Humphrey Bogart Biography

Humphrey Bogart was an American screen actor who is best known for his performances in the iconic films such as ‘Casablanca’, and ‘The African Queen’. Check out this biography to know about her childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Quick Facts

Birthday: December 25, 1899

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Humphrey Bogart School Dropouts

Died At Age: 57

Sun Sign: Capricorn

Also Known As: Bogie, Humphrey DeForest Bogart, The Last Century Man, Bogey

Born in: New York City

Famous as: Actor

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Spouse/Ex-: Helen Menken, Lauren Bacall, Mary Philips, Mayo Methot

father: Belmont DeForest Bogart

mother: Maud Humphrey

siblings: Catherine Elizabeth Bogart, Frances Bogart

children: Leslie Howard Bogart, Stephen Humphrey Bogart

Died on: January 14, 1957

place of death: Los Angeles

Cause of Death: Cancer

City: New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Founder/Co-Founder: Entertainment Industry Foundation

More Facts

education: Phillips Academy, Trinity School, Delancey School

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Humphrey Bogart was an American screen actor who is best known for his performances in the iconic films such as ‘Casablanca’, ‘The Maltese Falcon’ and ‘The African Queen’. He was born in a wealthy family in the New York City. Although his parents had planned a bright future for him, he did not take much interest in studies and was finally expelled from school for misconduct. Not knowing what to do, he first joined United States Navy and then took up small jobs before being appointed as a stage manager. From the beginning of 1920s he began to get minor acting jobs at the Broadway; ultimately getting lead roles in the middle of the decade. The stock exchange crash in 1929 forced him to shift to Hollywood; but there too he had an upheaval task in front of him. Initially he was typecast as a gangster in B-grade movies; but persistence and hard work won in the end. By the beginning of the 1940s he was recognized as an established actor and a lead man. He now started giving hits after hits. Many of his later films began to be recognized as screen classics and he a living legend.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • He got an office job at World Film Corporation, a company owned by theatre actor and producer William Aloysius Brad Sr. There he had to do all types of job and even tried his hand in script writing and directing, but failed.
  • In the end, it was William’s daughter Alice, who introduced Bogart to acting. He initially acted as her stage manager. Then in 1921, he made his stage debut in her production, ‘Drifting’, playing a Japanese butler and uttering nervously his one-line dialogue, "Drinks for my lady and for her most honored guests."
  • More roles followed and Bogart persistently worked at his chosen field. From 1922, he began appearing in number of Broadway productions with drawing room or country house settings. Initially he got small roles or second leads in comedies such as ‘Meet the Wife’ (1923) where he played the part of reporter Gregory Brown.
  • In 1925, he got his first leading role in a comedy called ‘Cradle Snatcher’. His success at the Broadway was soon noticed by film directors. In 1928, he made his film debut with a short film called ‘The Dancing Town’; but concentrated mainly on stage.
  • Then the stock market crashed in 1929; it had a huge negative impact on stage production and there was hardly any work. Therefore, like many other stage artists, Bogart set out for Hollywood and along with Spencer Tracy co-starred in ‘Up the River’, a 1930 feature film directed by John Ford.
  • Bogart continued to act in a number of films, but could not make any impact. Therefore, he decided to go back to Broadway and began shuttling between New York and Hollywood.
  • In 1934, he got the lead role in the Broadway play ‘Invitation to Murder’. It caught the attention of theatre producer Arthur Hopkins, who cast him in the role of the ruthless killer Duke Mantee in the 1935 play ‘The Petrified Forest’.
  • His performance in the play ‘The Petrified Forest’ caught the attention of Hollywood directors and when in 1936, Warner Brothers decided to make a film on the same novel he was cast in the same role. The film, which earned $500,000 at the box office, made him famous.
  • In spite of the success, Warner Brothers offered him a twenty-six week contract at $550 per week. Bogart had no other option than to accept that. But unfortunately, these films typecast him as a gangster.
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  • From 1936 to 1940, Bogart made one movie every two months on an average and that too under grueling condition. Although Bogart did not like these roles, he did not have any alternative. Refusing to abide by the studio dictate would mean suspension without pay.
  • Yet he made a few noteworthy films during that period. They were Black Legion (1936), Marked Woman (1937), Dead End (1937), ‘San Quentin’ (1937), ‘Black Region’ (1937), ‘Racket Busters’ (1938), ‘You Can't Get Away with Murder’ (1938), ‘Angel with Dirty Faces’ (1938),‘The Roaring Twenties’ (1939) and ‘They Drive by Night’ (1940) .
  • In 1941, he was selected to play the role of Roy Earle in ‘High Sierra’. Although it was a crime thriller, his character had certain depth. Bogart was able to portray that successfully. The part earned him critical acclaim. It was technically the last important negative character that he played.
  • Also in 1941, Bogart starred in ‘Maltese Falcon’, a classic film noir directed by John Huston and played the role of detective Sam Spade. The film, along with ‘High Sierra’, effectively launched Bogart as a leading man.
  • However, Bogart had to wait for three more movies to get a romantic lead role. In 1942, he was casted as Rick Blaine, a hard-pressed expatriate nightclub owner in Michael Curtiz’s ‘Casablanca’. The role not only earned him his first Oscar nomination, but also the first place in the studio roster.
  • Bogart now continued playing lead roles in films like ‘Action in North Atlantic’, ‘Sahara’ (1943) and ‘Passage to Marseilles’ (1944). He also made a cameo appearance in World War II fundraiser, “Thank You Lucky Star’ (1943).
  • Next in 1944, he made ‘To Have and Have Not’. It was a romance-war-adventure film based on a novel by Ernest Hemmingway and co-starred Lauren Bacall. the film was highly successful at the box office.
  • Although there was a huge age difference, Bogart and Bacall developed a close rapport that lasted till his death. In 1945, they repeated the magic in ‘The Big Sleep’, earning $3million dollar at the box office. ‘Dark Passage’ (1947) and ‘Key Largo’ (1948) were two other hit movies where they acted together.
  • ’The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ was another significant movie released in 1948. Directed by John Huston, it was the first Hollywood movie to be shot outside United States. Although he did not win any award for the movie, it is now regarded as one of the greatest screen classics.
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  • Bogart continued making movies until 1956. His hard hitting performance in his last film ‘The Harder They Fall’ (1956) earned him great critical acclaim. In fact, his screen personality was such that it helped to make minor movies like ‘Beat the Devil’ (1953) and ‘The Barefoot Contessa’ (1954) achieve high popularity.
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Major Works
  • Over a span of three decades Humphrey Bogart had appeared in around seventy-five movies. Among them, ‘Casablanca’ (1942), ‘To Have and Have Not’ (1944), ‘The Big Sleep’ (1946) ’The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’ (1948), ‘In a Lonely Place’ (1950), ‘The African Queen’ (1951), ‘Sabrina’ (1954), and ‘The Caine Mutiny’ (1954) are now regarded as screen classics.
Awards & Achievements
  • In 1951, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role of Charlie Allnut in the movie ‘The African Queen’.
  • In 1999, the American Film Institute named Bogart the top male film star of the 20th century. He had attained the status of a legend in his lifetime only.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • Humphrey Bogart married actress Helen Menken on May 20, 1926 after four years of courtship. However, the marriage did not last long and they divorced on November 18, 1927.
  • Next on April 3, 1928, Bogart married actress Mary Philips. Subsequently, Bogart moved to Hollywood; but Philips, who had an established career at New York, refused to accompany him. Finally they divorced in 1938, but remained on good terms.
  • Bogart next married actress Mayo Methot on August 21, 1938. She suspected Bogart of infidelity and the two fought to such an extent that friends called them ‘The Battling Bogarts’. Ultimately, they divorced in 1945.
  • On May 21, 1945 Bogart tied the knot for the fourth and final time with actress Lauren Bacall. In spite of the difference in age, the marriage lasted till Bogart’s death in 1957. The couple had two children; Stephen Humphrey Bogart and Leslie Bogart.
  • Towards the end of his life Bogart developed cancer of esophagus. Since he never consulted doctor, his condition could not be determined till January 1956. By this time it was too late for surgery or chemo therapy. He died from the disease on January 14, 1957.
  • On February 8, 1960, Bogart was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6322 Hollywood Boulevard posthumously.
  • In 1997, the United States Postal Service honored Bogart with a stamp bearing his image in its "Legends of Hollywood" series.
  • On June 24, 2006, a section of 103rd Street in New York City was renamed ‘Humphrey Bogart Place’.

1. Casablanca (1942)

  (War, Drama, Romance)

2. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

  (Mystery, Film-Noir)

3. Key Largo (1948)

  (Thriller, Film-Noir, Action, Crime, Drama)

4. The Big Sleep (1946)

  (Thriller, Mystery, Film-Noir, Crime)

5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

  (Western, Adventure, Drama)

6. To Have and Have Not (1944)

  (War, Romance, Comedy, Adventure, Thriller)

7. The African Queen (1951)

  (Adventure, War, Romance, Drama)

8. The Caine Mutiny (1954)

  (War, Drama)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
1952 Best Actor in a Leading Role The African Queen (1951)

See the events in life of Humphrey Bogart in Chronological Order

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Last Updated
- September 17, 2017
Humphrey Bogart

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