, Lauren Bacall. She was the recipient of the Kennedy Center honors in 1997. The American Film Institute ranks her among the 25 female film legends. Do you think of yourself as that?

BACALL: No, I don't like legend. I mean, I don't like the category. And to begin with, to me, a legend is something that is not on the earth, that is dead.

KING: You have to be dead to be a legend?

BACALL: I think so. Because legends are built and evolve in the past. They're not the present. I don't like categories either, in any event. I prefer individual -- I mean, if people have respect for you or admire your work or whatever, I mean, you know, it's like they say, this one is the second Garbo, that one is the second Bogart. There are no seconds. You are what you are, everyone is an individual.

KING: How about the term living legend?

BACALL: I don't like legend, Larry.

KING: No matter what?

BACALL: I don't like legend. I don't know what it means.

KING: I'm told the media tried to stir up a fuss when you took issue with a reporter describing Nicole Kidman as a legend. You worked together in "Dogville" and the film "Birth" and the legend label was used by a British morning show hostess. And you said she's not a legend, she's a beginner.

BACALL: God if the press ever quoted anyone correctly it would be brilliant.

KING: Straighten it out.

BACALL: I love Nicole. Nicole and I happen to be very great friends. Besides that, the press never get it straight. They do not print what you say.

KING: You can't get it wrong here. What did you mean?

BACALL: Well, number one, this is what happened. We were in Venice for "Birth" at the Venice Film Festival. And you know when you have a day when you go from one room to another with the roundtables with about five journalists sitting around at each table throwing questions at you all the time. So in one of these rooms, I'm sitting there. And one of the journalists said, you're an icon and Nicole Kidman's an icon and what do you think about that?

And I said, why do you have to burden her with the category? She's a young woman. She's got her whole career ahead of her. Why does she have to be pegged as an icon or as anything? Let her enjoy her time. Don't, you know, suddenly put her in a slot. And that was all I said. The word "legend" never came up. It was "icon." To begin with. And, of course, Nicole was there. And she says, you know the press. Because my only interest was that she was not hurt or that she did not misunderstand.

KING: Are the tabloids worse now? There weren't a lot in your heyday. "Confidential" and ...

BACALL: Well, there were always some, yes. But I think the press is worse. I think the press is filled with entitlement that it is their right to photograph you, to invade your privacy, to do whatever they want to do and say whatever they want, whether you like it or not.

KING: What do you owe to the press?

BACALL: I don't think you owe the press anything.

KING: You owe the best performance for the public.

BACALL: I think you must do your work. I think you owe that to your profession. I think I have tremendous respect for the acting profession. Not for just stardom but for the acting profession. And I think for myself as well as for the public, I feel that I owe a good performance. I want to give a good performance for myself. I want to keep my integrity on a very high scale, if I can.

KING: How about girls versus women. In the '40s, the actresses were to me as I look at the old movies more women. Today they're more girls. Right or wrong?

BACALL: They are? Well, you can't boil it all down to that. No, they were always young then, too. I just think that the preoccupation with the weight that you are, whether you are totally anorexic or not, that seems to be the prevailing favorite thing now. I think that's unfortunate. I think it's all about the wrong thing. I mean, I've always felt it should be about the work, that the work is the important thing. And I think women should look like women. I mean, if everyone wants to look like a fashion model, I think it's a shame.

KING: Is it hard as you age to ...

BACALL: As you mature.

KING: ... mature, when you don't get the calls as much?

BACALL: The calls from where.

KING: The parts.

BACALL: Well, do you know that writers are not writing parts for women of almost any age. It doesn't have that much to do with age. They're not writing wonderful parts for most women. After the age of 30 in the movie profession, you're pretty well over as far as the casting people are concerned. They don't ...

KING: What is that like to live with?

BACALL: Well, it's a life of rejection. I mean, anyone that goes into the profession of movie actor must know that it's a life of rejection.

KING: You hear "no" a lot?

BACALL: You hear "no" a lot. Yes. And you hear "testing" a lot and "auditioning" a lot. And how great you are and then they cast somebody else. You get that a lot. That, unfortunately.

KING: Young Lauren, how did you get your first part?

BACALL: My first part was in a play that was on Broadway. It was the subway circuit, actually, which was New York and Brooklyn and the Bronx. And then back to New York. And it took place in a speakeasy. "Johnny Two by Four" it was called. And I had what I called an outstanding walk-on. Because I walked on. I made an entrance in each act. There were three acts in those days. And I remember I did the jitterbug on stage, the opening of the third act. And Kirk came to see me. I was so nervous I almost fainted on stage that night. It made me so nervous.

KING: And you were a dancer?

BACALL: And I'm always nervous, yes.

KING: You are?

BACALL: Always.

KING: We'll be back with Lauren Bacall. "By Myself and Then Some." Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: No.

DOUGLAS: What is it? Am I ...

BACALL: It's not you.

DOUGLAS: You're talking in riddles again, Amy. I don't get you.

BACALL: I didn't expect you to.

DOUGLAS: Is this some of that stuff you learn at school. What am I some kind of experiment?

BACALL: Instead of being angry, you ought to be grateful.

DOUGLAS: For what?

BACALL: You caught me off guard for a moment. I'll never be as honest again with you.

DOUGLAS: Stop this crazy kind of talk.

BACALL: You keep away, Richard. You and your fine frenzy. This is my first and last.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my birthday. I haven't been to a saloon for a long time. And I thought I'd get a drink and celebrate.

BACALL: Happy birthday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Good-bye, Mrs. Rogers.

BACALL: Good-bye, Mr. Bucks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Lauren Bacall. One of the most acclaimed silver screen and theatrical stars ever. Her updated acclaimed memoir "By Myself," now titled "By Myself and Then Some." Picking up on what you just said, you're always nervous?

BACALL: I am. I ...

KING: You're doing the second year of a hit show, you are going on for the 433 time. Are you nervous?

BACALL: I always am before I go on stage. And I always am when I start a movie. And I just am because -- I don't know. It's just kind of ingrown. It's just built into me. I mean, that was what started the look was nerves, just trying to keep my head steady.

KING: Really?

BACALL: Yes, absolutely. A lucky accident.

KING: Just whistle. That was written?

BACALL: Oh, that written. No, that whole scene was written. That was in the screen test, actually.

KING: Really, one of the great film lines of all time, right? Goes down in history.

BACALL: I know.

KING: You know how to whistle don't you? Just pucker up and...

BACALL: No, Larry, don't mess up the line.

KING: Give it to me.

BACALL: You want just that line? You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.

KING: Whoo. Down the drain went Humphrey and all of the audience. Now, discuss -- I remember a memorable film you did, because it was John Wayne's last, "The Shootist."

BACALL: I love that movie.

KING: He knew he was dying, is that correct?

BACALL: He did know. He knew.

KING: And he played a dying character.

BACALL: And he played a man who was dying of cancer and he was dying of cancer. He was amazing all through that shoot. He never complained. And he was not in good shape. And he was terrific.

And he and I always got along extremely well. We never discussed politics, needless to say, but we really liked one another. No, we really liked one another. He was surprising, you know, Duke.

KING: In what way?

BACALL: Well, because -- well, I don't know -- you think, well, oh, he's way on the other side and we don't agree about anything. And I don't know what he's going to be like to work with, and so on. But that was the second movie I was in with him.

But he was gentle. And he, in a scene, listened when you spoke. You know, it's very difficult for actors to learn how to listen to what anyone says. And he listened, he concentrated and he played the scene. He knew what he was doing. And I was really fond of him.

KING: Isn't good acting reacting?

BACALL: Well, no, I don't think you can really say that. I just think that good acting is rare. And I certainly think -- and great acting is nonexistent practically. I think it has to do with training and with listening and with thinking. And it's also an extra gene that you have that comes from somewhere.

KING: So when our friend Marlon Brando says it wasn't hard, he was kidding?

BACALL: I don't know whether he was kidding. But he had it. There was no doubt that he had it. He was a great actor.

KING: Was it hard -- in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" we see Kate Hepburn look at Spencer Tracy, we knew he's sick. And that scene when she has to cry, you know, it's like for real. You what was it like to look at Wayne?

BACALL: Well, I just -- it was very moving always.

KING: It was a great movie. BACALL: It was a wonderful movie. And in one scene, we had -- before we started to shoot one scene, we were standing on the set while they were adjusting the lights. And he just kind of reached out and took my hand, just kind of held my hand. Never said anything. And one of the members of the crew said, oh, it's such a beautiful day today. And Duke said every day you wake up is a beautiful day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN WAYNE, ACTOR: Good-bye, Mrs. Rogers.

BACALL: Good-bye, Mr. Bucks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: I mean, he didn't indulge himself. There was no self- pity. Whatever he felt, you know.

KING: And the irony of the character.

BACALL: Yes. But he really played that part.

KING: You also did two films with the late Gregory Peck. What was he like?

BACALL: Oh, I loved that man so. He was a great friend. He was a marvelous, marvelous human being. I don't think there was anyone like Greg.

KING: What do you mean?

BACALL: Well, because he was pure in his thinking and his living. He just had very, very high standards as to the way you live. His priorities were his family and the quality of his work. And he never put a foot wrong. And also, he did it all with wit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HUMPHREY BOGART, ACTOR: What's for dinner?

BACALL: Lori Shannon.

BOGART: For dinner?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: Now, that's really rare. But he was a great, great friend and sensitive and, I just adored him.

KING: How good an actor?

BACALL: He was a damn good actor. He started out in the theater. And he learned and he got better and better and better as he went along.

KING: Because he was so imposing. BACALL: And he was such a beautiful creature. And so -- no, but he was so -- he had so much warmth and he had some much class and quality and intelligence. And he had everything.

KING: Marilyn Monroe. Did you get along?

BACALL: Absolutely. Very, very well. We had a great time on "How to Mary a Millionaire." Pretty Grable, who was one of the funniest, most adorable women. I was crazy about her. And Marilyn who was just sweet. There was nothing mean about Marilyn.

KING: Wasn't late every day?

BACALL: She was late a lot. But she wasn't late to make a statement, she was late because she was frightened and because she was insecure. And she had, you know, quite a lousy childhood, I think.

And she -- no, she was sweet. And she was just always yearning for someone to -- a prince on a white horse to take her away.

And she was going with Joe DiMaggio at the time. She was coming into my dressing room and say, oh, I really just want to be with Joe eating spaghetti in San Francisco. I thought, what a goal.

KING: We'll be right back with the delightful Lauren Bacall. By myself and then some. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACALL: But how about one of those rich maharajas?

MARILYN MONROE, ACTRESS: How about three of them?

BETTY GRABLE, ACTRESS: Wouldn't that be wonderful if we had three of them up for dinner and they all married us?

BACALL: Think of all those diamonds and rubies.

GRABLE: And all those crazy elephants. This is really living it up, isn't it?

MONROE: People that live any other way are just crazy.

BACALL: I wonder who is going to pay for it.

MONROE: Yes, how about that?

BACALL: Well, I'll tell you...

MONROE: I knew it couldn't last.

BACALL: Relax. Will somebody break open that other bottle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You listen to me.

BACALL: Take it easy, Claire.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to you get up there and I want you to remember that today is my day. If you don't behave yourself, I'm going to have your birth certificate blown up as a Christmas card.

BACALL: I should have never encouraged you to speak.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Lauren Bacall. Despite this great illustrious, long career, only one Academy Award nomination, and that occurred in 1996 for "The Mirror Has Two Faces."

BACALL: That's right.

KING: So that's got to be (INAUDIBLE)

BACALL: Yes.

KING: Right?

BACALL: That is.

KING: Tell me about that role and that movie?

BACALL: Well, the role was wonderful. It was a wonderful part. And Barbra, I'd never been directed by woman before, which was -- and Streisand was terrific. She was great with me, perfectionist? I understand that, because I am, too. And She was great to work with. I mean, she's tremendously talented. She's a wonderful director. She's intelligent. She's a hell of an actress. And it was just very odd to have -- be directed by Barbra, and then having her come around and get to the other side of the camera and play a scene. But she never faltered. I mean, she played -- worked wonderfully together. I was very -- I've always been fond of -- first of all, I'm a great fan of hers because I think she's so brilliant and talented and so amazing.

KING: Have you always been politically motivated?

BACALL: I have. I have. I come from a...

KING: You go back -- In fact, I saw you.

BACALL: I saw you?

KING: I saw you speak for Adlai Stevenson.

BACALL: You did?

KING: In New York. I believe bogey was with you.

BACALL: Yes.

KING: In '52.

BACALL: '52. That's when my -- two of my greatest friendships began with Arthur Schlesinger and Alistair Cooke, 1952.

KING: And what a man Stevenson was.

BACALL: Oh, what a great man. (INAUDIBLE) you see this country. Please. Don't get me started, as they say.

KING: So we missed a good opportunity. I think, even his critic was say that Adlai Stevenson was a great...

BACALL: He was a brilliant, brilliant man. But no one had heard anyone except Roosevelt speak with wit. You know, they couldn't figure out what that was all about. Couldn't be serious.

KING: He had a great wit.

BACALL: He was brilliant.

KING: Are you big a "D" Democrat? Do you...

BACALL: I'm a total Democrat. I'm anti-Republican. And it's only fair that you know it. Even though...

KING: Wait a minute. Are you a liberal?

BACALL: I'm a liberal. The L word!

KING: Egads!

BACALL: I love it. Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be. You are welcoming to everyone when you're a liberal. You do not have a small mind. Little picayune things. You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, little picayune thing.

KING: You're open to...

BACALL: You want to welcome everyone. Liberal, I'm a Roosevelt. I'm a -- and I hear anyone say anything about FDR...

KING: You're a new dealer, fair dealer.

BACALL: I'm a total -- and I was a kid and I'm total, total, total liberal and proud of it. And I think it's outrageous to say the l word. I mean, excuse me. They should be damn lucky that they were liberals here. Liberals gave more to the population of the United States than any other group.

KING: Well, Social Security.

BACALL: Everything. KING: Dealing with death, you write of that, I know. I remember that. You lost loved ones. And as you age very well or mature very well, a lot of your friends go, right?

BACALL: I've lost a lot the last couple of years.

KING: How do you deal with it?

BACALL: It has been a bad -- well, I mean, then your own mortality kind of flicks across your mind. But one doesn't want to dwell on those things for too long. But you know, when you lose friends, it chips away a little bit out of your life. I mean, your world gets smaller. And I mean, it's part of what happens to people. And there's nothing you can do about it. It's just very sad. And when friendship is important to you, as it has always been to me, in my life. I mean, I value my friends so. I have fewer than I had, you know, a couple years ago.

KING: And You've lost the loves of your life, right? The husbands, the loves of your life are gone.

BACALL: That's right.

KING: That's a different kind of pain to deal with, isn't it?

BACALL: Well, losing is always painful. I think. I mean, losing Bogey was horrible, obviously. Because he was young. And because he gave me my life. I wouldn't have had a -- I don't know what would have happened to me if I hadn't met him. I would have had a completely different kind of life. He changed me, he gave me everything. And he was an extraordinary man.

KING: So many people watching now because of the nature of cancer are living with people who are terminal. Anything you -- advice you have? Do you keep a smile? Do you know they're going, do you act as if they're not?

BACALL: No, I don't think -- no, I think that's overdramatizing it. I really don't think you can live that way. I mean, my theory was then and is still that the person who is ill sets the tone. The person who has the disease behaves in a certain way. They either want to feel sorry for themselves or they don't want to feel sorry for themselves.

They -- Bogey pretended -- you know, as though as he had a virus or something. He didn't make a big deal of it. He never talked about it. And so you have to carry along that way and act as so -- I never thought about his life ending.

KING: Because he didn't bring it up?

BACALL: No. He never brought it up. Although he was failing, he never brought it up. And we never talked about it. So you have to respect what they want. And you have to behave accordingly.

KING: Very well said. Spoken as a true liberal. BACALL: Don't knock the liberals.

KING: I'm not.

BACALL: Yes, you are. You secretly you do.

KING: I'm not, I'm just kidding. I'm not kidding. I think someone said that Norman Thomas, the socialist, in 1932 had a platform had a platform of 21 points, 20 are now law. Someone had to like it.

We'll be back with our remaining moments with Lauren Bacall. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BACALL: I'd say you don't like to be rated, you like to get out in front, open up a lead, take a little breather in the back stretch, and then come home free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't like to be rated yourself.

BACALL: I haven't met anyone yet who could do it. Any suggestions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I can't tell until I've seen you over a distance of ground. You've got a touch of class, but I don't know how far you can go.

BACALL: Well, a lot depends on who's in the saddle.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's for dinner?

BACALL: Lori Shannon (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For dinner?

BACALL: You know what I'm talking about. (INAUDIBLE) pretending. How do you do, Mrs. Shannon? How do you do Mr. Hagen? So, nice of me, I introduced you. You let me introduce you and all this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, wait just a minute.

BACALL: Why didn't you tell me about her? What's the big secret?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know what...

BACALL: No, you didn't say a word. How do you do? You let me find out for myself what everybody knows and is laughing behind my back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not making sense.

BACALL: I'm making excellent sense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lori Shannon, she's the girl in your show.

BACALL: That we already know.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: By the way, Lauren Bacall's book "By Myself and Then Some." She has not won an Academy award, been nominate, but has won two Tonys.

BACALL: Yes.

KING: That's an awesome achievement.

BACALL: It is. That was -- that was -- I mean, the theater has been very, very kind to me. And they gave me an opportunity to do the kind of work that I never would have been giving here.

KING: Would you do it again? Would you do theater again?

KING: So we don't have a young Arthur Miller?

BACALL: I don't know. I hope we have somewhere. I hope we have many talented people. But I mean, I think it reflects the times and the atmosphere in the country. And it is not -- it's not happening now. Not a good thing.

KING: How did you like working with Jack Lemmon?

BACALL: Loved it.

KING: Great guy.

BACALL: Oh, terrific guy. Listen, I have -- I've worked with Jim Garner who I adore. I mean, I've worked with Newman. Paul is so adorable. And Sydney Lumet who was just honored and who...

KING: Is it harder -- you don't have to name them all, although with you, you might. Working with people you don't like?

BACALL: That hasn't happened to me very often.

KING: Really?

BACALL: No. Yes, I've been very lucky. I haven't -- there was only one actor that I never cared for very much whose name I won't mention. But the movie was so lousy that it didn't seem to matter that much.

KING: Is it harder to work when you don't like them?

BACALL: Well, yes, it's an effort. But you still have to think of the work you know. So the work is the work is No. 1.

KING: Where were you on 9/11? BACALL: On 9/11 I was in the Bel-Air Hotel.

KING: Out here?

BACALL: Out here in California. I left a 9:00 call to wake up because I was leaving for New York that day to go home.

I left a wake-up call for 9:00. The phone rang in my room, and I was very groggy. I said -- so I said, what time is it? They said 7:00. I said, why are you calling me now? I left a 9:00 call. Why are you calling me at 7:00? They said turn on your television. I said, what are you talking about. She said, turn on your television.

So I turned on my television at 7:00 A.M. As the airplane hit the second twin tower. And I couldn't, obviously, get away. I couldn't -- I stayed here for five days after that. And even then security was very, very tight. Horrible.

KING: You knew the world had changed.

BACALL: Well, of course, I knew that our world had changed.

KING: Did you know anyone in the building?

BACALL: Not in the building, but in the airplane -- Barry Berenson.

KING: You knew Barry?

BACALL: Yes, Yes. Lovely, wonderful girl, yes. I didn't know anyone in the Twin Towers that I can think of now.

KING: Did you work after that?

BACALL: Did I work?

KING: Was it harder to work after that?

BACALL: Well, I just don't think you ever forget anything like that. You know, the impact of that was so extraordinary and so kind of violent, wasn't it? You couldn't -- it really shook you up.

But the work, I have to work, I have to make a living, Larry. I don't know about you, but that's what I have to do.

KING: You don't have it all stored away? You aren't a wealthy woman?

BACALL: I am not a wealthy woman. I wish to hell I was, but I never had a wealthy man.

KING: Wait a minute, Humphrey Bogart wasn't wealthy?

BACALL: No, God, no. He was a worker like I am. No, not wealthy at all.

KING: What do they get a film, then? What did Humphrey Bogart get?

BACALL: The highest salary he ever got -- and he didn't get it for any great length of time, was $200,000. None of these $20 million.

KING: What did he get for Casablanca?

BACALL: Casablanca, oh, I don't know. It wasn't before my time, but he was. Under contract to Warner Brothers and who knows?

KING: You were at the Dakota when John Lennon was killed? You are there, aren't you? You are around.

BACALL: So it seems. I mean, when you put it that way. It's not too appealing.

KING: What do you remember about that night?

BACALL: That night I remember very clearly, too. Because I was in my bedroom with my dog, of course. Because I'm always with one or another of my dogs. And I heard this -- it was a shot, but it sounded like a backfire. And but there was something kind of different about it.

So I went to my kitchen and opened the window and looked in the courtyard. And I saw other people across the courtyard doing the same thing. Looking. Couldn't see anything. So I thought, well, I don't know what that was. It must have been a backfire.

And then I went back into the -- close the window and went and turned on the television for the 11:00 news. And the first news was John Lennon was shot.

KING: Did you know him in the building?

BACALL: Yes. I've met him before, yes. Liked him a lot.

KING: All right. New film projects. "Firedog," an animated comedy feature. You're a character called Posh? What are you? Porsche? What? What's the name of your character?

BACALL: I think it's Posh.

KING: So, what are you laughing at. I had it right.

BACALL: Well, Poesh, Posh.

KING: Poesh, Posh. You are going to be in "These Foolish Things." Directed by Julia Taylor Stanley. You're cast as a character called Dame Lydia.

BACALL: That's me. Dame Lydia.

KING: And you'll be in "Manderlay," a story about slavery in the south starring Danny Glover and Willem Dafoe. Directed by Lars Von Trier. You're working a lot. BACALL: I'm lucky. I'm lucky. I don't work very long. And I don't get paid very highly, but I work. And I met interesting people.

KING: In "Firedog," is it your next -- you don't assume a different voice?

BACALL: No.

KING: Do you remember a line from "Firedog?"

BACALL: No.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Thank you darling. Next time. I feel like Rickles every time.

Lauren Bacall, the book "By Myself and Then Some." I'll be back in a couple minutes. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Thanks for joining us. A lot of the clips you've seen throughout this show are from films that are available on DVD and/or VHS. Some of the titles are there on your screen. Many of them are available through Warner Home Video.

Aaron Brown and "NEWSNIGHT" is next. See you tomorrow night. Thanks for joining us. Thanks to Lauren Bacall. Good night.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com


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