The Magnificent Life of Humphrey Bogart
One of the most magnificent actors of the 20th century is most well-known for one single phrase, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” Humphrey Bogart’s career as an actor got off to a rocky start in the early 1920s. By the 1930s he was a big hit on Broadway but then the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent recession sent him back toward film. During the early years of his career, he was best known as the villain or a criminal. His big break into Hollywood stardom came in 1941 with his part in High Sierra, in which he still played the part of a criminal. The same year, he received rave reviews for his part in The Maltese Falcon. 1942 and Casablanca brought us Humphrey Bogart as we’d never seen him before. His role as Rick Blaine cemented his film persona.
Humphrey Bogart was born in New York City to Belmont DeForest Bogart and Maud Humphrey. His father was a surgeon who specialized in issues with the heart and lungs. His mother was a commercial illustrator who studied art in New York and France. His parents later had two daughters, Frances and Catherine Elizabeth. Their family did not provide the ideal family life for children. Their parents were very wrapped up in their careers and often fought. As a child, Humphrey Bogart and his friends put on theatricals at the lake on their fifty-five acre estate.
Bogart attended private schools and showed no interest in extracurricular activities. After graduating high school he went to Phillips Academy, a prestigious prep school that accepted him based on family connections. Plans to attend Yale were dashed when he was expelled. His expulsion was rumored to have been caused by one of three things: throwing the headmaster into a small man-made lake on campus, poor academic performance combined with smoking and drinking, or being withdrawn from the school by his father for failing grades.
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall met while filming the 1944 film “To Have and Have Not.” They married on May 21, 1945 and spent a one-week honeymoon on Bogart’s boat, Sluggy. They had two children, Stephen Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Howard Bogart. Their son Stephen was named for Bogart’s character in To Have and Have Not. Stephen became a best-selling author and hosted a TCM special about his father.
The top 100 quotes in American cinema are maintained by the American Film Institute. They list 5 quotes by Humphrey Bogart; the most quotes by any single actor. Four of the five quotes are from the ever-popular movie Casablanca. The 67th quote is “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” The 43rd quote is “We’ll always have Paris.” The 20th quote is “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” A famous quote from The Maltese Falcon “The stuff that dreams are made of” is number 14 on the list. And the most famous of all Humphrey Bogart quotes came in at number 5; “Here’s looking at you, kid” also from Casablanca.
Humphrey Bogart’s Death
Humphrey Bogart died on January 14, 1957 at 2:25 a.m., he was 57 years old. He’d lived an amazing life as the son of a doctor and artist who grew up to marry four times, father two children, and put a lasting mark on the American film industry. His costars and close friends Frank Sinatra, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy visited him before he died. He was cremated and put to rest in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery with the gold whistle he’d given Lauren Bacall before they married.
Special thanks to ConoverGenealogy.com
(Descendants of Wolphert Van Kouwenhoven)