Biography of Movie Star Humphrey Bogart Part 2

About the movie star Humphrey Bogart, biography and history of the actor.


HUMPHREY BOGART (1899--1957)

When he wasn't playing chess or making a movie, Bogart enjoyed boating. He took sailing seriously, claiming it was more satisfying than acting, and his love for the sea inspired him to call his independent film company Santana Productions, after his yacht, Santana. Each year Bogart's popularity grew, but he ignored his large and loyal following, deplored Hollywood critics, and shunned publicity. As a sign of rebellion, Bogart and a handful of stars formed the Holmby Hills Rat Pack. "In order to qualify one had to be addicted to nonconformity--staying up late, drinking, laughing, and not caring what anyone thought or said about us." During the filming of Dark Passage (1947), the ruddy-faced actor experienced a sudden loss of hair, and within weeks he was almost entirely bald. Doctors blamed the accelerated hair loss on alopecia areata, a disease caused by vitamin deficiency. The years of drinking heavily and eating erratically had taken their toll.

Continually striving to broaden his scope as an actor, Bogart starred in such memorable movies as The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), and The African Queen (1951), for which he won an Academy Award. However, no film was more meaningful to Bogart than To Have and Have Not (1944), since it marked the beginning of a sensational relationship with modelturned-actress Lauren Bacall. They fell in love during the months of filming, at a time when the 44-year-old Bogart was suffering through a deteriorating third marriage. Abiding by his claim that making love was the most fun a person could have without laughing, Bogart engaged in a love affair with his 19-year-old co-star and by the end of 1945 they were married.

Bogart's three previous marriages--to Helen Menken in 1926, to Mary Phillips in 1928, and to Mayo Methot in 1938--had all ended in divorce. However, his flamboyant nightclubbing and frequent drinking bouts never jeopardized his 12-year marriage to the beautiful Bacall. They pursued their individual careers, although it frustrated Bacall to be recognized more as Bogart's wife than as a serious actress.

Bogart lost his two-year battle with cancer of the esophagus and died on Jan. 14, 1957. In addition to wife Lauren, son Stephen, and daughter Leslie, the great actor left behind him the "Bogie" legend--a screen image that has made him a folk hero in American cinema.

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