Nationality: American. Born: Humphrey DeForest Bogart in New York City, 23 January 1899. Education: Attended Trinity School, New York; expelled from Philips Academy, Andover, Massachussetts. Family: Married 1) Helen Menken, 1926 (divorced 1927); 2) Mary Philips, 1928 (divorced 1938); 3) Mayo Methot, 1938 (divorced 1945); 4) the actress Lauren Bacall, 1945, son: Stephen Humphrey, daughter: Leslie Howard. Career: 1918–19—served in U.S. Navy; 1920–22—managed stage company owned by William S. Brady; performed various chores at Brady's New York film studio; 1922—began acting regularly on stage; 1930—film debut in short Broadway's Like That ; 1930–35—minor film roles for various studios while continuing to work on stage; 1936—success of film version of The Petrified Forest led to long-term contract with Warner Brothers; 1947—protested against HUAC activities with actress wife Lauren Bacall and other celebrities. Awards: Best Actor Academy Award, for The African Queen , 1951. Died: Of cancer, in Hollywood, California, 14 January 1957.
Broadway's Like That (Roth—short); Up the River (John Ford) (as Steve); A Devil with Women (Cummings) (as Tom Standish)
Body and Soul (Santell) (as Jim Watson); Bad Sister (Henley) (as Valentine Corliss); A Holy Terror (Cummings) (as Steve Nash); Women of All Nations (Walsh) (as Stone)
Love Affair (Freeland) (as Jim Leonard); Big City Blues (LeRoy) (as Adkins); Three on a Match (LeRoy) (as Ace)
Midnight (Erskine) (as Garboni)
The Petrified Forest (Mayo) (as Duke Mantee); Bullets or Ballots (Keighley) (as Bugs Fenner); Two Against the World (McGann) (as Sherry Scott); China Clipper (Enright) (as Hap Stuart); Isle of Fury (McDonald) (as Val Stevens)
Black Legion (Mayo) (as Frank Taylor); The Great O'Malley (Dieterle) (as John Phillips); Marked Woman (Lloyd Bacon) (as David Graham); Kid Galahad (Curtiz) (as Turkey Morgan); San Quentin (Lloyd Bacon) (as Joe "Red" Kennedy); Dead End (Wyler) (as Baby Face Martin); Stand-In (Garnett) (as Quintain)
Swing Your Lady (Enright) (as Ed Hatch); Crime School (Seiler) (as Mark Braden); Men Are Such Fools (Berkeley) (as Harry Galleon); The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Litvak) (as Rock Valentine); Racket Busters (Lloyd Bacon) (as Martin); Angels with Dirty Faces (Curtiz) (as James Frazier)
King of the Underworld (Seiler) (as Joe Gurney); The Oklahoma Kid (Lloyd Bacon) (as Whip McCord); You Can't Get Away with Murder (Seiler) (as Frank Wilson); Dark Victory (Goulding) (as Michael O'Lery); The Roaring Twenties (Walsh) (as George Hally); The Return of Doctor X (Sherman) (as Dr. Marshall Cane)
Invisible Stripes (Lloyd Bacon) (as Chuck Martin); Virginia City (Curtiz) (as John Murrell); It All Came True (Seiler) (as Grasselli); Brother Orchid (Lloyd Bacon) (as Jack Buck); They Drive By Night ( The Road to Frisco ) (Walsh) (as Paul Fabrini)
The Maltese Falcon (Huston) (as Sam Spade); High Sierra (Walsh) (as Roy Earle); The Wagons Roll at Night (Enright) (as Nick Coster)
All Through the Night (Sherman) (as Gloves Donahue); In This Our Life (Huston); The Big Shot (Seiler) (as Duke Berne); Across the Pacific (Huston) (as Rick Leland); Casablanca (Curtiz) (as Rick Blaine)
Action in the North Atlantic (Lloyd Bacon) (as Joe Rossi); Thank Your Lucky Stars (David Butler); Sahara (Zoltan Korda) (as Sgt. Joe Gunn)
Passage to Marseilles (Curtiz) (as Martac); To Have and Have Not (Hawks) (as Harry Morgan)
Conflict (Bernhardt) (as Richard Mason)
Two Guys from Milwaukee (David Butler); The Big Sleep (Hawks) (as Philip Marlowe)
Dead Reckoning (Cromwell) (as Rip Murdock); The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Godfrey) (as Geoffrey Carroll); Dark Passage (Daves) (as Vincent Parry); Always Together (de Cordova)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston) (as Fred C. Dobbs); Key Largo (Huston) (as Frank McCloud)
Knock on Any Door (Nicholas Ray) (as Andrew Martin); Tokyo Joe (Heisler) (as Joe Barrett)
Chain Lightning (Heisler) (as Matt Brennan); In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray) (as Dixon Steele)
The Enforcer (Windust, uncredited Raoul Walsh) (as Martin Ferguson); Sirocco (Bernhardt) (as Harry Smith)
The African Queen (Huston) (as Charlie Allnut); Deadline— U.S.A. (Richard Brooks) (as Ed Hutcheson); The Road to Bali (Walker) (as himself)
Battle Circus (Richard Brooks) (as Major Jeb Webbe); Beat the Devil (Huston) (as Billy Danreuther)
The Love Lottery (Charles Crichton); The Caine Mutiny (Dmytryk) (as Captain Queeg); A Star Is Born (Cukor) (voice only); Sabrina (Wilder) (as Linus Larabee); The Barefoot Contessa (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) (as Harry Dawes)
We're No Angels (Curtiz) (as Joseph); The Left Hand of God (Dymytryk) (as Jim Carmady); The Desperate Hours (Wyler) (as Glen Griffin)
The Harder They Fall (Robson) (as Eddie Willis)
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Hyams, John, Bogie , New York, 1966.
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Pettigrew, Terence, Bogart: A Definitive Study of His Film Career , London, 1981.
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Winkler, Willi, Humphrey Bogart und Hollywoods Schwarze Serie , Munich, 1985.
Fuchs, Wolfgang J., Humphrey Bogart: Cult-Star: A Documentation , Berlin, 1987.
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* * *
Humphrey Bogart had a privileged upbringing in Manhattan, the son of a noted surgeon; later, he had to leave college for disciplinary reasons. He served during World War I in the Navy, and suffered an injury during shelling which slightly paralyzed his upper lip, giving him the tight-lipped appearance and the suggestion of hesitancy in his speech that became the hallmark of his screen persona. After the war, he worked in the theater, first as a junior in stage management and later as a performer in youthful, romantic parts. A celebrated review by Alexander Woolcott in 1922 described him in a play called Swiftly as "inadequate." Nevertheless, during the 1920s he remained in employment, and he had the pertinacity to go to Hollywood when sound required the participation of new, stage-trained performers from Broadway. He constantly returned to the stage when he was dissatisfied with the supporting roles he was given in such films as A Devil with Women , Body and Soul , and Love Affair . The first role characteristic of his future image was in the theater production of Robert E. Sherwood's semipoetic play The Petrified Forest (1935), which the following year was made into a film by Warner Brothers. Warners intended to give Bogart's part—the gangster, Duke Mantee—to Edward G. Robinson. That Bogart got the part had to do with the intervention of Leslie Howard, who played the lead in both the play and the film; Howard insisted that Bogart reappear as Duke Mantee. 1936, therefore, marked the first appearance in film of the gaunt, sinister, slow-speaking Bogart persona. Fortunately, the film was successful and drew favorable critical attention.
Bogart was not, however, to become a charismatic star immediately, though he appeared, normally in a gangster role, in an endless flow of films during the next five years, from San Quentin , Crime School , and Racket Busters to Angels with Dirty Faces , King of the Underworld , and The Roaring Twenties . The Bogart image was very marked in William Wyler's Dead End in which he played a ruthless, cynical gangster rejected alike by his mother and his former girlfriend on his return to the New York slums in which he had been raised. This was followed in 1941 by Raoul Walsh's High Sierra with an exceptional script by John Huston and performance by Bogart as the aging, disillusioned gangster who has a change of heart. The devotion to "Bogey" was born of such later films as Huston's The Maltese Falcon , with Bogart as the ruthless but basically human Sam Spade; Michael Curtiz's Oscar-winning Casablanca , again with Bogart as the rough-surfaced but vulnerable dark horse; and Howard Hawks's two films To Have and Have Not— Lauren Bacall's film debut—and The Big Sleep , also with Bacall and with Bogart playing a private eye with a heart. Bogart's celebrated romance with Bacall led to her becoming his fourth wife.
Bogart's widening range of characters (which added to his stature as an actor, while increasing the impact of his always recognizable personal style and image) expanded notably under Huston in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre , Key Largo , and The African Queen (the latter gaining him an Oscar); in Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place ; in Richard Brooks's serious story with a newspaper setting, Deadline ; and Edward Dmytryk's The Caine Mutiny , in which he gave one of his finest performances as the paranoid Captain Queeg. He returned to his former gangster role in William Wyler's The Desperate Hours , and in his last appearance before his premature death in 1957, in Mark Robson's The Harder They Fall , he played a worn-out sportswriter in the more cynical mood of earlier films.
As Joan Mellen calls Bogart the epitome of a "moral tough guy," his stardom, considerably shorter than actors such as Cary Grant and Gary Cooper, also presents an irony that none of the other stars of his generation "remains such a lively presence in our imaginations." Indeed, as Richard Schickel continues to remind us "it is worth lingering at that crossroads and contemplating the evidence about who he was and what he was that was left there in plain sight." Throughout his career till his death and onward for almost four decades now, the Bogart image and the sense of integrity and courage that image carries prevail at the center of American film history.
—Roger Manvell, updated by Guo-Juin Hong
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