Actress Cate Blanchett credits Lauren Bacall with helping her create an accurate portrayal of late movie legend Katharine Hepburn in Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator.

The Australian beauty thoroughly researched Hepburn's life and achievements before sitting down for a chat with the deceased actress' great pal Bacall, who offered a fascinating insight into the ADAM'S RIB star's personality - and her penchant for laughter.

Blanchett says, "First I scoured her films. I read everything written about her.

"Lauren was generous with her memories and it was beguiling to hear about a friendship between two goddesses. The main thing she told me about was laughter. It was a fun time to be alive."

07/12/2004 14:22