Mid Wales

Lauren Bacall visit to Wales recalled by MP Glyn Davies

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Media captionStar turn: Glyn Davies welcomes Lauren Bacall to Powys in 1991

A Powys MP has been telling of the day he acted as "bodyguard, minder and companion" to Hollywood film star Lauren Bacall, who has died aged 89.

Glyn Davies welcomed the actress to an exhibition of paintings at Llangoed Hall, near Brecon, in May 1991.

Ms Bacall, who also appeared at the Hay Festival that year, was very friendly and had a great sense of humour, said the Montgomeryshire Tory MP.

"A lot of fans all over the world will be feeling quite sad today," he said.

Born in New York in 1924, Bacall's Hollywood career spanned seven decades, starting at the age of 19 when she starred opposite her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not.

Mr Davies told BBC Radio Wales how he met and was charmed by the Hollywood legend in his role as chairman of the Development Board for Rural Wales.

"We were launching a catalogue of paintings by Welsh artists and we had a pretty big event at Llangoed Hall." he said.

"I was charged to be her companion for the day - a lot of my work was controlling the media."

Image caption In the picture: Lauren Bacall opened an exhibition of paintings at Llangoed Hall
Image caption The actress was the star attraction at the 1991 Hay Festival of literature

The MP recalled how they staged a grand entrance with him playing the role of Bacall's first husband and fellow screen legend Humphrey Bogart.

"It was her idea actually - the two big doors were going to be opened and we would walk through with me as Bogart.

"I'd never seen so many flashing lights - it was just like Hollywood."


Mr Davies added that the actress was not planning to address the event but did so after he apparently put her at her ease.

"Amazingly she didn't feel confident enough to speak," he said.

"Then we went up to a platform and because I'm pretty informal - I wasn't quite what she expected - she did start to speak and we had a job to stop her.

"She was a Hollywood star, no question, and she knew she was.

"She was actually very easy to talk to, very friendly and easy to know.

"She was quite different when we were talking away from the cameras and away from the public gaze.

"I think a few of my friends were a little bit envious of my day.

"I thought she was a great star, a very beautiful woman and a lot of fans all over the world will be feeling quite sad today."

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