Lauren Bacall on "What's My Line"

If you want a real peek at a celebrity's impish side, the way they might have appeared at a cocktail party, AND you're interested in stars of Hollywood's golden age, there is no better way in than through the celebrity guest spots on What's My Line, the game show that aired from 1950-1967 and featured a very erudite and witty panel of columnists and media celebrities who tried to figure out what a person's "line" was through a series of "yes or no" questions.

The "mystery guest" spot required the panel to cover their eyes with face masks (Arlene Francis' is particularly reflective of her personal brand of kooky glamour) and the celebrity would employ tricks to disguise their voices, or if the celebrity's voice was instantly recognizable, as in the case of Judy Garland, the guest would have a bell to ring for "yes" and clicker for "no". 

In watching this particular clip featuring Lauren Bacall just after she finished filming How To Marry A Millionaire, I was surprised by how flirty and coquettish and almost...demure she was.  I've always known and loved Bacall as the sophisticated, confident, and salty lady she was onscreen, and that she relaxed into as she aged.  So to see her in this context was loads of fun.  Hope you enjoy.


And if this clip has piqued your interest, there are plenty more What's My Line celebrity spots available on Youtube, including Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Kim Novak, Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland and Eleanore Roosevelt!  I personally recommend the clip with Rosalind Russell.