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Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rat, Brat, Frat

I was asked yesterday, "Why didn't you mention Frank, Sammy, Dean and the rest of the guys in your blog yesterday?" "Why would I?" I asked in response. "They were the original..." she started. "...Rat Pack." I said, "Not Pack Rat." What a laugh we had.
So, The Rat Pack. Many believe it was a ‘group’ formed in the 1960’s but it wasn’t. It actually was ‘founded’ by Humphrey Bogart (his wife, Lauren Bacall, was considered the “Den Mother”) in the 1950’s. Some reported members were Judy Garland & Sid Luft, Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, Frank Sinatra, George Cukor, Nathaniel Benchley, David Niven, Swifty Lazar and Jimmy Van Heusen. The group sounds like it was well formed and included historian, vice presidents, treasurer, secretary, etc.

My favorite story about the name has Lauren Bacall naming the group one night after the group returned from a night in Las Vegas said something like, “You look like a goddamn rat pack.” Apparently the name stuck.

 It seems that when Bogart died, the group thinned out for a few years when Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford and Norman Fell ( began a second generation of “The Rat Pack”. Typically they referred to themselves at “The Summit” or “The Clan” not “The Rat Pack”. The female Packers were called “Rat Pack Mascots” and included Shirley MacLaine, Angie Dickinson,Marilyn Monroe and Juliet Prowse.

In the 1980’s, a kind of third generation known as “The Brat Pack” included a similarly wild group of friends including, Rob Lowe, Robert Downey, Jr, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez. “Fringe” members include, Anthony Michael Hall, Tom Cruise, C Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald. Some also considered (because of their association with the main and fringe members),  Jon Cryer, John Cussack, Kevin Bacon, Jami Gertz, Mary Stewart Masterson, Matthew Broderick, Sean Penn, Keifer Sutherland and (so she says) Melissa Gilbert.

Now I hear there is another group known as “The Frat Pack”. Doing this research had uncovered this band of misfits, I have not heard of them before this. This group includes, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carell, Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Owen & Luke Wilson.

In the 60 (or so) years since Bogart and Bacall hosted a group of up-and-comers in their Holmby Hills estate in Los Angeles many people came and went through the virtual clubhouse doors. Many others have been linked together just as the original troop was. Is this a tribute to the old? Maybe. But there will never be another Rat Pack, Nor Brat Pack, and not even Frat Pack (maybe a good thing, I don’t know). I have enjoyed the movies of Rats and Brats especially and will watch them again and again…Hey what’s on tonight??

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