HUMPHREY BOGART Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » humphrey bogart


Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born on January 23, 1899, to a surgeon and a freelance magazine illustrator. He was sent to Phillips Academy in Massachussetts to prepare for medical school but had trouble with school authorities and was expelled. In the spring of 1918 he enlisted in the navy where he got his characteristic scar and lisp.


After service in the U.S. Navy he contacted a family friend, William A. Brady, who hired him to work in the office of his theater. Bogart advanced to stage manager and then worked his way to Broadway where he received poor reviews. In the early 30’s he went to the west coast where he signed a contract to Fox. He was released  after only three films and then played small parts, mostly as playboy, for the other big studios. Unable to see a future for himself in Hollywood he returned to Broadway where he got the opportunity to play Duke Mantee in Robert E. Sherwood’s play The Petrified Forest opposite Leslie Howard. The play was a hit, Jack Warner aquired the film rights and wanted Leslie Howard to star in it together with Edward G. Robinson but Howard refused unless Bogart was to play the part he knew so well. Howard won out and the film was a big success that assured Bogart’s place in Hollywood. Jack Warner still wasn’t interested in giving Bogart any major roles, he was typecast as gangster in B-movies and sometimes playing second fiddle to James Cagney or George Raft in A-movies.


In 1941 Bogart’s career reached the next level. George Raft turned down an offer to star in HIGH SIERRA and Bogart took the opportunity to star in an A-film. His next role was as Samuel Spade in THE MALTESE FALCON in which his screen persona grew into a more fully developed cynical, streetwise anti-hero. Then he was to make a film that is now generally counted as one of the finest of all time, CASABLANCA. In it Bogart plays Rick Blaine, a café owner who meets his former love Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) in WW II Casablanca. The script was not more than half-finished when filming began and it was handed out to the cast on a daily basis.