Humphrey Bogart, A life in Films and the Stage – May 2, 2023

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born on Christmas Day 1899 in New York City, the eldest child of Dr. Belmont DeForest Bogart and Maud Humphrey. Hollywood changed his birthdate in their “studio” bios to January 1900. They thought anyone born on Christmas could not be seen as a “bad guy!”

Belmont was the only child of the unhappy marriage of Adam Welty Bogart) and Julia Augusta Stiles, a wealthy heiress. The name “Bogart” derives from the Dutch surname, “Bogaert” Belmont and Maud married in June 1898. He was a Presbyterian, of English and Dutch descent, and a descendant of Sarah Rapelje (the first female European Christian child born in New Netherland). Maud was an Episcopalian of English heritage, and a descendant of Mayflower passenger John Howland. Humphrey was raised Episcopalian, but was non-practicing for most of his adult life.

Belmont, Bogart’s father, was a heart specialist and surgeon. Maud was a commercial illustrator who received her art training in New York and France, including study with James Whistler. She later became art director of the fashion magazine and was a militant supporter of suffrage, the right for women to vote. Maud used a drawing of baby Humphrey in an advertising campaign for Mellins Baby Food. She earned over $50,000 a year at the peak of her career – a very large sum of money at the time, (in 1915 dollars, approximately $1.5 million.) and considerably more than her husband’s $20,000. The Bogarts lived in an Upper West Side, Manhattan apartment, and had a cottage on a 55-acre estate on in upstate New York. When he was young, Bogart’s group of friends at the lake would put on plays.

He had two younger sisters: Frances and Catherine Elizabeth Bogart’s parents were busy in their careers, and often were quite contentious. Very formal, they showed little emotion towards their children. Maud told her offspring to call her “Maud” instead of “Mother”, and showed little, if any, physical affection for them. When she was pleased, she “[c]lapped you on the shoulder, almost the way a man does”, Bogart recalled. 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.

Bogart attended the private Delancey School until the fifth grade and then attended the prestigious Trinity School. He was an indifferent, sullen student who showed no interest in after-school activities. Bogart later attended Phillips Academy, a boarding school to which he was admitted based on family connections. Founded in 1778, and is located on the Main Street in Andover, MA. It is one of the oldest incorporated secondary schools in the United States. It has educated a long list of notable alumni through its history, including American presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, foreign heads of state, numerous members of Congress, five Nobel laureates and six Medal of Honor recipients. It has been referred to by many contemporary sources as the most elite boarding school in America. It has a remarkable art collection open to the public. By the way, several figures from the revolutionary period are associated with the school. Our first president George Washington visited the school during his presidency in 1789 and Washington’s nephews later attended the school. John Hancock signed the school’s articles of incorporation and the great seal of the school was designed by Paul Revere.

Although his parents hoped that he would go on to Yale University, Bogart left Phillips in 1918 after one semester (although the Phillips Academy website claims he was in the graduating class of 1920) He failed four out of six classes. Several reasons have been given; according to one, he was expelled for throwing the headmaster (or a groundskeeper) into Rabbit Pond on campus. Another cited smoking, drinking, poor academic performance, and (possibly) inappropriate comments made to the staff. In a third scenario, Bogart was withdrawn by his father for failing to improve his grades. His parents were deeply disappointed in their failed plans for his future.

With no viable career options, Bogart enlisted in the United States Navy in the spring of 1918 (during World War I), and served as a coxswain. He recalled later, “At eighteen, war was great stuff. Paris! Sexy French girls! Hot damn!” Bogart was recorded as a model sailor, who spent most of his sea time after the armistice ferrying troops back from Europe. Bogart left the service on June 18, 1919 at the rank of boatswain’s mate third class. During the Second World War, Bogart attempted to re-enlist in the Navy but was rejected due to his age. He then volunteered for the Coast Guard Temporary Reserve in 1944, patrolling the California coastline in his yacht, the Santana.

He may have received his trademark scar and developed his characteristic lisp during his naval stint. There are several conflicting stories. In one, his lip was cut by shrapnel when his ship (the USS Leviathan) was shelled. The ship was never shelled, however, and Bogart may not have been at sea before the armistice. Another story, held by longtime friend Nathaniel Benchley (son of the famed Robert Benchley, author, wit and important member of the Algonquin Round Table group of literary and theater giant) was that Bogart was injured while taking a prisoner to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine. While changing trains in Boston, the handcuffed prisoner reportedly asked Bogart for a cigarette. When Bogart looked for a match, the prisoner smashed him across the mouth with the cuffs (cutting Bogart’s lip) and fled before being recaptured and imprisoned. In an alternative version, Bogart was struck in the mouth by a handcuff loosened while freeing his charge; the other handcuff was still around the prisoner’s wrist.

When actress Louise Brooks (1906-1985), an icon of the Jazz Age) met Bogart in 1924, he had scar tissue on his upper lip which Brooks said Bogart may have had partially repaired before entering the film industry in 1930. Brooks said that his “lip wound gave him no speech impediment, either before or after it was mended.

Bogart returned home to find his father in poor health, his medical practice faltering, and much of the family’s wealth lost in bad timber investments. It was always rumored that his father became addicted to opium which was readily available through his practice. .His character and values developed separately from his family during his navy days, and he began to rebel. Bogart became a liberal who disliked pretension, phonies and snobs, sometimes defying conventional behavior and authority; he was also well-mannered, articulate, punctual, self-effacing and stand-offish. After his naval service, he worked as a shipper and a bond salesman, joining the Coast Guard Reserve.

Bogart “dove headfirst into the Jazz Age lifestyle, always up for late night revels… When his meager wages were exhausted, he’d play chess against all comers in arcades for a dollar a match (he was a brilliant player) to fund his outings.” Bogart resumed his friendship with Bill Brady Jr. (whose father had show-business connections), and obtained an office job with the new World Films company. Although he wanted to try his hand at screenwriting, directing, and production, he excelled at none. Bogart was stage manager for Brady’s daughter Alice’s play A Ruined Lady. He made his stage debut a few months later as a Japanese butler in Alice’s 1921 play Drifting (nervously delivering one line of dialogue), and appeared in several of her subsequent plays

Although Bogart had been raised to believe that acting was a lowly profession, he liked the late hours actors kept and the attention they received: “I was born to be indolent and this was the softest of rackets.” He spent much of his free time in speakeasies, drinking heavily. A bar-room brawl at this time was also a purported cause of Bogart’s lip damage, dovetailing with Louise Brooks’ account.

Preferring to learn by doing, he never took acting lessons. Bogart was persistent and worked steadily at his craft, appearing in at least 18 Broadway productions between 1922 and 1935, 11 of which were comedies. He played juveniles or romantic supporting roles in drawing-room comedies and is reportedly the first actor to say, “Tennis, anyone?” on stage According to Alexander Woollcott, another famous critic, wit, and the rotund titular leader of the Algonquin Round Table, later immortalized in the George S. Kauffman play and later movie, The Man Who Came to Dinner. Heywood Broun, another legendary NYC member of the literati, wrote reviewing the play Nerves, “Humphrey Bogart gives the most effective performance … both dry and fresh, if that be possible”. He played a juvenile lead (reporter Gregory Brown) in the comedy Meet the Wife, which had a successful 232-performance run at the Klaw Theater (built in 1921, renamed the Avon in 1929, and turned into a parking lot in 1953) from November 1923 through July 1924. Bogart disliked his trivial, effeminate early-career parts, calling them “White Pants Willie” roles.

While playing a double role in Drifting at the Playhouse Theatre in 1922, he met actress Helen Menken (1901-1966); they were married on May 20, 1926, at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City. Divorced on November 18, 1927, they remained friends. Menken said in her divorce filing that Bogart valued his career more than marriage, citing neglect and abuse. She later married Dr. Henry T. Smith on July 12, 1932, and divorced him in 1947, then in October 1948 she married George N. Richard, who survived her. She had no children from these marriages.

He married actress Mary Philips (1901-1975) on April 3, 1928, at her mother’s apartment in Hartford, Connecticut; Bogart and Philips had worked together in the play Nerves during its brief run at the Comedy Theatre in 1924. This was Philips’ first marriage and Bogart’s second. He was then a little-known stage actor, and she was an established actress in the New York theatre. When Bogart began to gain film roles in Hollywood, Philips declined to move with him to California, as her stage career was firmly established in New York. Philips and Bogart divorced in 1938 after ten years. The couple had no children, but remained on good terms. Philips and her second husband attended Bogart’s memorial in California following his death in 1957.

Bogart’s second career began almost by accident. Theatrical production dropped off sharply after the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and many of the more-photogenic actors headed for Hollywood. Bogart debuted on film with the legendary actress Helen Hayes Helen Hayes in the 1928 two-realer, The Dancing Town, a complete copy of which has not been found. He also appeared with Joan Blondell (who would be a mainstay of pre-code musicals and gangster films)  and Ruth Etting (the great singer) in a Vitaphone short, Broadway’s Like That (1930), which was rediscovered in 1963.

Bogart signed a contract with the Fox Film Corporation for $750 a week. There he met Spencer Tracy, a Broadway actor whom Bogart liked and admired, and the two men became close friends and drinking companions. In 1930, Tracy first called him “Bogie”. Tracy made his feature film debut in his only movie with Bogart, John Ford’s very early sound film, Up the River, (1930), in which their leading roles were as inmates. Tracy received top billing, but Bogart’s picture appeared on the film’s posters. He was billed behind Tracy, Claire Luce (1903-1989), but his role was almost as large as Tracy’s and much larger than Luce’s. As for the career of Luce, she starred in many Broadway plays from 1923 until 1952, including costarring with Fred Astaire in the original musical Gay Divorce (1932). Astaire tried to get Luce for the film version of Gay DivorceThe Gay Divorcee (1934) but was overruled by the studio, RKO Radio Pictures, which preferred to use their contract player, Ginger Rogers. Luce was a marvelous dancer who worried about Astaire’s insecurity and need for constant practices and rehearsals. A quarter of a century later, Bogart and Tracy planned to make The Desperate Hours together. Both insisted upon top billing, however; Tracy dropped out, and was replaced by Fredric March.

Bogart then had a supporting role in Bad Sister (1931) with Bette Davis. Bogart shuttled back and forth between Hollywood and the New York stage from 1930 to 1935, out of work for long periods. His parents had separated; his father died in 1934 in debt, which Bogart eventually paid off. He inherited his father’s gold ring, which he wore in many of his films. At his father’s deathbed, Bogart finally told him how much he loved him. Bogart’s second marriage was rocky; dissatisfied with his acting career, depressed and irritable, he drank heavily.

It was on Broadway, after his Hollywood career seemed at its low ebb that Bogart rebounded remarkably and started his 2nd or 3rd phase of his acting life. In 1934, Bogart starred in the Broadway play Invitation to a Murder at the Theatre Masque (renamed the John Golden Theatre in 1937). Its producer, Arthur Hopkins, heard the play from offstage; he sent for Bogart and offered him the role of escaped murderer Duke Mantee in Robert E. Sherwood‘s forthcoming play, The Petrified Forest. Hopkins later recalled:

“When I saw the actor I was somewhat taken aback, for [I realized] 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 persisted, and the voice was Mantee’s.”

The play had 197 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York in 1935. Although Leslie Howard was the star, The New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson said that the play was “a peach … a roaring Western melodrama … Humphrey Bogart does the best work of his career as an actor.” Bogart said that the play “marked my deliverance from the ranks of the sleek, sybaritic, stiff-shirted, swallow-tailed ‘smoothies’ to which I seemed condemned to life.” However, he still felt insecure. Warner Bros. bought the screen rights to The Petrified Forest in 1935. The play seemed ideal for the studio, which was known for its socially-realistic pictures for a public entranced by real-life criminals such as John Dillinger and Dutch Schultz. Bette Davis and Leslie Howard were cast. Howard, who held the production rights, made it clear that he wanted Bogart to star with him. Also, Dick Foran was in the cast and he was interested in Davis, and quite jealous of her interest in stranger Howard.

The studio tested several Hollywood veterans for the Duke Mantee role and chose Edward G. Robinson, who had star appeal and was due to make a film to fulfill his contract. Bogart cabled news of this development to Howard in Scotland, who replied: “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 wanted Bogart to use a stage name but Bogart declined, having built a reputation with his name in Broadway Theater. The film version of The Petrified Forest was released in 1936. According to Variety, “Bogart’s menace leaves nothing wanting”. Frank S. Nugent wrote for The New York Times that the actor “can be a psychopathic gangster more like Dillinger than the outlaw himself.”  The film was successful at the box office, earning $500,000 in rentals, and made Bogart a star. He never forgot Howard’s favor and named his only daughter, Leslie Howard Bogart, after him in 1952.

This great success in both the legitimate theater and Hollywood would lead to the 3rd Bogart Era, the one where he was type-cast as basically a gangster, the antagonist, and the 2nd lead behind Warner Brother stalwarts like Edward G. Robinson (1893-1973), George Raft and James Cagney. All four were New Yorkers. Robinson, (born Menashe Goldenberg) unlike the other three, was born in Romania. Robinson arrived in New York City on February 21, 1904. “At Ellis Island I was born again,” he wrote. “Life for me began when I was 10 years old.”  He grew up on the Lower East Side, and had his Bar Mitzvah at First Romanian-American Congregation. He attended Townsend Harris High School and then the City College of New York, planning to become a criminal attorney. An interest in acting and performing in front of people led to him winning an American Academy of Dramatic Arts scholarship, after which he changed his name to Edward G. Robinson (the G. standing for his original surname). He served in the United States Navy during World War I, but was never sent overseas.

Bogart would make fivefilms with Robinson: Bullets or Ballots (1936), Kid Galahad (1937) with Bette Davis, The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938), Brother Orchid (1940) and the last, Key Largo (1948) with Lauren Bacall, Claire Trevor and Lionel Barrymore. All were quite entertaining and can be revisited often. As for Cagney, he and Humphrey Bogart starred in three films together: Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), directed by Michael Curtiz, The Oklahoma Kid (1939), directed by Lloyd Bacon, Roaring Twenties (1939), directed by Raoul Walsh. Angels with Dirty Faces, would also star Pat O’Brien, the Warner Brothers regular Ann Sheridan and introduced, the Dead End Kids, or as they were later known the Bowery Boys. He would also make another Western film, Virginia City (1940) starring Errol Flynn and Randolph Scott. The film is very entertaining, Bogart’s role is secondary. He’s just another “bad guy!”                                                                                   

The Roaring Twenties, was quite entertaining and one of the leads was Gladys George, who would have a bit role in The Maltese Falcon, as Iva Archer, the widow of Bogart/Sam Spade’s partner, Miles Archer. In the film, she and Bogart/Spade supposedly had a love affair. As for The Oklahoma Kid, it is best forgotten. Bogart made two films with Raft, Invisible Stripes (1939) directed by Lloyd Bacon and They Drive by Night (1940), directed by Raoul Walsh, also with Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino. It is actually a well-done film and the passive Bogart would hardly be recognized.. Raft turned down many roles, didn’t get along with Bogart and said about himself, “I can’t act… I’m afraid to look, because I am probably awful. I am afraid I must be myself, do things that seem natural to me.” Raft was basically a dancer, hung out with gangsters and was a buddy of Owny Madden, an associate of Dutch Schultz. Madden was probably best known for owning the famous Cotton Club in Harlem, a mecca for New York City nightlife in the 1930s. The club originally belonged to famed black prizefighter Jack Johnson, but Madden forced Johnson to sell him the club and then instituted a strict “whites only” policy (all blacks, whether employees or performers, were forbidden to enter by the front door, and no blacks whatsoever were allowed into the club as patrons.)

George Raft turned down so many film roles that ended up going to Humphrey Bogart, who catapulted to stardom from these roles? It seems that Raft had to have been one of the least savvy actors in Hollywood! It was in Invisible Stripes, where Bogart met William Holden. They did not get along and “bad blood” would last for years. When they starred in Sabrina, (1954), directed by Billy Wilder, they actually got in a fist fight. Bogart was unhappy with how close Holden was with Audrey Hepburn. During production of the film, Hepburn and Holden entered into a brief but passionate and much-publicized love affair. Bogart had originally wanted his wife Lauren Bacall to be cast as Sabrina. He complained that Hepburn required too many takes to get her dialogue right and pointed out her inexperience.

Bogart was unhappy during the filming, convinced that he was totally wrong for this kind of film, mad at not being Wilder’s first choice, and not liking Holden or Wilder. But Wilder’s offbeat casting produced a performance that critics generally considered successful. Bogart later apologized to Wilder for his behavior on set, citing problems in his personal life. By the way, the film was reviewed quite enthusiastically, especially by Bosley Crowther of the NY Times and holds up today.

In spite of his success, Warner Bros. had no interest in raising Bogart’s profile. His roles were repetitive and physically demanding; studios were not yet air-conditioned and his tightly scheduled job at Warner’s was anything but the indolent and “peachy” actor’s life he hoped for. Although Bogart disliked the roles chosen for him, he worked steadily.          “In the first 34 pictures” for Warner’s, “I was shot in 12, electrocuted or hanged in 8, and was a jailbird in 9.” He averaged a film every two months between 1936 and 1940, sometimes working on two films at the same time. Bogart used these years to begin developing his film persona: a wounded, stoical, cynical, charming, vulnerable, self-mocking loner with a code of honor.

Amenities at Warner’s were few, compared to the prestigious Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Bogart thought that the Warner’s wardrobe department was cheap, and often wore his own suits in his films. He chose his own dog named Zero, to play Pard (his character’s dog) in High Sierra. His disputes with Warner Bros. over roles and money were similar to those waged by the studio with more established and less malleable stars such as Bette Davis and James Cagney. In between High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon was Wagons Roll at Night (1941) a forgettable circus story, with the fetching Sylvia Sidney (who was also in Dead End with Bogart. She was born in the Bronx, and was a friend of my father’s a number of years before he was married in 1935) the WWII hero, Eddie Albert, who had a run in with the HUAC witch hunters and the young, and the 16 year old Joan Leslie, better known for Sgt. York, Yankee Doodle Dandy and Rhapsody in Blue.. She was also in High Sierra.

Most of the studio’s better scripts went to them or others, leaving Bogart with what was left: films like San Quentin (1937), Racket Busters (1938), and You Can’t Get Away with Murder (1939). His only leading role during this period was in Dead End (1937) also with the Dead End Kids aka the Bowery Boys., on loan to Samuel Goldwyn, as a gangster modeled after Baby Face Nelson.

Bogart played violent roles so often that in Nevil Shute’s 1939 novel, What Happened to the Corbetts, the protagonist replies “I’ve seen Humphrey Bogart with one often enough” when asked if he knows how to operate an automatic weapon. Although he played a variety of supporting roles in films such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Bogart’s roles were either rivals of characters played by Cagney and Robinson or a secondary member of their gang. In Black Legion (1937), a movie Graham Greene described as “intelligent and exciting, if rather earnest”, he played a good man who was caught up with (and destroyed by) a racist organization. The studio cast Bogart as a wrestling promoter in Swing Your Lady (1938), a “hillbilly musical” which he reportedly considered his worst film performance. He played a rejuvenated, formerly-dead scientist in The Return of Doctor X (1939), his only horror film: “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.” His wife, Mary Phillips, had a stage hit in A Touch of Brimstone and refused to abandon her Broadway career for Hollywood. After the play closed, Mary relented; but, she insisted on continuing her career, however, and they divorced in 1937.

After his divorce, he married his 3rd wife, the volatile and alcoholic actress Mayo Methot (1904-1951). She was an extremely unstable and jealous partner. Bogart would be in for trouble over the next number of years fraught with drinking and very public fights with Methot.

His big breakthrough came in 1941, almost by accident. High Sierra (1941, directed by Raoul Walsh) featured a screenplay written by John Huston, Bogart’s friend and drinking partner, adapted from a novel by W. R. Burnett, author of the novel on which Little Caesar was based. Paul Muni, George Raft, Cagney and Robinson turned down the lead role, giving Bogart the opportunity to play a character with some depth. Walsh initially opposed Bogart’s casting, preferring Raft for the part. It was Bogart’s last major film as a gangster; a supporting role followed in The Big Shot, released in 1942. He worked well with Ida Lupino, sparking jealousy from Mayo Methot.

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; a poor student, Bogart was a lifelong reader. He could quote Plato, Alexander Pope, Ralph Waldo Emerson and over a thousand lines of Shakespeare, and subscribed to the Harvard Law Review. Bogart admired writers; some of his best friends were screenwriters, including, Louis Bromfield, Nathaniel Benchley, and Nunnally Johnson.  Now regarded as a classic film noir, The Maltese Falcon (1941) was John Huston’s directorial debut. Based on the Dashiell Hammett novel, it was first serialized in the pulp magazine Black Mask in 1929 and was the basis of two earlier film versions; the second was Satan Met a Lady (1936), starring Bette Davis. Producer Hal B. Wallis initially offered to cast George Raft as leading man, but Raft (then better known than Bogart) had a contract stipulating he was not required to appear in remakes. Fearing that it would be nothing more than a sanitized version of the pre-Production Code The Maltese Falcon (1931), Raft turned down the role to make Manpower with director Raoul Walsh, with whom he had worked on The Bowery in 1933. Huston then eagerly accepted Bogart as “his” Sam Spade.

Complementing Bogart were co-stars: Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook Jr., and Mary Astor as the treacherous female foil. Bogart’s sharp timing and facial expressions were praised by the cast and director as vital to the film’s quick action and rapid-fire dialogue. It was a commercial hit, and a major triumph for Huston. Bogart was unusually happy with the film: “It is practically a masterpiece. I don’t have many things I’m proud of … but that’s one.”                                                  

As a follow up to the success The Maltese Falcon, Warner’s put together Across the Pacific  a 1942 American spy thriller set on the eve of the entry of the United States into World War II. It was directed first by John Huston, then by Vincent Sherman after Huston joined the United States Army Signal Corps. It featured Humphrey Bogart as the lead, with some of the cast from the Maltese Falcon Mary Astor along with Sydney Greenstreet. Despite the title, the action never progresses across the Pacific, concluding in Panama. The original script portrayed an attempt to avert a Japanese plan to invade Pearl Harbor. When the real-life attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, production was shut down for three months, resuming on March 2, 1942 with a revised script changing the target to Panama. It is a very entertaining film and it reunites Bogart with the great pre-code and controversial, beauty Mary Astor.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Bogart played his first romantic lead in Casablanca (1942): Rick Blaine, an expatriate nightclub owner hiding from a suspicious past and negotiating a fine line among Nazis, the French underground, the Vichy prefect and unresolved feelings for his ex-girlfriend. Bosley Crowther wrote in his November 1942 New York Times review that Bogart’s character was used “to inject a cold point of tough resistance to evil forces afoot in Europe today” The film, directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Hal Wallis, featured Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Sydney Greenstreet, Paul Henreid, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre and Dooley Wilson. As everyone knows today, almost every line is famous. Again, Bogart was cast as the anti-hero and defined by Claude Rains, the Chief of Police. Captain Louie Renault. Renault, asked Rick (Bogart) why he came to Casablanca. He answered, “I came for the waters!” Renault/Rains responded, “But we are in the desert!” Without batting an eye, Rick/Bogart responds, “I was misinformed!” There are so many memorable lines, that some critics in the early years after its original success accused it of being filled with clichés. –“The Germans wore gray, you wore blue!”  “What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.” Rick/Bogart to Reanualt/ Rains, “How can you close me up? On what grounds? “I’m shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.” Of course the scene ends with the classic, “Your winnings, sir.” Major Strasser /Conrad Veidt “What is your nationality? Rock/ Bogart “I’m a drunkard.” Renault/Rains, “That makes Rick a citizen of the world.” Rock/ Bogart to Ilsa, “And you never will. But, I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of, Ilsa. I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.” Rick/Bogart, “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.”  Renault/Rains, “Rick, Major Strasser is one of the reasons the 3rd Reich enjoys the reputation it has today!”

Bogart and Bergman’s on-screen relationship was based on professionalism rather than actual rapport, although Mayo Methot assumed otherwise. Off the set, the co-stars hardly spoke. Bergman (who had a reputation for affairs with her leading men) later said about Bogart, “I kissed him but I never knew him.”  Because she was tall, Bogart had 3” blocks on his shoes.                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Bogart is reported to have been responsible for the notion that Rick Blaine should be portrayed              as a chess player, a metaphor for the relationships he maintained with friends, enemies, and allies. He played tournament-level chess (one division below master) in real life, often enjoying games with crew members and cast but finding his better in Paul Henreid.  He also made the excellent and very realistic war film, Action in the North Atlantic (1942) with Raymond Massey and many other regulars from the Warner’s lot, including; Alan Hale Jr., Sam Levine and the up and coming Dane Clark, who the studio was grooming to be an eventual replacement for Bogart.

Meanwhile, Casablanca won the Academy Award, for Best Picture, at the 16th Academy Awards for 1943. Bogart was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, but lost to Paul Lukas for his performance in Watch on the Rhine. The film vaulted Bogart from fourth place to first in the studio’s roster, however, finally over-taking James Cagney. He more than doubled his annual salary to over $460,000 by 1946, making him the world’s highest-paid actor. Bogart would make two more films with Greenstreet, Passage to Marseille, (1944) and Conflict (1945). Bogart would also make a few films with Peter Lorre, aside from the Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and Passage to Marseille he made the spy/comedy,  All Through the Night (1942) playing a NYC character named “Gloves” Donahue and Beat the Devil (1953), a clever little film about swindlers and uranium mines.                                                                                                                                               

                   Bogart went on United Service Organizations (USO) and War Bond tours with Methot in 1943 and 1944, making arduous trips to Italy and North Africa (including Casablanca). He was still required to perform in films with weak scripts, leading to conflicts with the front office. He starred in Conflict (1945) again with Greenstreet), but turned down God is My Co-Pilot that year.

                                                                                                                                                                           Howard Hawks introduced Bogart and Lauren Bacall (1924–2014, born Betty Perske and known to her friends as Betty) while Bogart was filming Passage to Marseille (1944). The three subsequently collaborated on To Have and Have Not (1944), a loose adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel, and Bacall’s film debut. It has several similarities to Casablanca: the same kind of hero and enemies, and a piano player (portrayed this time by Hoagy Carmichael) as a supporting character. When they met, Bacall was 19 and Bogart 44; he nicknamed her “Baby.” A model since age 16, she had appeared in two failed plays. Bogart was attracted by Bacall’s high cheekbones, green eyes, tawny blond hair, lean body, maturity, poise and earthy, outspoken honesty; he reportedly said, “I just saw your test. We’ll have a lot of fun together”

                                                                                                                                                                      However, Hawks began to disapprove of the relationship. He considered himself Bacall’s protector and mentor, and Bogart was usurping that role. Not usually drawn to his starlets, the married director also fell for Bacall; he told her that she meant nothing to Bogart and threatened to send her to the poverty-row studio Monogram Pictures. Bogart calmed her down, and then went after Hawks; Jack Warner settled the dispute, and filming resumed. Hawks said about Bacall, “Bogie fell in love wth the character she played, so she had to keep playing it the rest of her life.”

                                                                                                                                                            Months after wrapping up To Have and Have Not, Bogart and Bacall were reunited for an encore: the film noir The Big Sleep (1946), based on the novel by Raymond Chandler with script help from William Faulkner. This film was always quite confusing, and over the years even the author couldn’t explain all the parts. Frankly, it was a big success and has been shown constantly on television.

The dialogue, especially in the added scenes supplied by Hawks, was full of sexual innuendo. The film was successful, although some critics found its plot confusing and overly complicated. According to Chandler, Hawks and Bogart argued about who killed the chauffeur; when Chandler received an inquiry by telegram, he could not provide an answer.

                                                                                                                                                                Bogart filed for divorce from Mayo Methot in February 1945. Her drinking, jealousy and public spectacles had worn out her welcome. He and Bacall 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. They moved into a $160,000 ($2,410,000 in 2021) white brick mansion in an exclusive neighborhood of Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills. Bogart and Bacall both had affairs but they never stopped loving each other; a fact Bacall mentions throughout her memoir “By Myself,” Bacall, in a 1997 Parade Magazine cover story told reporter Dotson Rader that Bogart said ‘If you want a career more than anything, I will do everything I can to help you, and I will send you on your way, but I will not marry you.” As Bogart said, “I’ve been through it and I know it doesn’t                                                                     work.” He was right. “He loved me and wanted me with him. I made the deal, and I stuck to it, and I’m damn glad that I did.”

                                                                                                                                                        Bogart bought the Santana, a 55-foot sailing yacht, from actor Dick Powell in 1945. He found the sea a sanctuary and spent about thirty weekends a year on the water, with a particular fondness for sailing around Catalina Island: “An actor needs something to stabilize his personality, something to nail down what he really is, not what he is currently pretending to be.” Bogart joined the Coast Guard Temporary Reserve (a forerunner of the modern Coast Guard Auxiliary), offering the Coast Guard use of the Santana. He reportedly attempted to enlist, but was turned down due to his age.

The suspenseful Dark Passage (1947) was Bogart and Bacall’s next collaboration. Vincent Parry/Bogart is intent on finding the real murderer for a crime of which he was convicted and sentenced to prison. According to Bogart’s biographer, Stefan Kanfer, it was “a production line film noir with no particular distinction.” I thought the film set in San Francisco, centered on and around famed Lombard Street was quite intriguing and entertaining. There were some suppositions that tested credulity, but that’s Hollywood. Two other interesting films of 1947, were Dead Reckoning and The Two Mrs. Carrolls, with Lizabeth Scott in the former and the latter with Barbara Stanwyck and Alexis Smith, two very skilled and veteran Hollywood stars.

                                                                                                                                                                              Bogart and Bacall’s last pairing in a film was in Key Largo (1948). Directed by John Huston, Edward G. Robinson was billed second (behind Bogart) as gangster Johnny Rocco: a seething, older synthesis of many of his early bad-guy roles. The billing question was hard-fought and at the end of at least one of the trailers, Robinson is listed above Bogart in a list of the actors’ names in the last frame; and in the film itself, Robinson’s name, appearing between Bogart’s and Bacall’s, is pictured slightly higher onscreen than the other two. Robinson had top billing over Bogart in their four previous films together. By the way, veteran actress, Clair Trevor received an Academy Award for her supporting role.

                                                                                                                                                               Riding high in 1947, with a new contract which provided limited script refusal and the right to form his own production company, Bogart rejoined with John Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: a stark tale of greed among three gold prospectors in Mexico. Lacking a love interest or a happy ending, it was considered a risky project. Bogart later said about co-star (and John Huston’s father) Walter Huston, “He’s probably the only performer in Hollywood to whom I’d gladly lose a scene.” Walter Huston was the father of directed John Huston and he had a small role in The Maltese Falcon, as Captain Jacoby, the master of the La Poloma. Though shot with bullets, he carries the Falcon to Sam Spade’s office.

                                                                                                                                                             The film was shot in the heat of summer for greater realism and atmosphere and was grueling to make. James Agee wrote, “Bogart does a wonderful job with this character … miles ahead of the very good work he has done before.” Although John Huston won the Academy Award for Best Director and screenplay and his father won the Best Supporting Actor award, 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.” Bruce Bennet, who was a former Olympic Silver Medalist for the shot put, (1928) whose name was Herman Brix, was also in the excellent cast. Bennett, who was a husband of the character of Mildred Piece/Joan Crawford, in the film of the same name, was also in another terrific Bogart film of the 1940’s, Sahara (1943). This American action war film directed by Zoltán Korda and starred Humphrey Bogart as an American tank commander in Libya who, along with a handful of Allied soldiers, tries to defend an isolated well with a limited supply of water from a German Afrika Korps battalion during the Western Desert campaign of World War II. It took place around the time of the great British victory at the 2nd Battle of El Alamein. It had a fantastic international cast, and reflected the Allied armies make up. Critics praised the film for its blend of action, suspense and poignancy. J. Carrol Naish earned an Oscar nomination Best Supporting Actor for his role as an Italian prisoner; Rudolph Maté was nominated for Best Cinematography (Black-and-White); and John Livadary was nominated for Best Sound. Bogart created his film company, Santana Productions (named after his yacht and the cabin cruiser in Key Largo), in 1948. The right to create his own company had left Jack Warner furious, fearful that other stars would do the same and further erode the major studios’ power. In addition to pressure from freelancing actors such as Bogart, James Stewart, and Henry Fonda, they were beginning to buckle from the impact of television and the enforcement of antitrust laws which broke up theater chains. Bogart appeared in his final films for Warner’s, Chain Lightning (1950) and The Enforcer (1951). He would make In A Lonely Place (1950), Beat the Devil (1953), Knock on Any Door (1949), Sirocco (1951), Tokyo Joe (1949). Although most lost money at the box office (ultimately forcing Santana’s sale), at least two retain a reputation; In a Lonely Place is considered a film-noir high point. Bogart plays Dixon Steele, an embittered writer with a violent reputation who is the primary suspect in the murder of a young woman and falls in love with failed actress Laurel (Gloria Graham.)

                                                                                                                                                           After these lower budge films, two outstanding ones would follow; The African Queen (1951) with Katherine Hepburn, also directed by John Houston and The Caine Mutiny (1954).directed by Edward Dmytryk. He won the Academy Award, for The African Queen after three nominations! His performance as cantankerous skipper Charlie Allnutt he considered it the best of his film career. Promising friends that if he won his speech would break the convention of thanking everyone in sight, Bogart advised Claire Trevor when she was nominated for Key Largo to “just say you did it all yourself and don’t thank anyone”. When Bogart won, however, 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!”

                                                                                                                                                             Bogart dropped his asking price to obtain the role of Captain Queeg in Edward Dmytryk’s drama, The Caine Mutiny (1954). Though he retained some of his old bitterness about having to do so, he delivered a strong performance in the lead; he received his final Oscar nomination and was the subject of a June 7, 1954 Time Magazine cover story. Despite his success, Bogart was still melancholy; he grumbled to (and feuded with) the studio, while his health began to deteriorate. Like his portrayal of Fred C. Dobbs in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Bogart’s Queeg is a paranoid, self-pitying character whose small-mindedness eventually destroys him. Henry Fonda played a different role in the Broadway version of The Caine Mutiny, generating publicity for the film.

                                                                                                                                                           Later films would include the aforementioned Sabrina, The Barefoot Contessa (1954) directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, The Harder They Fall (1956), Were No Angels, and The Left Hand of God.

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. In 1955, however, his health was failing. In the wake of Santana, Bogart had formed a new company and had plans for a 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, though, and he dropped the project.

                                                                                                                                                                A heavy smoker and drinker, Bogart had developed esophageal cancer. He did not talk about his health and visited a doctor in January 1956 after considerable persuasion from Bacall. The disease worsened and several weeks later, on March 1, Bogart had surgery to remove his esophagus, two lymph nodes and a rib. The surgery was unsuccessful, and chemotherapy followed. He had additional surgery in November 1956, when the cancer had metastasized. Although he became too weak to walk up and down stairs, he joked despite the pain: “Put me in the dumbwaiter and I’ll ride down to the first floor in style.” It was then altered to accommodate his wheelchair. Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy visited him on January 13, 1957. In an interview, Hepburn said: 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 lapsed into a coma and died the following day, 20 days after his 57th birthday; at the time of his death he weighed only 80 A simple funeral was held at All Saints Episcopal Church, with music by Bogart’s favorite composers, Bach and Debussy.











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A lifelong New Yorker, who now lives full-time in Palm Beach County, Richard was raised in Mount Vernon, New York and he was educated in the Mount Vernon public schools He graduated from Boston University with a BA in American History. After spending a year on Wall Street as a research analyst with Bache & Co., he joined a manufacturing and importing firm, where over the next twenty-five years he rose to the position of chief operating officer. After the sale of that business, Richard entered into the financial services field with Metropolitan Life and is a Registered Representative, who has been associated with Acorn Financial Services which is affiliated with John Hancock Life Insurance Company of Boston, Ma. Today, he is a retired broker who had specialized in long-term care insurance and financial planning. One of Richard’s recent activities was to advise and encourage communities to seek ways to incorporate “sustainability and resiliency” into their future infrastructure planning. After a lifetime in politics, with many years working as a district leader, which involved party organizational work, campaign chair activity and numerous other political tasks, Richard has been involved with numerous civic and social causes. In recent years, Richard served in 2005 as the campaign coordinator of the Re-Elect Paul Feiner Campaign in Greenburgh, NY and he again chaired Supervisor Feiner’s successful landslide victory in 2007. Over the next few years, he advised a number of political candidates. He has served as an appointed Deputy Supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, with responsibilities regarding the town’s “liaison program.” He was a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board of the Town of Greenburgh, NY. Richard has lectured on FDR, The New Deal and 20th century American history in the Mount Vernon schools, at the Westchester Council of Social Studies annual conference in White Plains, and at many senior citizen groups, which include appearances at the Old Guard of White Plains, the Rotary Clubs of Elmsford and White Plains, and various synagogue groups around Westchester. In the winter of 2006 Richard was the leader of the VOCAL forum, sponsored by the Westchester County Office of Aging, which addresses the concerns of Westchester County’s Intergenerational Advocacy Educational Speak-out forums for senior citizens. Richard has given lectures for the Active Retirement Project, which is co-sponsored by the Jewish Community Center on the Hudson, the Greenburgh Hebrew Center, and other groups around Westchester County. Richard also is the founder and Chairperson of the Jon Breen Memorial Fund, that judges and grants annual prizes to students at Mount Vernon High School who submit essays on public policy themes. He also sponsors the Henry M. Littlefield History Prize for the leading MVHS history student. Richard serves on the Student College Scholarship Committee of Mount Vernon High School. In past years Richard chaired and moderated the Jon Breen Fund Award’s cablecast program with the Mayor and local and school officials. Richard has been a member of Blythedale Children’s Hospital’s Planned Giving Professional Advisory Board, and was a founding member of the committee to re-new the FDR Birthday Balls of the 1930’s and 1940’s with the March of Dimes’ effort to eliminate birth defects. Their renewal dinner was held at Hyde Park on January 30, 2003. Richard is currently an active contributor to the Roosevelt Institute, which is involved in many pursuits which included the opening of the Henry A. Wallace Center at Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Roosevelt – Val-Kill Foundation. In 2007, he proposed to the City of Mount Vernon an effort to develop an arts, educational, and cultural center as part of a downtown re-development effort. Richard was a team partner with the Infrastructure & Energy Solutions Group. IEFG which has developed innovative strategies for the 21st Century. Richard hosted a weekly program on WVOX-1460 AM radio, called “The Advocates,” which was concerned with “public policy” issues. The show, which was aired from 2007 until May 15, 2013, has had amongst its guests; Representative Charles Rangel, Chairperson of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, along with hundreds of others. All the 300 shows are archived at Richard currently gives lectures on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR and the Jewish Community, The New Deal, FDR and Douglas MacArthur, 20th Century American Foreign Policy Resulting in Conflict, and Israel’s Right to Exist. Richard lives in Boynton Beach, Fl, with his wife Linda of 44 years. They have two married children. Their daughter Dana is a Rutgers College graduate, with a MS from Boston University, and is the Assistant Director of Recruitment at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Their son Jon is an electrical engineering graduate of Princeton University and a senior software architect at NY/Mellon Bank in NYC. Richard J. Garfunkel Recent Appearances: KTI Synagogue, Rye Brook, NY- Long Term Care & Estate Conservation- Anshe Shalom Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY- Long Term Care- American Legion Post, Valhalla, NY- Long Term Care and Asset Protection- Doyle Senior Ctr, New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care and Asset Protection- AME Methodist Ministers, New Rochelle, NY, LTC and Charitable Giving- Profession Women in Construction, Elmsford, NY, LTC and Business Benefits- Kol Ami Synagogue- White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Disability - Beth El Men's Club-New Rochelle, NY-Long Term Care-Is it Necessary- Greater NY Dental Meeting Javits Ctr, NY, NY- LTC and Disability- IBEW Local #3 , White Plains, NY, Long Term Care and Asset Protection, Health Fair -Bethel Synagogue, New Rochelle, NY-LTC and Disability, Heath Fair- Riverdale Mens Club CSAIR- Riverdale, NY- LTC- Life Weight Watchers of Westchester and the Bronx-LTC and Tax Implications Sunrise Assisted Living of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, NY-LTC Sprain Brook Manor of Scarsdale-LTC- November 15, 2001 Sunrise Assisted Living of Stamford, Connecticut, February 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, February, 2002 The Old Guard Society of White Plains, NY, April, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY August, 2002 Kol Ami Synagogue, White Plains, NY, October, 2002 JCC of Scarsdale, Scarsdale, NY, November, 2002 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY, January, 2003 The Rotary Club of White Plains, NY January, 2003 The Westchester Meadows, Valhalla, NY April, 2003 Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY January, 2004 Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, NY March 2004 Kol Ami/JCC of White Plains, NY November, 2004 The Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, January 2005 The Sunrise of Fleetwood, Mount Vernon, April, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, November, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, December, 2005 The Woodlands of Ardsley, assisted living, January, 2005 Rotary Club of Elmsford, April, 2006 Kiwanis Club of Yonkers, June, 2006 Greenburgh Jewish Center, November, 2006 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, February, 2007 Hebrew Institute, White Plains, March, 2007 Temple Kol Ami, White Plains, NY, April, 2007 Westchester Meadows. Valhalla, November, 2007 Hebrew Institute. White Plains, November, 2007 Art Zuckerman Radio Show- January, 2008 JCC of the Hudson, Tarrytown, February, 2008 Matt O’Shaughnessy Radio Show, March, 2008 WVOX –Election Night Coverage, November, 2008 WVOX – Inaugural Coverage, January 20, 2009 The Advocates-host of the WVOX Radio Show, 2007- 2010 Rotary Club of Pleasantville, February, 2009 Hebrew Institute of White Plains, May, 2009 JCC Hudson, Tarrytown, December, 2009-10-11-12 Brandeis Club, Yonkers, March 25, 2010

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