Apr 13, 2006

Did You Know...?

The term "Rat Pack", which popularly references swinging singers Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and their contemporaries (Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, among others) is actually the name created by another social set prominent in the late 1940's and early 1950's. The informally organized "Holmby Hills Rat Pack" initially included Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart and wife Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland and husband Sid Luft, Hollywood agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar, David Niven and wife Hjordis, and technical advisor/professional impostor Mike Romanoff and wife Gloria (Romanoff acted occasionally). Over the years, the configuration of the group changed dramatically and, as marriages dissolved or group members passed away, it eventually came to refer to Dean, Sammy, and the group of outrageous nightclub singers, notorious for their affection for booze and broads. Actress Shirley MacLaine even became an honorary Rat in the mid-60's, though by this time, the group called themselves "The Clan".

"In order to qualify, one had to be addicted to nonconformity, staying up late, drinking, laughing, and not caring what anyone thought or said about us. Spence(r Tracy) was only an honorary rat, because he lived a secluded life, but his heart was in the right place." - Lauren Bacall

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