Lauren Bacall passed away at the age of 89 in her apartment at the Dakota on August 12. This quote comes from the end of an article by Clancy Sigal I read on Salon this morning:
"All her life Lauren Bacall stayed a true-blue, New York, left-of-center, liberal Democrat lobbying for Adlai Stevenson and Bobby Kennedy. Or as she proudly boasted in a late interview, 'I’m anti-Republican. A liberal. The L-word!' "I knew there was a reason other than her looks and "The Look" that I loved her in To Have and Have Not, Key Largo, Slick Hare, and The Big Sleep (and anything else she appeared in). I didn't have to dig too much deeper to find the transcript from "the L-word" interview with Larry King on CNN from May 6, 2005, when many liberals were renouncing that label.
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.
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!
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.
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.