There isn’t a lot of actors in the world who can be as first-rate as the Hollywood legend that is Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart is a Hollywood icon – a box-office star, an Academy Award winner, and an actor whose personality is a stark contrast to the roles that made him a memorable presence on-screen. Bogart’s performances in movies such as The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942) earned him widespread recognition but this wasn’t before his numerous struggles with acting.
Humphrey’s initial days as an actor involved being a part of the cast in drawing-room comedies (on Broadway), which most probably thankfully, in part fueled by good reviews, acted as a springboard to starring in Hollywood films. This is despite the fact that the Wall Street Crash of 1929 had managed to all of a sudden cut up the concept of stage production.
Humphrey was originally from New York and born into an affluent family – his mother was a suffragette and his father was a heart surgeon, who died in debt. Humphrey was (shockingly) brought up with this point of view that acting wasn’t what gentlemen do but nevertheless still decided to pursue it.
After obtaining a contract with a major production house of the time – Fox Film Corporation, Bogart went on to star in a very small range of films, such as Up the River (1930) and The Petrified Forest (1936). One of the primary contributors to Bogart’s tremendous breakthrough in Hollywood came with a movie which had, at first, almost cast George Raft (Scarface and Some Like It Hot) because he was a bigger actor than Bogart – The Maltese Falcon, a thrilling film about a private detective, Sam Spade, went to Bogart only after he declined the offer to star in it; almost instantly, the movie turned fortunes around for Bogart.
Bogart’s life was also peppered with various marriages, out of which the most famous was undoubtedly with Lauren Bacall. But it’s not his private life that managed to put him at the forefront of public consciousness on Hollywood – it’s his movies.
The African Queen (1951) had even given Bogart his first (and only) Academy Award: the movie followed a British missionary, Rose (Katharine Hepburn) and a Canadian boat captain, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) in an East African village, mostly after the First World War has broken out – this is when the three African states Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda were united as German colonies, especially established to battle the ongoing slave trade.