This week the world lost one of its last links to classic Hollywood when the one and only Lauren Bacall passed away.
When discussing Bacall, it’s often difficult to separate her from her first love and one of the most important men in her life, Humphrey Bogart.
Humphrey has always been a bit of a mysterious man to me, so I thought it would be fun to investigate one of Hollywood’s greatest actors by making Bogie (his nickname) this week’s classic Hollywood TBT.
Bogart was born in New York City in 1899, and after a quick stint in the Navy, found himself on the stage. Things were good for him on Broadway, up until 1929 when the stock market crashed. Luckily for all of us, that’s when Humphrey turned to Hollywood.
He played a couple of bit parts on the screen, but his first real role was in the 1930 film Up The River, which co-starred his friend and drinking buddy, Spencer Tracy. Bogie worked steadily after that and in 1936 he made The Petrified Forest, a film that garnered him rave reviews. Following that he played gangsters in B-pictures until something happened in 1941.
That was the year High Sierra was released. The film created a partnership between Humphrey and John Huston, which lead to The Maltese Falcon in 1941 and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in 1948. In 1942, Humphrey proved he could be pretty darn romantic in the classic film, Casablanca. He makes you laugh, cry–it’s all magical.
1944 was also an important year for he actor–that was the year he made To Have and Have Not with Lauren Bacall. The two met on set, fell in love, Bogie divorced his third wife and despite their 25-year age difference, they were married for 12 years, until his death in 1957 from cancer.
Of all the actors I’ve done for this, Bogart is the most difficult. Not only was his film career extensive, but he just had so many great films. Two of my favorites are 1952′s The African Queen (for which he won his only Oscar) and 1954′s Sabrina. Humphrey was an amazing actor, and now he and Bacall get to be together again.
For a Bogie evening, you should check out The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. And if you want to see him and Bacall, it doesn’t get better for me than To Have and Have Not.