Leonard Bernstein’s daughter says pal Lauren Bacall ‘was not a shut-in’ after Humphrey Bogart’s death in new memoir


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Being the daughter of some of the iconic composers in American music historical past has loads of perks.

Rising up, Jamie Bernstein brushed shoulders along with her father Leonard Bernstein’s well-known pals like Lauren Bacall, Jackie Kennedy and Woody Allen.

The oldest daughter of the revered conductor not too long ago revealed a memoir on the centennial of his start titled “Well-known Father Lady,” which particulars what it was actually like rising up with the “West Facet Story” legend.

Leonard handed away in 1990 at age 72 from a coronary heart assault brought on by progressive lung failure.

U.S actress Lauren Bacall poses with her dog 'Sophie' during a photocall to present her film 'The Walker' at the 57th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 13, 2007. The festival runs from February 8-18.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann      (GERMANY) - RTR1MCY4

Lauren Bacall in her later years.


Bernstein informed Fox Information her father was revered by Hollywood’s elite, together with Bacall, who was her upstairs neighbor at The Dakota in New York Metropolis.

“She was Betty Bacall to us,” defined the 66-year-old. “She’s somebody that my mother and father will need to have met once we youngsters have been tremendous younger. We didn’t know her till afterward, however by the point we met her, she was already very a lot a buddy of the household and simply a part of the entire social circle.”

Bernstein admitted that there have been two sides behind the long-lasting display screen siren, who made her mark in Hollywood in the course of the ‘40s with “the look” and a seductive throaty voice that captivated her on-set lover and later husband Humphrey Bogart.

“Betty had this fame of being… You realize, very imply to individuals,” mentioned Bernstein. “Like, waiters in eating places, doormen, individuals like that. However she was by no means that means with us within the household. She was actually candy and type to all three of us, my brother, sister and myself.”

Earlier than Bacall’s demise in 2014 at age 89, rumors claimed she was a recluse residing within the swanky 19th-century constructing, often known as one among Manhattan’s most mysterious and unique residences. Enterprise Insider beforehand reported Bacall owned a nine-room house for 53 years earlier than it was finally bought for $23.5 million.

The New York Occasions beforehand reported Bacall was annoyed, particularly in her later years, with the general public’s ongoing fascination along with her romance with Bogart, regardless that she ceaselessly mentioned their 12-year marriage was the happiest interval of her life.

Bogart handed away in 1957 at age 57 from most cancers. The couple shared two kids.

Bernstein careworn Bacall was removed from a recluse and as a substitute, loved her life past Hollywood’s glitz and glam. She additionally saved busy on her personal phrases. Her final credited position was voicing the animated position of Evelyn within the TV sequence “Household Man” the identical yr she handed away.

“She wasn’t within the public eye, however she was not a shut-in,” defined Bernstein. “She would present up at Hal and Judy Prince’s annual vacation get together. It was very touching as a result of on the finish of her life, she appeared to cease caring about being glamorous, and he or she would simply put on one thing very plain, snug sneakers and have her hair in a ponytail.

“And there was one thing serene about her, on the finish of her life. She was simply stress-free in a means she had by no means had earlier.”

However Bacall wasn’t the one feminine icon Bernstein met via her father. There was additionally former first woman Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

“She was simply so stunning and so elegant,” gushed Bernstein. “For one factor, she was a lot taller. In my household, we’re all such shrimps. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was so statuesque. She had this regal bearing, and this small, breathy voice. It was a humorous mixture as a result of she appeared so grand, however then she had this small, trembly voice.”

(Original Caption) Mrs. Jacqueline Onassis was one of a group of prominent New Yorkers who joined the fight to save Grand Central Station during a meeting to fight construction of an office building atop the New York City landmark.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis in 1975


Bernstein added that regardless of Onassis being a household buddy, she fiercely protected her privateness.

“She was all the time a bit of bit at a distance,” defined Bernstein. “She was very cautious about her interactions with individuals. When she and President Kennedy have been within the White Home, my mother and father have been very a lot of their circle.

“And as soon as Kennedy was assassinated, and Jacqueline married Aristotle Onassis, the connection turned extra cordial. I don’t assume they frolicked a lot anymore.”

However Bernstein was doing greater than mingling with the wealthy and well-known. She additionally vividly recalled her relationship with Leonard, a person who allegedly wasn’t shy to kiss everybody on the lips along with his tongue, together with his personal daughter. Bernstein careworn “nothing untoward ever occurred.”

Bernstein 1

Sledding in Central Park throughout Harvard winter break.

 (Courtesy of the Bernstein household)

“It was only a factor he did,” she mentioned. “I feel it’s like a litmus take a look at to see how unfastened or uptight individuals are, how far they’d let my father go. But when individuals recoiled. … He wouldn’t pursue it additional. He was not a predator. He wouldn’t insist upon one thing if the opposite individual wasn’t into it.

“It wasn’t a lot about asserting energy or being in any means brutal. If he caught his tongue down a number of throats it was simply because he wished to French kiss the entire vast world.”

Jamie Bernstein, 4/1/16.

Jamie Bernstein in the present day.

 (Steve J. Sherman)

Bernstein claimed she would later study of his affairs with males, one thing she initially had a tough time greedy.

The New Yorker revealed Bernstein discovered of Leonard’s relationship with a younger lover named Tom Cothran in 1972 whereas she was a junior at Harvard and he was making ready and delivering lectures on campus.

Mrs. Leonard (Felicia) Bernstein wearing gold tea jacket and pearls, seated in her home. (Photo by Henry Clarke/Condé Nast via Getty Images)

Leonard Bernstein’s spouse, Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre.


“That was very complicated,” admitted Bernstein. “It turned obvious he was having this affair with a younger man… By the point I used to be a senior in school, it was evident that they have been kind of residing collectively… It was like my father had a double life. He was residing with this younger man on campus. … All of that was actually sophisticated to kind out and make sense out of.”

Leonard’s spouse, Chilean actress Felicia Montealegre, allegedly was conscious of his homosexual romances earlier than they married in 1951.

In response to the New York Publish, Montealegre wrote Leonard a letter the yr they wed, which her kids discovered after her demise in 1978, stating: “You’re a gay and should by no means change. I’m prepared to just accept you as you might be.”

However regardless of the affairs, Bernstein wrote in her e book that Leonard stayed by his spouse’s facet and nursed her via her last battle with most cancers.

Bernstein 2

Alexander and Jamie share the Beatles with their dad.

 (Courtesy of the Bernstein household)

The New Yorker added that Leonard, who didn’t reside overtly as a homosexual man in his lifetime, by no means stopped loving his spouse and felt responsible about what he put her via. Bernstein mentioned that via all of it, her father was a very good man and easily somebody on a quest for love, which he overtly expressed via his music.

“I feel all the pieces my father did got here from a spot of affection,” she mentioned. “He simply wished to make like to the entire vast world. Which is kind of inconceivable, however in a means, he did that along with his music. Making music was sort of lovemaking for my father.”

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