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Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American actor. He is widely regarded as a cultural icon.
After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936), and this led to a period of typecasting as a gangster with films such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) and B-movies like The Return of Doctor X (1939).
His breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941, with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca raised him to the peak of his profession and, at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. Other successes followed, including To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948), with his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award; Sabrina (1954), and The Caine Mutiny (1954). His last movie was The Harder They Fall (1956). During a film career of almost thirty years, he appeared in 75 feature films.
Early life Edit
Bogart was born in New York City, the first child of Belmont DeForest Bogart (July 1867, Watkins Glen, New York – September 8, 1934, Tudor City apartments, New York, New York) and Maud Humphrey (1868–1940). Belmont and Maud were married in June 1898. His father's ancestors were of Dutch, English, and Spanish origin. Bogart is a Dutch name meaning “orchard”. His mother's family were largely of English descent and to a lesser extent Welsh. Bogart's father was a Presbyterian, while his mother was an Episcopalian. Bogart was raised in his mother's faith.
Bogart's birthday has been a subject of controversy. It was long believed that his birthday on Christmas Day 1899, was a Warner Bros. fiction created to romanticize his background, and that he was really born on January 23, 1899, a date that appears in many references. However, this story is now considered baseless: although no birth certificate has ever been found, his birth notice did appear in a New York newspaper in early January 1900, which supports the December 1899 date, as do other sources, such as the 1900 census.
Bogart's father, Belmont, was a surgeon specializing in heart and lungs. His mother, Maud Humphrey, was a commercial illustrator, who received her art training in New York and France, including study with James McNeill Whistler, and who later became artistic director of the fashion magazine The Delineator. She was a militant suffragette. She used a drawing of baby Humphrey in a well-known ad campaign for Mellins Baby Food. In her prime, she made over $50,000 a year, then a vast sum, far more than her husband's $20,000 per year. The Bogarts lived in a fashionable Upper West Side apartment, and had an elegant cottage on a fifty-five acre estate in upstate New York on Canandaigua Lake. As a youngster, Humphrey's gang of friends at the lake would put on theatricals.
Humphrey was the oldest of three children; he had two younger sisters, Frances and Catherine Elizabeth (Kay). His parents were very formal, busy in their careers, and frequently fought—resulting in little emotion directed at the children, "I was brought up very unsentimentally but very straightforwardly. A kiss, in our family, was an event. Our mother and father didn’t glug over my two sisters and me." As a boy, Bogart was teased for his curls, his tidiness, the "cute" pictures his mother had him pose for, the Little Lord Fauntleroy clothes she dressed him in—and the name "Humphrey." From his father, Bogart inherited a tendency for needling people, a fondness for fishing, a life-long love of boating, and an attraction to strong-willed women.
The Bogarts sent their son to private schools. Humphrey began school at the Delancy School until fifth grade, when he was enrolled in Trinity School. He was an indifferent, sullen student who showed no interest in after-school activities. Later he went to the prestigious preparatory school Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts, where he was admitted based on family connections. They hoped he would go on to Yale, but in 1918, Bogart was expelled.
The details of his expulsion are disputed: one story claims that he was expelled for throwing the headmaster (alternatively, a groundskeeper) into Rabbit Pond, a man-made lake on campus. Another cites smoking and drinking, combined with poor academic performance and possibly some intemperate comments to the staff. It has also been said that he was actually withdrawn from the school by his father for failing to improve his academics, as opposed to expulsion. In any case, his parents were deeply dismayed by the events and their failed plans for his future.
Coming up with no other career options, Bogart followed his love for the sea and enlisted in the United States Navy in the spring of 1918. He recalled later, “At eighteen, war was great stuff. Paris! French girls! Hot damn!” Bogart is recorded as a model sailor who spent most of his months in the Navy after the Armistice was signed, ferrying troops back from Europe.
Trademark scar Edit
It was during his naval stint that Bogart may have gotten his trademark scar and developed his characteristic lisp, though the actual circumstances are unclear. In one account, during a shelling of his ship the USS Leviathan, his lip was cut by a piece of shrapnel, although some claim Bogart didn’t make it to sea until after the Armistice was signed. Another version, which Bogart's long time friend, author Nathaniel Benchley, claims is the truth, is that Bogart was injured while on assignment to take a naval prisoner to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine. Supposedly, while changing trains in Boston, the handcuffed prisoner asked Bogart for a cigarette and while Bogart looked for a match, the prisoner raised his hands, smashed Bogart across the mouth with his cuffs, cutting Bogart's lip, and fled. The prisoner was eventually taken to Portsmouth. An alternate explanation is in the process of uncuffing an inmate, Bogart was struck in the mouth when the inmate wielded one open, uncuffed bracelet while the other side was still on his wrist. According to Darwin Porter's Humphrey Bogart: The Early Years, the scar was caused by his father, Belmont, during a terrible argument.
By the time Bogart was treated by a doctor, the scar had already formed. "Goddamn doctor," Bogart later told David Niven, "instead of stitching it up, he screwed it up." Niven says that when he asked Bogart about his scar he said it was caused by a childhood accident; Niven claims the stories that Bogart got the scar during wartime were made up by the studios to inject glamour. His post-service physical makes no mention of the lip scar even though it mentions many smaller scars, so the actual cause may have come later. When actress Louise Brooks met Bogart in 1924, he had some scarred tissue on his upper lip, which Belmont Bogart may have partially repaired before Bogart went into films in 1930. She believes his scar had nothing to do with his distinctive speech pattern, his "lip wound gave him no speech impediment, either before or after it was mended. Over the years, Bogart practiced all kinds of lip gymnastics, accompanied by nasal tones, snarls, lisps, and slurs. His painful wince, his leer, his fiendish grin were the most accomplished ever seen on film."
Early career Edit
Bogart returned home to find Belmont was suffering from poor health (perhaps aggravated by morphine addiction), his medical practice was faltering, and he lost much of the family's money on bad investments in timber. During his naval days, Bogart's character and values developed independent of family influence, and he began to rebel somewhat from their values. He came to be a liberal who hated pretensions, phonies, and snobs, and at times he defied conventional behavior and authority, traits he displayed in life and in his movies. On the other hand, he retained their traits of good manners, articulateness, punctuality, modesty, and a dislike of being touched.
After his naval service, Bogart worked as a shipper and then bond salesman. He joined the Naval Reserve.
More importantly, he resumed his friendship with boyhood mate Bill Brady, Jr. whose father had show business connections, and eventually Bogart got an office job working for William A. Brady Sr.'s new company World Films. Bogart got to try his hand at screenwriting, directing, and production, but excelled at none. For a while, he was stage manager for Brady's daughter's play A Ruined Lady. A few months later, in 1921, Bogart made his stage debut in Drifting as a Japanese butler in another Alice Brady play, nervously speaking one line of dialog. Several more appearances followed in her subsequent plays. Bogart liked the late hours actors kept, and enjoyed the attention an actor got on stage. He stated, “I was born to be indolent and this was the softest of rackets”.
He spent a lot of his free time in speakeasies and became a heavy drinker. A barroom brawl during this time might have been the actual cause of Bogart's lip damage, as this coincides better with the Louise Brooks account.
Bogart had been raised to believe acting was beneath a gentleman, but he enjoyed stage acting. He never took acting lessons, but was persistent and worked steadily at his craft. He appeared in at least seventeen Broadway productions between 1922 and 1935. He played juveniles or romantic second-leads in drawing room comedies. He is said to have been the first actor to ask "Tennis, anyone?" on stage. Critic Alexander Woollcott wrote of Bogart's early work that he "is what is usually and mercifully described as inadequate." Some reviews were kinder. Heywood Broun, reviewing Nerves wrote, “Humphrey Bogart gives the most effective performance...both dry and fresh, if that be possible”. Bogart loathed the trivial, effeminate parts he had to play early in his career, calling them "White Pants Willie" roles.
Early in his career, while playing double roles in the play Drifting at the Playhouse Theatre in 1922, Bogart met actress Helen Menken. They were married on May 20, 1926 at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, divorced on November 18, 1927, but remained friends. On April 3, 1928, he married Mary Philips at her mother's apartment in Hartford, Connecticut. She, like Menken, had a fiery temper and, like every other Bogart spouse, was an actress. He had met Mary when they appeared in the play Nerves, which had a very brief run at the Comedy Theatre in September 1924.
After the stock market crash of 1929, stage production dropped off sharply, and many of the more photogenic actors headed for Hollywood. Bogart's earliest film role is with Helen Hayes in the 1928 two-reeler The Dancing Town, of which a complete copy has never been found. He also appeared with Joan Blondell and Ruth Etting in a Vitaphone short, Broadway's Like That (1930) which was re-discovered in 1963.
Bogart then signed a contract with Fox Film Corporation for $750 a week. Spencer Tracy was a serious Broadway actor whom Bogart liked and admired, and they became good friends and drinking buddies. It was Tracy, in 1930, who first called him "Bogey". (Spelled variously in many sources, Bogart himself spelled his nickname "Bogie".) Tracy and Bogart appeared in their only film together in John Ford's early sound film Up the River (1930), with both playing inmates. It was Tracy's film debut. Bogart then performed in The Bad Sister with Bette Davis in 1931, in a minor part.
Bogart shuttled back and forth between Hollywood and the New York stage from 1930 to 1935, suffering long periods without work. His parents had separated, and Belmont died in 1934 in debt, which Bogart eventually paid off. (Bogart inherited his father's gold ring which he always wore, even in many of his films. At his father's deathbed, Bogart finally told Belmont how much he loved him.)
Bogart's second marriage was on the rocks, and he was less than happy with his acting career to date; he became depressed, irritable, and drank heavily.
The Petrified Forest Edit
Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart and Henry Fonda in the 1955 television broadcast of Petrified Forest.Bogart starred in the Broadway play Invitation to a Murder at the Theatre Masque, now the John Golden Theatre, in 1934. The producer Arthur Hopkins heard the play from off-stage and sent for Bogart to play escaped murderer Duke Mantee in Robert E. Sherwood's new play, The Petrified Forest. Hopkins recalled:
When I saw the actor I was somewhat taken aback, for he was the one I never much admired. He was an antiquated juvenile who spent most of his stage life in white pants swinging a tennis racquet. He seemed as far from a cold-blooded killer as one could get, but the voice (dry and tired) persisted, and the voice was Mantee's.
The play had 197 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York in 1935. Leslie Howard though, was the star. A critic for the New York Times Brooks Atkinson said of the play, “a peach... a roaring Western melodrama... Humphrey Bogart does the best work of his career as an actor.” Bogart said the movie “marked my deliverance from the ranks of the sleek, sybaritic, stiff-shirted, swallow-tailed ‘smoothies’ to which I seemed condemned to life.” However, he was still feeling insecure.
Warner Bros. bought the screen rights to The Petrified Forest. The studio was famous for its socially-realistic, urban, low-budget action pictures; the play seemed like the perfect property for it, especially since the public was entranced by real-life criminals like John Dillinger and Dutch Schultz. Bette Davis and Leslie Howard were cast. Howard, who held production rights, made it clear he wanted Bogart to star with him. The studio tested several Hollywood veterans for the Duke Mantee role, and chose Edward G. Robinson, who had greater star appeal and was due to make a film to fulfill his expensive contract. Bogart cabled news of this to Howard, who was in Scotland. Howard cabled reply was, “Att: Jack Warner Insist Bogart Play Mantee No Bogart No Deal L.H.”. When Warner Bros. saw that Howard would not budge, they gave in and cast Bogart. Jack Warner, famous for butting heads with his stars, tried to get Bogart to adopt a stage name, but Bogart stubbornly refused. Bogart never forgot Howard's favor, and in 1952 he named his only daughter, Leslie, after Howard, who had died in World War II. Robert E. Sherwood remained a close friend of Bogart's.
Early film career Edit
The film version of The Petrified Forest was released in 1936. His performance was called “brilliant”, “compelling”, and “superb.” Despite his success in an “A movie,” Bogart received a tepid twenty-six week contract at $550 per week and was typecast as a gangster in a series of "B movie" crime dramas. Bogart was proud of his success, but the fact that it came from playing a gangster weighed on him. He once said:
I can't get in a mild discussion without turning it into an argument. There must be something in my tone of voice, or this arrogant face—something that antagonizes everybody. Nobody likes me on sight. I suppose that's why I'm cast as the heavy.
Bogart's roles were not only repetitive, but physically demanding and draining (studios were not yet air-conditioned), and his regimented, tightly-scheduled job at Warners was not exactly the “peachy” actor's life he hoped for. However, he was always professional and generally respected by other actors. In those "B movie" years, Bogart started developing his lasting film persona — the wounded, stoical, cynical, charming, vulnerable, self-mocking loner with a core of honor.
Bogart's disputes with Warner Bros. over roles and money were similar to those the studio had with other less-than-obedient stars, such as Bette Davis, James Cagney, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland.
Bogart with James Cagney and Jeffrey Lynn in The Roaring Twenties (1939), the last film Bogart and Cagney made together.The studio system, then at its most entrenched, usually restricted actors to one studio, with occasional loan-outs, and Warner Bros. had no interest in making Bogart a top star. Shooting on a new movie might begin days or only hours after shooting on the previous one was completed. Any actor who refused a role could be suspended without pay. Bogart disliked the roles chosen for him, but he worked steadily: between 1936 and 1940, Bogart averaged a movie every two months, sometimes even working on two simultaneously, as movies were not generally shot sequentially. Amenities at Warners were few compared to those for their fellow actors at MGM. Bogart thought that the Warners wardrobe department was cheap, and often wore his own suits in his movies. In High Sierra, Bogart used his own pet dog Zero to play his character's dog Pard.
The leading men ahead of Bogart at Warner Bros. included not just such classic stars as James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, but also actors far less well-known today, such as Victor McLaglen, George Raft and Paul Muni. Most of the studio's better movie scripts went to these men, and Bogart had to take what was left. He made films like Racket Busters, San Quentin, and You Can't Get Away With Murder. The only substantial leading role he got during this period was in Dead End (1937), while loaned to Samuel Goldwyn, where he portrayed a gangster modeled after Baby Face Nelson. He did play a variety of interesting supporting roles, such as in Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) (in which his character got shot by James Cagney's). Bogart was gunned down on film repeatedly, by Cagney and Edward G. Robinson, among others. In Black Legion (1937), for a change, he played a good man caught up and destroyed by a racist organization, a movie Graham Greene called “intelligent and exciting, if rather earnest”.
In 1938, Warner Bros. put him in a "hillbilly musical" called Swing Your Lady as a wrestling promoter; he later apparently considered this his worst film performance. In 1939, Bogart played a mad scientist in The Return of Doctor X. He cracked, "If it'd been Jack Warner's blood...I wouldn't have minded so much. The trouble was they were drinking mine and I was making this stinking movie."
Dark Victory (1939) was one of the last films in which he played a supporting role.Mary Philips, in her own sizzling stage hit A Touch of Brimstone (1935), refused to give up her Broadway career to go to Hollywood with Bogart. After the play closed, however, she went to Hollywood, but insisted on continuing her career (she was still a bigger star than he was), and they decided to divorce in 1937.
On August 21, 1938, Bogart entered into a disastrous third marriage, with actress Mayo Methot, a lively, friendly woman when sober, but paranoid when drunk. She was convinced that her husband was cheating on her. The more she and Bogart drifted apart, the more she drank, got furious and threw things at him: plants, crockery, anything close at hand. She even set the house on fire, stabbed him with a knife, and slashed her wrists on several occasions. Bogart for his part needled her mercilessly and seemed to enjoy confrontation. Sometimes he turned violent. The press accurately dubbed them "the Battling Bogarts". "The Bogart-Methot marriage was the sequel to the Civil War", said their friend Julius Epstein. A wag observed that there was "madness in his Methot". During this time, Bogart bought a motor launch, which he named Sluggy after his nickname for his hot-tempered wife. Despite his proclamations that "I like a jealous wife", "we get on so well together (because) we don’t have illusions about each other", and "I wouldn't give you two cents for a dame without a temper", it became a highly destructive relationship.
In California in 1945, Bogart bought a 55-foot (17 m) sailing yacht, the Santana, from actor Dick Powell. The sea was his sanctuary and he loved to sail around Catalina Island. He was a serious sailor, respected by other sailors who had seen too many Hollywood actors and their boats. About 30 weekends a year, he went out on his boat. He once said, "An actor needs something to stabilize his personality, something to nail down what he really is, not what he is currently pretending to be."
He had a lifelong disgust for the pretentious, fake or phony, as his son Stephen told Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne in 1999. Sensitive yet caustic, and disgusted by the inferior movies he was performing in, Bogart cultivated the persona of a soured idealist, a man exiled from better things in New York, living by his wits, drinking too much, cursed to live out his life among second-rate people and projects.
Bogart rarely saw his own films and avoided premieres. He did not participate in the Hollywood gossip game or cozy up to the newspaper columnists, nor engage in phony politeness and admiration of his peers or in behind the scenes back-stabbing. He even protected his privacy with invented press releases about his private life to satisfy the curiosity of the newspapers and the public. When he thought an actor, director or a movie studio had done something shoddy, he spoke up about it and was willing to be quoted. He advised Robert Mitchum that the only way to stay alive in Hollywood was to be an "againster". As a result, he was not the most popular of actors, and some in the Hollywood community shunned him privately to avoid trouble with the studios. But the Hollywood press, unaccustomed to candor, was delighted. Bogart once said:
All over Hollywood, they are continually advising me "Oh, you mustn't say that. That will get you in a lot of trouble" when I remark that some picture or writer or director or producer is no good. I don't get it. If he isn't any good, why can't you say so? If more people would mention it, pretty soon it might start having some effect.
Rise to stardom Edit
High Sierra Edit
High Sierra, a 1941 movie directed by Raoul Walsh, had a screenplay written by Bogart's friend and drinking partner, John Huston, adapted from the novel by W.R. Burnett (Little Caesar, etc.) Both Paul Muni and George Raft turned down the lead role, giving Bogart the opportunity to play a character of some depth. The film was Bogart's last major film playing a gangster (his final gangster role was in The Big Shot in 1942). Bogart worked well with Ida Lupino, and her relationship with him was a close one, provoking jealousy from Bogart's wife Mayo.
The film cemented a strong personal and professional connection between Bogart and Huston. Bogart admired and somewhat envied Huston for his skill as a writer. Though a poor student, Bogart was a lifelong reader. He could quote Plato, Pope, Ralph Waldo Emerson and over a thousand lines of Shakespeare. He subscribed to the Harvard Law Review. He admired writers, and some of his best friends were screenwriters, including Louis Bromfield, Nathaniel Benchley and Nunnally Johnson. Bogart enjoyed intense, provocative conversation and stiff drinks, as did Huston. Both were rebellious and liked to play childish pranks. John Huston was reported to be easily bored during production, and admired Bogart (who also got bored easily off camera) not just for his acting talent but for his intense concentration on the set.
The Maltese Falcon Edit
Bogart as Sam Spade in The Maltese FalconRaft turned down the male lead in John Huston's directorial debut The Maltese Falcon (1941), due to its being a cleaned up version of the pre-Production Code The Maltese Falcon (1931), his contract stipulating that he did not have to appear in remakes. The original novel, written by Dashiell Hammett, was first published in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1929. It was also the basis for another movie version, Satan Met a Lady (1936). Complementing Bogart were co-stars Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook, Jr., and Mary Astor as the treacherous female foil.
Bogart's sharp timing as private detective Sam Spade was praised by the cast and director as vital to the quick action and rapid-fire dialog. The film was a huge hit and for Huston, a triumphant directorial debut. Bogart was unusually happy with it, remarking, "it is practically a masterpiece. I don’t have many things I’m proud of... but that's one".
Bogart gained his first real romantic lead in 1942's Casablanca, playing Rick Blaine, the hard-pressed expatriate nightclub owner, hiding from the past and negotiating a fine line between Nazis, the French underground, the Vichy prefect and unresolved feelings for his ex-girlfriend. The film was directed by Michael Curtiz, produced by Hal Wallis and featured a strong cast, including Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson.
Sydney Greenstreet and Bogart in Casablanca.In real life, Bogart played tournament chess, one level below master level and often played with crew members and cast off the set. It was reportedly his idea that Rick Blaine be portrayed as a chess player, which also served as a metaphor for the sparring relationship of the characters played by Bogart and Rains in the movie. However, Paul Henreid proved to be the best player.
The on-screen magic of Bogart and Bergman was the result of two actors doing their very best work, not any real-life sparks, though Bogart's perennially jealous wife assumed otherwise. Off the set, the co-stars hardly spoke during the filming, where normally she had a reputation for affairs with her leading men. Because Bergman was taller than her leading man, Bogart had 3-inch (76 mm) blocks attached to his shoes in certain scenes. She reportedly said later, "I kissed him but I never knew him." Years later, after Bergman had taken up with Italian director Roberto Rossellini, and bore him a child, Bogart confronted her. "You used to be a great star", he said, "What are you now?" "A happy woman," she replied.
Casablanca won the 1943 Academy Award for Best Picture. Bogart was nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role, but lost out to Paul Lukas for his performance in Watch on the Rhine. Still, for Bogart, it was a huge triumph. The film vaulted him from fourth place to first in the studio's roster, finally exceeding James Cagney, and more than doubling his salary to over $460,000 per year by 1946, making him the highest paid actor in the world.
Bogart and Bacall Edit
Bogart and Bacall interviewed during World War II.Bogart met Lauren Bacall while filming To Have and Have Not (1944), a very loose adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel. The movie has many similarities with Casablanca — the same enemies, the same kind of hero, even a piano player sidekick (this time Hoagy Carmichael).
When they met, Bacall was nineteen and Bogart was forty-five. He nicknamed her "Baby." She had been a model since she was sixteen and had acted in two failed plays. Bogart was drawn to Bacall's high cheekbones, green eyes, tawny blond hair, and lean body, as well as her poise and earthy, outspoken honesty. Reportedly he said, “I just saw your test. We’ll have a lot of fun together”. Their physical and emotional rapport was very strong from the start, and the age difference and different acting experience also created the additional dimension of a mentor-student relationship. Quite contrary to the Hollywood norm, it was his first affair with a leading lady. Bogart was still miserably married and his early meetings with Bacall were discreet and brief, their separations bridged by ardent love letters. The relationship made it much easier for the newcomer to make her first film, and Bogart did his best to put her at ease by joking with her and quietly coaching her. He let her steal scenes and even encouraged it. Howard Hawks, for his part, also did his best to boost her performance and her role, and found Bogart easy to direct.
Hawks at some point began to disapprove of the pair. Hawks considered himself her protector and mentor, and Bogart was usurping that role. Hawks fell for Bacall as well (normally he avoided his starlets, and he was married). Hawks told her that she meant nothing to Bogart and even threatened to send her to Monogram, the worst studio in Hollywood. Bogart calmed her down and then went after Hawks. Jack Warner settled the dispute and filming resumed. Out of jealousy, Hawks said of Bacall: "Bogie fell in love with the character she played, so she had to keep playing it the rest of her life."
The Big Sleep Edit
Just months after wrapping the film, Bogart and Bacall were re-united for their second movie together, the film noir The Big Sleep, based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, again with script help from William Faulkner. Chandler thoroughly admired Bogart's performance: "Bogart can be tough without a gun. Also, he has a sense of humor that contains that grating undertone of contempt."
Bogart was still torn between his new love and his sense of duty to his marriage. The mood on the set was tense, the actors both emotionally exhausted as Bogart tried to find a way out of his dilemma. Once again, the dialogue was full of sexual innuendo supplied by Hawks, and Bogart is convincing and enduring as private detective Philip Marlowe. In the end, the film was very successful, though some critics found the plot confusing and overly complicated.
Divorce proceedings were initiated by February 1945. Bogart and Bacall then married in a small ceremony at the country home of Bogart's close friend, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield at Malabar Farm near Lucas, Ohio on May 21, 1945.
Bogart and Bacall moved into a $160,000 white brick mansion in an exclusive neighborhood in Holmby Hills.The marriage proved to be a happy one, though there were the normal tensions due to their differences. He was a homebody and she liked nightlife. He loved the sea; it made her sick. Bacall allowed Bogart lots of weekend time on his boat as she got seasick. Bogart's drinking sometimes inflamed tensions.
Lauren Bacall gave birth to Stephen Humphrey Bogart on January 6, 1949. Stephen was named after Bogart's character's nickname in To Have and Have Not, making Bogart a father at 49. Stephen would go on to become a best-selling author and biographer, later hosting a television special about his father on Turner Classic Movies. They had their second child, Leslie Howard Bogart on August 23, 1952, a girl named after British actor Leslie Howard, who had been killed in World War II.
Later career Edit
The enormous success of Casablanca redefined Bogart's career. For the first time, Bogart could be cast successfully as a tough, strong man and, at the same time, as a vulnerable love interest. Despite Bogart's elevated standing, he did not yet have a contractual right of script refusal, so when he got weak scripts, he dug in his heels, and locked horns again with the front office, as he did on the film Conflict (1945). Though he submitted to Jack Warner on that picture, he successfully turned down God is My Co-Pilot (1945). During part of 1943 and 1944, Bogart went on USO and War Bond tours accompanied by Mayo, enduring arduous travels to Italy and North Africa, including Casablanca.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Edit
Riding high in 1947 with a new contract which provided some script refusal rights and the right to form his own separate production company, Bogart reunited with John Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, a stark tale of greed involving three gold prospectors played out in the dusty back country of Mexico. Absent any love story or a happy ending, it was deemed a risky project. Bogart later said of co-star (and John Huston's father) Walter Huston, "He's probably the only performer in Hollywood to whom I’d gladly lost a scene".
The film was grueling to make, and was done in summer for greater realism and atmosphere. James Agee wrote, "Bogart does a wonderful job with this character...miles ahead of the very good work he has done before”. John Huston won the Academy Award for direction and screenplay and his father won Best Supporting Actor, but the film had mediocre box office results. Bogart complained, “An intelligent script, beautifully directed—something different—and the public turned a cold shoulder on it".
House Un-American Activities Committee Edit
Bogart, a liberal Democrat, organized a delegation to Washington, D.C., called the Committee for the First Amendment, against the House Un-American Activities Committee's harassment of Hollywood screenwriters and actors. He subsequently wrote an article "I'm No Communist" in the March 1948 edition of Photoplay magazine in which he distanced himself from The Hollywood Ten in order to counter the negative publicity that resulted from his appearance. Bogart wrote: "The ten men cited for contempt by the House Un-American Activities Committee were not defended by us."
Santana Productions Edit
In addition to being offered better, more diverse roles, in 1948 he started his own production company, Santana Productions, named after his private sailing yacht. (Santana was also the name of the cabin cruiser featured in the 1948 film Key Largo). Bogart's contract gave him the right to have his own production company, but Jack Warner was reportedly furious at this, fearing that other stars would do the same and major studios would lose their power. The studios, however, were already under a lot of pressure, not just from free-lancing actors like Bogart, James Stewart, Henry Fonda and others (who also saved taxes as independents), but also from the eroding impact of television and from anti-trust laws which were breaking up theater chains. Bogart performed in his final films for Warners, Chain Lightning and The Enforcer, both released early in 1950.
Under Bogart's Santana Productions, which released through Columbia Pictures, Bogart starred in Knock on Any Door (1949), Tokyo Joe (1949), In a Lonely Place (1950), Sirocco (1951) and Beat the Devil (1954). While the majority of his films lost money at the box office (the main reason for Santana's end), at least two of them are still remembered today; In a Lonely Place is now recognized as a masterpiece of film noir. Bogart plays embittered writer Dixon Steele, who has a history of violence and becomes a suspect in a murder case at the same time that he falls in love with a failed actress, played by Gloria Grahame. Many Bogart biographers and actress/writer Louise Brooks agree that the role is the closest to Bogart's real self and is considered among his best performances. She wrote that the film “gave him a role that he could play with complexity, because the film character's pride in his art, his selfishness, drunkenness, lack of energy stabbed with lightning strokes of violence were shared by the real Bogart”. The character even mimics some of Bogart's personal habits, including twice ordering Bogart's favorite meal of ham and eggs.
Beat the Devil, his last film with his close friend and favorite director John Huston, also enjoys a cult following. Co-written by Truman Capote, the movie is a parody of The Maltese Falcon, and is a tale of an amoral group of rogues chasing an unattainable treasure, in this instance uranium.
Bogart sold his interest in Santana to Columbia for over $1 million in 1955.
The panda incident Edit
Bogart and his friend Bill Seeman arrived at the El Morocco Club in New York City after midnight in 1950. Bogart and Seeman sent someone to buy two 22-pound stuffed pandas because, in a drunken state, they thought the pandas would be good company. They propped up the bears in separate chairs, and began to drink. Two young women saw the stuffed animals. When one woman picked one up, she quickly ended up on the floor. The other woman tried to do the same and wound up in the same position.
The next morning Bogart was awakened by a city official who served him a summons for assault. Knowing a media frenzy was imminent, he met the media unshaven and in pajamas. He told the press he remembered grabbing the panda and "this screaming, squawking young lady. Nobody got hurt, I didn't sock anybody; if girls were falling on the floor, I guess it was because they couldn't stand up." At the same time Time reported the alleged victim had three marks from the alleged assault and "she explained that they were swelling and contusions." Club spokesperson Leonard MacBain stated, "No blows were exchanged, it was just one of those things."
The following Friday, after the woman admitted to touching the panda, "Magistrate John R. Starkey ruled that Bogart had been defending his property, said he suspected the actor had been mousetrapped in the cause of club publicity, and dismissed the case."
The African Queen Edit
Bogart in The African Queen Bogart starred with Katharine Hepburn in the movie The African Queen in 1951, again directed by his friend John Huston. The novel was overlooked and left undeveloped for fifteen years until producer Sam Spiegel and Huston bought the rights. Spiegel sent Katharine Hepburn the book and she suggested Bogart for the male lead, firmly believing that “he was the only man who could have played that part”. Huston's love of adventure, a chance to work with Hepburn, and Bogart's earlier successes with Huston convinced Bogart to leave the comfortable confines of Hollywood for a difficult shoot on location in the Belgian Congo in Africa. Bogart was to get 30 percent of the profits and Hepburn 10 percent, plus a relatively small salary for both. The stars met up in London and announced the happy prospect of working together.
Bacall came for the duration (over four months), leaving their young child behind, but the Bogarts started the trip with a junket through Europe, including a visit with Pope Pius XII. Later, the glamor would be gone and she would make herself useful as a cook, nurse, and clothes washer, for which Bogart praised her, “I don’t know what we’d have done without her. She Luxed my undies in darkest Africa”. Just about everyone in the cast came down with dysentery except Bogart and John Huston, who subsisted on canned food and alcohol. Bogart explained: "All I ate was baked beans, canned asparagus and Scotch whisky. Whenever a fly bit Huston or me, it dropped dead." The teetotaling Hepburn, in and out of character, fared worse in the difficult conditions, losing weight, and at one time, getting very ill. Bogart resisted Huston's insistence on using real leeches in a key scene where Bogart has to drag the boat through a shallow marsh, until reasonable fakes were employed. In the end, the crew overcame illness, soldier ant invasions, leaking boats, poor food, attacking hippos, bad water filters, fierce heat, isolation, and a boat fire to complete a memorable film. Despite the discomfort of jumping from the boat into swamps, rivers and marshes the film apparently rekindled in Bogart his early love of boats and on his return to California from the Congo he bought a classic mahogany Hacker-Craft runabout which he kept until his premature death.
The African Queen was the first Technicolor film in which Bogart appeared. Remarkably, he appeared in relatively few color films during the rest of his career, which continued for another five years. (His other color films included The Caine Mutiny, The Barefoot Contessa, We're No Angels, and The Left Hand of God.)
The role of Charlie Allnutt won Bogart his only Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1951. Bogart considered his performance to be the best of his film career. He had vowed to friends that if he won, his speech would break the convention of thanking everyone in sight. He advised Claire Trevor, when she had been nominated for Key Largo, to “just say you did it all yourself and don’t thank anyone”. But when Bogart won the Academy Award, which he truly coveted despite his well-advertised disdain for Hollywood, he said “It's a long way from the Belgian Congo to the stage of this theatre. It's nicer to be here. Thank you very much...No one does it alone. As in tennis, you need a good opponent or partner to bring out the best in you. John and Katie helped me to be where I am now”. Despite the thrilling win and the recognition, Bogart later commented, “The way to survive an Oscar is never to try to win another one...too many stars...win it and then figure they have to top themselves...they become afraid to take chances. The result: A lot of dull performances in dull pictures”.
Final roles Edit
from the trailer of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)Bogart dropped his asking price to get the role of Captain Queeg in Edward Dmytryk's The Caine Mutiny, then griped with some of his old bitterness about it. For all his success, he was still his melancholy old self, grumbling and feuding with the studio, while his health was beginning to deteriorate.
Bogart gave a bravura performance as Captain Queeg, an unstable naval officer, in many ways an extension of the character he had played in The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep—the wary loner who trusts no one—but with none of the warmth or humor that made those characters so appealing. Like his portrayal of Fred C. Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Bogart played a paranoid, self-pitying character whose small-mindedness eventually destroyed him. Three months before the film's release, Bogart as Queeg appeared on the cover of Time magazine, while on Broadway Henry Fonda was starring in the stage version (in a different role), both of which generated strong publicity for the film.
In Sabrina, Billy Wilder, unable to secure Cary Grant, chose Bogart for the role of the older, conservative brother who competes with his younger playboy sibling (William Holden) for the affection of the Cinderella-like Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn). Bogart was lukewarm about the part, but agreed to it on a handshake with Wilder, without a finished script, and with the director's assurances to take good care of Bogart during the filming. But Bogart got on poorly with his director and co-stars. He also complained about the script, which was written on a last-minute, daily basis, and that Wilder favored Hepburn and Holden on and off the set. The main problem was that Wilder was the opposite of his ideal director, John Huston, in both style and personality. Bogart told the press that Wilder was "overbearing" and "is the kind of Prussian German with a riding crop. He is the type of director I don’t like to work with... the picture is a crock of crap. I got sick and tired of who gets Sabrina." Wilder said, "We parted as enemies but finally made up." Despite the acrimony, the film was successful. The New York Times said of Bogart, "he is incredibly adroit... the skill with which this old rock-ribbed actor blend the gags and such duplicities with a manly manner of melting is one of the incalculable joys of the show."
The Barefoot Contessa, directed by Joseph Mankiewicz in 1954 and filmed in Rome, gave Bogart one of his subtlest roles. In this Hollywood back-story movie, Bogart again is the broken-down man, this time the cynical director-narrator who saves his career by making a star of a flamenco dancer Ava Gardner, modeled on the real life of Rita Hayworth. Bogart was uneasy with Gardner because she had just split from "rat-pack" buddy Frank Sinatra and was carrying on with bullfighter Luis Miguel Dominguín. Bogart told her, "Half the world's female population would throw themselves at Frank's feet and here you are flouncing around with guys who wear capes and little ballerina slippers." He was also annoyed by her inexperienced performance. Later, she credited him with helping her. Bogart's performance was generally praised as the strongest part of the film. During the filming, while Bacall was home, Bogart resumed his discreet affair with Verita Peterson, his long-time studio assistant whom he took sailing and enjoyed drinking with. But when Bacall suddenly arrived on the scene discovering them together, Bacall took it quite well. She extracted an expensive shopping spree from him and the three traveled together after the shooting.
Bogart could be generous with actors, particularly those who were blacklisted, down on their luck, or having personal problems. During the filming of The Left Hand of God (1955), he noticed his co-star Gene Tierney having a hard time remembering her lines and also behaving oddly. He coached Tierney, feeding her lines. He was familiar with mental illness (his sister had bouts of depression), and Bogart encouraged Tierney to seek treatment, which she did. He also stood behind Joan Bennett and insisted on her as his co-star in We're No Angels when a scandal made her persona non grata with Jack Warner.
In 1955, he made three films: We're No Angels (dir. Michael Curtiz), The Left Hand of God (dir. Edward Dmytryk) and The Desperate Hours (dir. William Wyler). Mark Robson's The Harder They Fall (1956) was his last film.
Television work Edit
Bogart rarely appeared on television. However, he and Lauren Bacall appeared on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person. Bogart was also featured on The Jack Benny Show. The surviving kinescope of the live Benny telecast features Bogart in his only TV sketch comedy outing. Bogart and Bacall also worked together on an early color telecast, in 1955, an NBC adaptation of The Petrified Forest for Producers' Showcase; only a black and white kinescope of the live telecast has survived.
Radio work Edit
Bogart performed radio adaptations of some of his best known films, such as Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. He also recorded a long-running radio series called Bold Venture with Lauren Bacall.
Filmography Gangster Films Edit
his roles as Gangsters
1. Bullets Or Ballots 1936 Gangster
2. Dead End 1937 Street Thug
3. The Amazing Dr.Clitterhouse 1938 Thief
4. Angels With Dirty Faces 1938 Corrupt Lawyer (Like David Klienfeld off Carlito's way)
5. The Roaring Twenties 1939 Bootlegger
6. It All Came True 1940 Gangster
7. High Sierra 1941 Gangster
The Rat Pack Edit
Bogart was a founding member of the Rat Pack. In the spring of 1955, after a long party in Las Vegas with Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, her husband, Sid Luft, Mike Romanoff and wife Gloria, David Niven, Angie Dickinson and others, Lauren Bacall surveyed the wreckage of the party and declared, "You look like a goddamn rat pack."
Romanoff's in Beverly Hills was where the Rat Pack became official. Sinatra was named Pack Leader, Bacall was named Den Mother, Bogie was Director of Public Relations, and Sid Luft was Acting Cage Manager. When asked by columnist Earl Wilson what the purpose of the group was, Bacall responded "to drink a lot of bourbon and stay up late."
Bogart was an excellent chess player, almost of master strength. Before he made any money from acting, he would hustle players for dimes and quarters, playing in New York parks and at Coney Island. The chess scenes in Casablanca had not been in the original script, but were put in at his insistence. A chess position from one of his correspondence games appears in the movie, although the image is a little blurred. He achieved a draw in a simultaneous exhibition given in 1955 at Beverly Hills by the famous chess Grandmaster Samuel Reshevsky and also played against George Koltanowski in San Francisco in 1952 (Koltanowski played blindfolded but still won in 41 moves).
Bogart was a United States Chess Federation tournament director and active in the California State Chess Association, and a frequent visitor to the Hollywood chess club. In 1945, the cover of the June-July issue of Chess Review showed Bogart playing with Charles Boyer, as Lauren Bacall (who also played) looks on. In June 1945, in an interview in the magazine Silver Screen, when asked what things in life mattered most to him, he replied that chess was one of his main interests. He added that he played chess almost daily, especially between film shootings. He loved the game all his life.
By the mid-1950s, Bogart's health was failing. Once, after signing a long-term deal with Warner Bros., Bogart predicted with glee that his teeth and hair would fall out before the contract ended. That sent a fuming Jack Warner to his lawyers. Bogart had formed a new production company and had plans for a new film Melville Goodwin, U.S.A., in which he would play a general and Bacall a press magnate. His persistent cough and difficulty eating became too serious to ignore and he dropped the project. The film was re-named Top Secret Affair and made with Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward.
Bogart, a heavy smoker and drinker, contracted cancer of the esophagus. He almost never spoke of his failing health and refused to see a doctor until January 1956. A diagnosis was made several weeks later and by then removal of his esophagus, two lymph nodes and a rib on March 1, 1956 was too late to halt the disease, even with chemotherapy. He underwent corrective surgery in November 1956 after the cancer had spread.
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy came to see him. Frank Sinatra was also a frequent visitor. Bogart was too weak to walk up and down stairs. He valiantly fought the pain and tried to joke about his immobility: "Put me in the dumbwaiter and I'll ride down to the first floor in style." Which is what happened; the dumbwaiter was altered to accommodate his wheelchair. Hepburn, in an interview, described the last time she and Spencer Tracy saw Bogart (the night before he died):
Spence patted him on the shoulder and said, "Goodnight, Bogie." Bogie turned his eyes to Spence very quietly and with a sweet smile covered Spence's hand with his own and said, "Goodbye, Spence." Spence's heart stood still. He understood. Bogart had just turned 57 and weighed 80 pounds (36 kg) when he died on January 14, 1957 after falling into a coma. He died at 2:25 a.m. at his home at 232 Mapleton Drive in Holmby Hills, California. His simple funeral was held at All Saints Episcopal Church with musical selections played from Bogart's favorite composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Claude Debussy. It was attended by some of Hollywood's biggest stars including: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, David Niven, Ronald Reagan, James Mason, Danny Kaye, Joan Fontaine, Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Gregory Peck, and Gary Cooper, as well as Billy Wilder and Jack Warner. Bacall had asked Spencer Tracy to give the eulogy, but Tracy was too upset, so John Huston gave the eulogy instead, and reminded the gathered mourners that while Bogart's life had ended far too soon, it had been a rich one.
Himself, he never took too seriously—his work most seriously. He regarded the somewhat gaudy figure of Bogart, the star, with an amused cynicism; Bogart, the actor, he held in deep respect...In each of the fountains at Versailles there is a pike which keeps all the carp active; otherwise they would grow overfat and die. Bogie took rare delight in performing a similar duty in the fountains of Hollywood. Yet his victims seldom bore him any malice, and when they did, not for long. His shafts were fashioned only to stick into the outer layer of complacency, and not to penetrate through to the regions of the spirit where real injuries are done...He is quite irreplaceable. There will never be another like him." His cremated remains are interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California. Buried with him is a small gold whistle, which he had given to his future wife, Lauren Bacall, before they married. In reference to their first movie together, it was inscribed: "If you want anything, just whistle."
Awards and honors Edit
Humphrey Bogart's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.On August 21, 1946 Humphrey Bogart was honored in a ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater to record his hand and footprints in cement. On February 8, 1960 he was posthumously given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6322 Hollywood Boulevard. During his career he was nominated for several awards including the BAFTA award for best foreign actor in 1952 for The African Queen and several Academy Awards.
Academy Awards Year Award Film y/n Edit
1943 Best Actor Casablanca Nominated 1951 Best Actor The African Queen Won 1954 Best Actor The Caine Mutiny Nominated
After his death, a "Bogie Cult" formed at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as Greenwich Village, New York and in France, which contributed to his spike in popularity in the late 1950s and 1960s.
In 1997, Entertainment Weekly magazine named him the number one movie legend of all time. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him the Greatest Male Star of All Time.
Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1960) was the first film to pay tribute to Bogart. Later, in Woody Allen's comic tribute to Bogart Play It Again, Sam (1972), Bogart's ghost comes to the aid of Allen's bumbling character, a movie critic with woman troubles and whose "sex life has turned into the 'Petrified Forest'".
In 1997, the United States Postal Service featured Bogart in its "Legends of Hollywood" series.
Bogart is credited with five of the American Film Institute's top 100 quotations in American cinema, the most by any actor:
5th: "Here's looking at you, kid" – Casablanca 14th: "The stuff that dreams are made of." – The Maltese Falcon 20th: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." – Casablanca 43rd: "We'll always have Paris." – Casablanca 67th: "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." – Casablanca
In popular culture Edit
Humphrey Bogart's life has spurred the imaginations of many writers and others:
The Fedora variation the "Bogart" was named for the actor, who was also the hat's first wearer gangsters such as Carlo Gambino started wearing fedora's to look like humphrey bogart.
The film Friday the 13th (1980 film) features Mark Nelson as Ned who does an impression of Bogart, uttering the line "You know, you're beautiful when you're angry, sweetheart,".
Two Bugs Bunny cartoons featured Humphrey Bogart: In Slick Hare (1947), Bogart orders rabbit in a Hollywood restaurant. Told that they don't have rabbit, he becomes insistent, leading waiter Elmer Fudd to try (unsuccessfully as usual) to serve Bugs as the meal. Bogart finally gives up, saying: "Baby will just have to have a ham sandwich." – "Baby" being Bacall's nickname. Bugs, upon hearing the name, immediately presents himself and goes completely ga-ga over Bacall, who looks on with amusement.
In 8 Ball Bunny (1950) Bugs decides to take a baby penguin back to the South Pole. At intervals, "Fred C. Dobbs" (Bogart's character in Treasure of the Sierra Madre) appears and asks Bugs to "help a poor American down on his luck" – a line Bogart says a number of times in the film to John Huston, playing an American gringo.
In V. S. Naipaul's Miguel Street (1959), a character renames himself "Bogart" after Casablanca is shown in Trinidad.
Bogart is featured in one of Woody Allen's comic movies, Play It Again, Sam (1972), which relates the story of a young man obsessed by his persona.
Issue #70 of the US The Phantom (1977) comic book is known as the "Bogart" issue, as the story stars Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Claude Rains and is a mixture of Casablanca, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
The Man With Bogart's Face (1981) movie starred Bogart lookalike Robert Sacchi. The comic book series The Bogie Man features a mental patient who believes that he's an amalgam of various Bogart film characters.
The slang term "bogarting" refers to taking an unfairly long time with a cigarette, drink, et cetera, that is supposed to be shared (e.g., "Don't bogart that joint!"). It derives from Bogart's style of cigarette smoking, with which he left his cigarette dangling from his mouth rather than withdrawing it between puffs.
in the video game Scarface it appears protagonist Tony Montana is a big fan of Humphrey Bogart because when you walk around in the drive in theatre he says things such as "Bogart was the strong silent type" and "You should show some Bogart Films starting with The Treasure of Sierra Madre".