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Humphrey Bogart - Triple Bogey
As an avid golfer and movie lover I find two entirely different meanings to the words above. A triple bogey in golf is horrendous and could destroy any chance of you having a good round that day. A triple bogey in movie lore refers to my interpretation of Humphrey Bogart's three different periods of life.
Humphrey Bogart was born on Christmas Day in 1899 to a wealthy Manhattan surgeon and a magazine illustrator. He was educated at Trinity School of New York City and then sent to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in preparation for medical studies at Yale. He was handsome, articulate, well manered and appeared to be a person well suited to his state in life.
He was expelled from Phillips and followed his love for the sea by enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1918. He would enjoy his two year duty overseas and became more and more a liberal who hated the pretentious life that he had grown up in. However, he did retain his parent's traits of modesty, good manners and proper articulate speaking.
He was introduced to the entertainment industry by a friend and tried his hand at directing and screenwriting, but, did not have the gift of writing that his mother had and turned to stage managing.
In 1921, Bogey made his stage debut in Drifting as a Japanese butler with one line of dialogue. Bogey had been raised to believe that acting was beneath a gentleman, but, he enjoyed the stage and remained on Broadway until 1935 playing second banana roles. It was there that he met and became good friends with Spencer Tracy. It was Spencer who first called him "Bogey" in 1930. Bogart actually spelled it "Bogie" when referring to himself and his family continues to refer to him as Bogie. However, since Spencer invented the name, I believe I will stick with "Bogey".
His first film role was with Helen Hayes in The Dancing Town in 1928. During his back and forth days on Broadway and in Hollywood he met and married stage actress Helen Menken. The marriage would only last eighteen months ending in divorce in 1927. In 1928, he married Mary Philips, another stage actress. It would last nine years.
In 1936, the film version of The Petrified Forest was released co-starring Bogey who had made a name for himself in the play on Broadway. Although the film would bring him accolades, he would be typecast as a gangster for the next several years in secondary roles alongside current headliners such as James Cagney. Bogey was repeatedly getting shot in movies by tough guys Cagney and Edward G. Robinson. During this time, his second marriage ended in 1937 and in 1938 he entered into a third marriage with actress Mayo Methot which would be a violent one that ended in divorce in 1945.
His roles during this second period his life would not define his true abilities as an actor. The studio heads continued to hold him back while having him make on average two movies every month. He was being held back while Paul Muni, George Raft, Cagney and Robinson got the starring roles.
In 1945, he bought a 55-foot sailing yacht, the Santana. This would take him away from all the pretending. He would continue to play the roles handed him, but, would voice his opinion to the studio heads and other actors avoided him to avoid trouble with the studios themselves.
In 1941, Bogey starred in High Sierra after both Paul Muni and George Raft turned down the lead role. For the first time, he had an opportunity to play a character with some depth. He followed with another major role in The Maltese Falcon after George Raft once again turned down a terrific role.
Then, in 1942, along came the role that would give him his first shot at playing a leading man, Casablanca. This role would lead to Bogey's first of three Oscar nominations while winning one for The African Queen in 1952.
Bogey would meet Lauren Bacall while filming To Have and Have Not in 1944. Bacall was 19 and Bogey was 45. They would fall in love, but, Bogey was still married to Meyo Methot. Theirs had been a very tumultuous marriage and long overdue for divorce. It finally came and Bogey and Bacall were married in 1945.
Bogey would go on in this third metamorphosis to appear in many more outstanding movies such as Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, the African Queen, the Caine Mutiny and Sabrina.
Humphrey Bogart contracted cancer of the esophagus and was just 80 pounds at the time of his death. Spencer Tracy and Kate Hepburn were at his bedside the night before he died. Spencer was too emotional to give the eulogy and it was given instead by John Huston who was a long time friend and directed several of Bogey's movies.
Bogey was voted #1 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest screen actors.