Saturday, 9 February 2013

Swoon On A Saturday: The Rat Pack

Today I am focusing on the coolest of the cool, The Rat Pack.
     Their original leader was my childhood idol, Humphrey Bogart and one theory of how the name came about was from the groups original 'den mother' Lauren Bacall who commented on her husband (Bogart) and his friends return from a Vegas night out - "You look like a damn rat pack." 

     The original members are stated as being Frank Sinatra (pack master), Judy Garland (first vice-president), Bacall (den mother), Sid Luft (cage master), Bogart (rat in charge of public relations), Swifty Lazar (recording secretary and treasurer), Nathaniel Benchley (historian), David Niven, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, George Cukor, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, and Jimmy Van Heusen. David Niven confirms iIn his autobiography that the Rat Pack originally included him but not Sammy Davis, Jr. or Dean Martin. 
Other visiting members of note are Errol Flynn, Nat King Cole, Mickey Rooney and Cesar Romero.(source)

     The press by the mid sixties was using the term Rat Pack to refer to the later line up of the group and those who we immediately think of when the term Rat Pack is brought to mind - Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy David Jnr, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.


  For this post I shall simply pay homage to this latter group but also, the original Rat, my idol as a little thing (I was an odd child, granted) Mr Humphrey Bogart ..

Humphrey DeForest Bogart
December 25th 1899 (New York City, New York, USA) - January 14th 1957 (Los Angeles, California, USA)

I used to watch a lot of old black and white films when I was wee and especially liked the ones with Bogie in them. He was probably the first actor I ever liked and I even had his photo on my wall. That picture went missing one day and I have no idea where it went and oh I miss it. 

Dino Paul Crocetti
June 7th 1917 (Steubenville, Ohio, USA) - December 25th 1995 (Beverly Hills, California, USA)
For a long time I would have nothing to do with Dino, as Jerry Lewis annoyed me so much and those were the only times I ever used to see him, but in later years I came to realise what an incredible singing voice he has. I believe Elvis Presley greatly admired his voice.

Ol' Blue Eyes
(or Ol' Tin Ribs as my nan called him) 
 Francis Albert Sinatra
December 12th 1915 (Hoboken, New Jersey, USA) - May 14th 1998 (West Hollywood, California, USA)
How can you not like Sinatra? He had it all I think, looks, blue eyes, the singing voice and he epitomised cool .. oh and he acted too!

Joey Bishop
Joseph Abraham Gottlieb
February 3rd 1918 (Bronx, New York, USA) - October 17th 2007 (Newport Beach, California, USA)
I am first to hold my hands up and say I know nothing of this man, not one little thing.

Peter Lawford
Peter Sydney Ernest Aylen 
7th September 1923 (London, UK) - 24 December 1984 (Los AngelesCalifornia, USA)
As with Joey, I also know nothing of Peter Lawford, but I need to see this man in a film I think.

Sammy Davis Jnr.
Samuel George Davis, Jr.
December 8th 1925 (Harlem, New York, USA) - May 16th 1990 (Beverly Hills, California, USA)
Such a fabulous voice and the picture of him laughing with Frank and Dino is one of my absolute favourites.

So, only one thing left to do and that's to ask, who is your favourite Rat? I shall always have a soft spot for Bogart but if we're talking this Pack below, then I would have to say Dino as he makes me laugh and has an incredible singing voice. Although my word, wasn't Peter Lawford a looker! We certainly know how to turn out good looking actors in Blighty.


  1. I can't go past Frank. To me, he was the leader of the pack out of all the heart throbs in the last pic. He had the voice, the presence, he was a really good actor and he was well ... Frank! Have a wonderful weekend Melanie! xoxo

    1. I always thought of him as the top Rat, ever since I first heard of them, so I was rather surprised when I read about Bogart xxx

  2. Dean Martin! I love him in the movies with Jarry lewis, but do agree that Lewis can be a tad irritating at times.
    I love Frank in 'On the Town'!

    1. Yay for Dino!
      'On The Town' was on the other day I think, I'm just remembering now, which means I missed it which is typical.

  3. Ooh its a tough choice between Ol' Blue Eyes and Peter Lawford for me. I love listening to (and badly singing along with) Frankie and he looks hot in that mugshot! But I had a massive teenage crush on Peter Lawford after seeing him in as Laurie in the 1940's Little Women with June Allyson. He's one reason I watched it so often. That, and I wanted to be Jo! Do watch it!

    1. That mugshot is one of my favourite pictures.
      Now you've mentioned 'Little Women', I think I've probably seen Peter Lawford but didn't realise as I have actually seen that version. I shall definitely look out for it now to have a proper look xxx

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  5. My dad loved all these actors, so I sat watching lots of their films too when I was little. He loved all Humphrey Bogart's films and actors like James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, and according to my mum, he had a thing for Barbara Stanwyck, and Peggy Lee too. It's funny you never having seen Peter Lawford in a film, I can't remember him in anything either, wasn't he in Little Women? Or Meet Me In St Louis? I seem to remember him in that suitor type role, he certainly got about anyway didn't he, hanging around with the Rat Pack and the Kennedys. xx

    1. Apparently Peter Lawford was indeed in Little Women, but obviously I wasn't very observant! My favourite actresses when I was little were Bette Davis and Rita Hayworth who I thought the most beautiful woman I had ever set eyes on and I treated myself to a postcard of her from the local Odeon cinema foyer shop xxx

  6. This post incites a great deal of swooning in me for sure! Not only over the fine, wildly interesting chaps themselves, but also because I adore (and honestly have sat there and done just this) daydreaming about what it would have been to like to spend time with the Rat Pack, especially in Vegas (I have this romantic vision of Vegas as I like to think it was during the 50s and early 60). Awesome post, sweet Melanie, thank you!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. You're so very welcome! I too have a rosy view of Vegas back in those days, as the current real one leaves me cold xxx


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