Did you know how the legendary Hollywood Rat Pack got its name? In case you’re competing on a game show sometime in the near future, or if you’re still learning about Hollywood History after being in US for over 30 years (like me), here’s a bit of trivia for you.
Apparently, the term comes from New York, circa 1940’s: a nickname for a group of close friends — what, in our day, might be called a ‘posse’…The friends were Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, Sid Luft, Humphrey Bogart, Swifty Lazar, Nathaniel Benchley, David Niven, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, George Cukor, Cary Grant, Rex Harrison, And Jimmy Van Heusen. Later (and temporary) members include Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, Norman Fell.
According to one story, Lauren Bacall, after seeing her husband, Humphrey Bogart and his group of friends upon their return from a night in Las Vegas, exclaimed words to the effect “You look like a goddamn rat pack.” …And the name stuck, until this day.