WARREN - Two speakers from famous families shared stories of old Hollywood Wednesday at Packard Music Hall to open the 2013-14 Trumbull Town Hall series.
Stephen Bogart is the son of actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. His father died of cancer in 1957 when he was only 8 years old.
''Everything changed for me,'' he told the crowd.
He left behind his friends and the only home he'd known when his mother decided to relocate to New York City. For about 20 years, he tried to ignore his legacy.
Because of the constant barrage of "Are you the son of ..." that he heard wherever he went, Bogart said, "I ran away from who I was ... You want to be your own person."
Now, he embraces it and wishes his memories were stronger of his father. His most fond memories of dad are the times they spent together on his prized boat, The Santana. He said dad didn't allow women on the boat because, "If women are on the boat we can't pee over the side."
Stephen Bogart ended his talk showing home movies of Bogart and Bacall and their famous friends (Frank Sinatra and Richard Burton among them) on that boat (and there were women on the boat in the movies) as well as a Bogart filming a screen test for a movie called "Top Secret Affair," which he had to drop out of because of his failing health.
Sinatra almost became his stepfather. Bogart said the singer proposed to Bacall, but when the news was leaked, Sinatra canceled the engagement.
While he lost his dad at a young age, his mother is doing fine, Bogart said. Bacall celebrated her 89th birthday earlier this month and still lives at the Dakota, the famed New York building she has called home since 1961.
Also on the program was Cass Warner Sperling, the granddaughter of Warner Bros. cofounder Harry Warner and the daughter of Hollywood screenwriter / producer Milton Sperling.
While many knew Harry Warner as a tough businessman, she knew him as "the most loving grandpa anyone could wish for."
Every Sunday the family went to his 1,100-acre ranch, where her grandpa would take her for tractor rides and they would enjoy a sumptuous spread, often featuring some of the cows and chicken raised on the farm.
Her grandfather died when she was 10, and she felt a responsibility to tell what she felt was the untold story of her family's legacy. Much of her time was dominated by clips from "The Brothers Warners," the 2007 documentary she wrote, directed and co-produced. She also shared with the audience a rare audio recording of an interview she did with Ronald Reagan as part of her research.
Her research on her family has been optioned for a feature film called "The Brothers." The screenplay was written by Nicholas Pileggi (''GoodFellas," "Casino") and it is being sent to directors.
"Dreams to come true," she said.