WEIRDLAND: Cover Girls: Lauren Bacall (with Bogart) and Rita Hayworth (with Gene Kelly)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Cover Girls: Lauren Bacall (with Bogart) and Rita Hayworth (with Gene Kelly)

Lauren Bacall, 1942 - Vintage Gelatin Silver Print

Lauren Bacall was an usherette briefly, then got a couple of minor stage jobs and several modelling assignments. One Harper's Bazaar cover was seen by Howard Hawks, who tested her and signed her to a seven-year contract, 32 weeks a year. Columbia asked her to be the Harper's Bazaar girl in "Cover Girl", but she knew Hawks' offer was likely to provide her a better future.

Hawks showed the test to Warners and cast her opposite Humphrey Bogart in "To Have and Have Not" (1944).

Jinx Falkenburg, Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth in "Cover Girl" (1944) directed by Charles Vidor

One insider' recount during the filming of "Cover Girl": "These ladies [wardrobe & make-up personnel at Columbia studios] are one of a kind - their memory of COVER GIRL is unbelievable - they showed me photos of the backstage of 40 plus hairdressers running around taking care of business and things that I haven't seen in my lifetime. I was in a treat for the ages and they taught me what was like back then.

Gene Kelly was not really a great egotist - but in COVER GIRL he became 2nd Director of the movie was it difficult on set. Gene was a humble man and had a heart of gold - Harry Cohn to make life miserable for both Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly. Cohn also told Gene Kelly that he would get top billing - but, he didn't - he gave it to Rita instead. The assistant/aide told me that Gene Kelly was one of the nicest man that she had ever met. His smile warmed her heart.

Rita thanked Gene for his honesty and their friendship grew even greater afterwards. She considered him to be most electrifying male entertainer of all time and told him that his performance in 'Singing in the Rain' to be his ultimate best musical ever. Gene knew that Rita being mistreated at Columbia and he tried his best to get Rita to work for MGM instead.

Gene Kelly was doing movies, stage, and television work at the same time – and he regretted of not having a chance to do another Kelly/Hayworth movie/musical again. Gene truly wanted to do another musical with her but regretted not being able to do so and felt really bad about it. Their agents tried to coax both Cohn and Meyers to cooperate once more do another Hayworth/Kelly musical but Cohn and Meyers told both of them to get lost.

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