Actor, born Humphrey DeForest Bogart, in New York City, on December 25, 1899, the son of DeForest Bogart, a prominent surgeon and Maud Humphrey, a successful illustrator. Considered one of the finest actors of the twentieth century. Best known for playing tough guy roles in films, including the role of night-club owner Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1943); and for his marriage to actress Lauren Bacall.
Bogart was being prepped for a career in medicine by his father when he ran into disciplinary problems at school, and was expelled from the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He served in the Navy during World War I and received an injury to his mouth, which partially paralyzed and scarred his upper lip. After the war, Bogart worked as an office boy in a theater owned by a friend of the family, William A. Brady, and worked his way up to become a stage manager. He also worked at World Film Corporation, a movie production studio that was also owned by Brady.
He decided to try his hand at acting in 1920 and performed in various stage productions throughout the 1920s, to mediocre reviews. Bogart married stage actress Helen Menken in 1926, but the two were divorced after less than a year. In 1928 he married stage actress Mary Philips and conducted a long-distance relationship while Bogart tried to break into films in Hollywood.
Bogart appeared in his first short film in 1930, Broadway’s Like That, followed by roles in a series of unremarkable films for a variety of studios, all the while continuing to appear occasionally on Broadway. In 1936 he co-starred with Leslie Howard in a breakthrough role in the tremendously successful The Petrified Forest. After his marriage to Philips fell apart in the mid-1930s, Bogart met actress Mayo Methot while working on “Marked Woman” (1937) and the two were married in August, 1938. The marriage was tempestuous, fueled by Methot’s jealousy of other women and exacerbated by large amounts of alcohol consumed by both husband and wife. The Bogarts were often seen fighting violently in public, sometimes coming to blows.
Bogart was typecast as a gangster and villain in many of his films in the late 1930s. He expanded his onscreen persona in the early 1940s with the help of John Huston, who gave him roles with great depth and dimension in High Sierra (1941) and The Maltese Falcon (1941). Bogart was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for Casablanca (1943), considered today to be one of the greatest movies of the twentieth century. In 1944, he starred in To Have and Have Not, which featured a 19-year-old ingenue, Lauren Bacall. The two met and fell in love, and were subsequently married eleven days after Bogart’s divorce from Methot became final in 1945. Bogart and Bacall starred in three more movies together, including The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948). In 1949, the Bogarts welcomed a son, Stephen Humphrey, and daughter Leslie Howard was born in 1952.
The bon vivant Bogarts hosted regular parties at their home in the Hollywood hills, inviting up-and-coming show business personalities each week. Bacall dubbed the gatherings “The Holmby Hills Rat Pack.” In the 1950s, the nickname “Rat Pack” would become indelibly associated with several of the revelers, including Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr.
In 1947 Bogart formed his own production company, Santana Pictures. He appeared in John Huston’s Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948), In a Lonely Place (1950) and won a Best Actor Academy Award for The African Queen (1951), co-starring Katharine Hepburn. He received his third Best Actor Academy Award nomination for The Caine Mutiny (1954). Other highlights of the 1950s included Beat the Devil (1954), Sabrina (1954) and The Barefoot Contessa (1954). After the release of The Harder They Fall (1956), Bogart underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor on his esophagus. He rallied for a while, but died of cancer on January 14, 1957, in Hollywood, California.
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