If you’ve been to Las Vegas, or even a Vegas-themed party, you’ve undoubtedly at some point indulged like a “rar packer”. Even though it’s been more than 15 years since the least well-known of them, Joey Bishop, passed away, The Rat Pack remains one of the most recognizable and relatable references to movie star glam and partying ever. But even though the group was most familiar for their revelry in Vegas, its roots were actually in a far quieter and tonier section of Los Angeles, and it was so nicknamed by another even more legendary star. None other than the lady who captured the heart of the king of CASABLANCA and KEY LARGO, and who herself was quite a reveler in her lifetime, too:
Wikipedia adds some details as to who some of those other pals were:
“Rat Pack” may also be a shortened version of “Holmby Hills Rat Pack”, a reference to the home of Bogart and Bacall which served as a regular hangout of the same group of friends during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Visiting members included Errol Flynn, Ava Gardner, Nat King Cole, Robert Mitchum, Elizabeth Taylor, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis, Mickey Rooney, Lena Horne, Jerry Lewis, and Cesar Romero. According to Stephen Bogart, the original members of the Holmby Hills Rat Pack were Frank Sinatra (pack master), Judy Garland (first vice-president), 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.[6
Considering how Garland’s adult life spiraled out of control, it’s particularly sobering to realize that she may have been schooled by some of the hardest partiers around. And that hubby effectively brought her into the fray at that.
And she wasn’t the only female Rat Packer, apparently. Nor the only ones who necessarily liked the way the boys looked, either.
The next time you see some viral video of some bachelorette party gone amok, compare it to the potential of what this gang probably did. And, somewhere, I suspect, still might be.
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