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May 5, 2013
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Biographic
Steve McGarry

Humphrey Bogart

Four decades after Humphrey Bogart's death, The American Film Institute ranked him as the greatest male star in the history of American cinema and Entertainment Weekly named him the "No.1 movie star of all time."

Humphrey Deforest Bogart was born in New York City on December 25, 1899.  His father was a surgeon and his mother was a very successful illustrator.  he was educated in private schools before enlisting in the United States navy in 1918.  After his service, he embarked on an acting career and appeared regularly on the Broadway stage.  By the early 1930s, he was dividing his time between New York and Hollywood, struggling to make a real impact on stage or screen.

His big break came when he was cast as escaped killer Duke Mantee opposite Leslie Howard in the stage version of "the Petrified Forest."  Howard insisted that Bogart be cast in the 1936 movie version.  His star continued to rise and in 1941 he played the lead in "High Sierra" and "the Maltese Falcon" - two movies that are still seen as classics.  1942's "Casablanca" is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made.  By 1946, Bogart was the highest-paid actor in the world.

He married his "To Have and Have Not" co-star Lauren Bacall and they made a string of superb movies together - "The Big Sleep," "Dark Passage" and "Key Largo."  "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" enhanced his reputation and "The African Queen" earned him an Oscar.  His Captian Queeg in 1954's "The Caine Mutiny" is hailed as one of the great screen performances.

Sadly, his health began to fail and he lost his battle with cancer at the age of 57.  He was buried with the small gold charm he had given Bacall to commemorate their first movie  together - a tiny whistle inscribed with her famous line from "To Have and Have Not" - "If you want anything, just whistle."
May 19, 2013
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