Lauren Bacall Was Game for Anything, Even Getting Punched Out on The Sopranos

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 12 2014 10:41 PM

Lauren Bacall Was Game for Anything, Even Getting Punched Out on The Sopranos

bacallsopranos
Bacall in The Sopranos.

In the Sopranos Season 6 episode “Luxury Lounge,” Christopher and Little Carmine travel to Los Angeles in an attempt to cast their terrible “The Ring meets The Godfather” horror movie Cleaver. A lousy meeting with Ben Kingsley ends with Kingsley chatting poolside with no less an icon than Lauren Bacall, who seems unimpressed when Christopher tells her he loved “The Haves and Have-Nots.” It’s a nice cameo, but an innocuous one—until late in the episode, once we’ve seen how interested Christopher is in the gift baskets that VIPs get in the luxury lounges at awards shows. Bacall walks to her car late at night, carrying one of those baskets, and:

ScreenCrush’s Mike Ryan had it right tonight:

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On a show that gleefully slaughtered sacred cows of TV heroism and glamour, seeing a punk kid punch out the greatest living star of the silver screen was a moment beyond anything we could have ever expected. And the fact that Bacall signed on for the role—signed on to be, essentially, a symbol of the golden age of Hollywood, socked in the face and left bleeding on the ground—is a great reminder: Lauren Bacall had a wicked sense of humor and didn’t give a damn. She was game for anything. She was a star.

Dan Kois is Slate's culture editor and a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine.