HUMPHREY BOGART by Nathaniel Benchley


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Another adequate though undistinguished Bogart biography--this one's nearly interchangeable with Joe Hyams' version (Bogie, 1966). Born in 1899 into the socially prominent Bogart family, Humphrey DeForest would be kicked out of Andover and have his lip busted in the Navy before turning to the stage in the early '20's. Finally launched as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, he was subsequently typecast in many Warner Bros. gangster flicks before achieving stardom in The Maltese Falcon. After his death he acquired the status of a screen immortal thanks to his roles in Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and African Queen. Bogie is pictured here as a dedicated ""professional"" who never let his drinking interfere with his work. Characterized as ""a very private person. . . a sentimentalist whom some people considered a sadist"" (who?), Bogart is seen as a man who entered into several reluctant marriages mainly because he was a ""gentleman at heart."" A blissful twelve-year union with his To Have and Have Not partner Lauren (Betty) Bacall lasted until his losing bout with cancer in 1957. You probably won't whistle for this--still, it's a story you may care to play again.

Pub Date: June 26th, 1975
Publisher: Little, Brown