Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 January 14, 1957) was an American actor whose performances in 1940s films noirs earned him status as a cultural icon.
Bogart was born to Belmont DeForest Bogart, a New York society doctor of Knickerbocker descent, and his wife, society illustrator Maud Humphrey. After being kicked out of Andover Academy (one of the most prestigious schools in New England), Humphrey did a stint in the Navy as a military policeman near the end of World War One, gaining his trademark scar (and lisp) from a sailor's fist note .
He drifted into acting in the early 1920s and became a regular in Broadway productions, often playing society fops. The 1929 stock market crash forced many Broadway theatres to close, but the real impetus behind Bogart's move to Hollywood and movies was the crash's effect on his family's finances; his father had been bankrupted, leaving Bogart's mother and disabled sister almost destitute and Bogart himself without a safety net. After spending much of the 1930s as a minor contract player on the Warner Brothers lot, his first great success was as the ferocious Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, which led to a period of typecasting as a gangster in B-movies. His breakthrough came in 1941 with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance as Rick Blaine in Casablanca raised him to the peak of his profession and at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side. Other successes followed, including To Have And Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo, with his wife Lauren Bacall (whom he married on friend Peter Lorre's advice); The Treasure of the Sierra Madre; The African Queen, opposite Katharine Hepburn, for which he won his only Academy Award; Sabrina, and The Caine Mutiny. During a film career of almost thirty years, he appeared in 75 feature films.
Despite being, arguably, not mainstream Hollywood and showing disdain for the general 'Movie star attitude' (he hated phonies), Bogart, in his capacity as a leading man and even a bit before that, got to work with many of the major female stars of the period, including Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, etc. He was also pretty connected to many of the major male stars through the Rat Pack and his funeral was a veritable "Who's who" of Hollywood.
At the time of his death from cancer in 1957, Bogart was one of the most respected figures in American cinema. Since his death, his persona and film performances have been considered as having a lasting impact and have led to him being described as a cultural icon. In 1997, Entertainment Weekly magazine named him the number one movie legend of all time. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him the Greatest Male Star of All Time. He made one movie with AFI's number one on their female list, Katharine Hepburn; offscreen, the two were part of the same social circle and were also close friends.
The term "Bogart," used to mean "hoard" (as in, "stop Bogarting that joint, give it to me") comes from how Bogart's characters would often be seen holding lit cigarettes, but would rarely actually take a puff.
He also makes appearances in several Looney Tunes shorts, including one where Elmer Fudd hits him in the face with a coconut custard pie with whipped cream.
Humphrey Bogart films on TV Tropes:
- Big City Blues (1932)
- Three on a Match (1932)
- The Petrified Forest (1936)
- Dead End (1937)
- Kid Galahad (1937)
- Stand-In (1937)
- Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
- Swingtime in the Movies (1938)(cameo)
- Dark Victory (1939)
- The Roaring Twenties (1939)
- The Return of Doctor X (1939)
- Brother Orchid (1940)
- They Drive by Night (1940)
- Virginia City (1940)
- High Sierra (1941)
- The Maltese Falcon (1941)
- All Through the Night (1941)
- Across the Pacific (1942)
- Casablanca (1942)
- Sahara (1943)
- Passage to Marseille (1944)
- To Have And Have Not (1944)
- The Big Sleep (1946)
- Dark Passage (1947)
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
- Key Largo (1948)
- In a Lonely Place (1950)
- The African Queen (1951)
- Bold Venture (radio series, 1951-52)
- Battle Circus (1953)
- Beat the Devil (1953)
- The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
- The Caine Mutiny (1954)
- Sabrina (1954)
- We're No Angels (1955)
- The Desperate Hours (1955)
- The Harder They Fall (1956) — last film, made while he was dying of cancer
Tropes relating to Bogart's work and cultural appereance include:
- Anti-Hero: Great part of his roles.
- Badass Longcoat: Frequently. Can make a strong claim to being the Trope Codifier.
- Catch Phrase: One of the many things that are part of Casablanca's legacy is giving him several, such as "Play it again, Sam" and "Here's looking at you, kid."
- Chronically Killed Actor: Like his contemporaries, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, he had a habit of getting gunned down onscreen very often early in his career; less so following his foray into "heroic" roles, although still present in films where his character's motives deteriorate, such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
- Dead Artists Are Better: Almost universally regarded, now, as the greatest movie star who ever lived. He was a big star during his lifetime, but at the time he wasn't any bigger than Gable, Robinson, etc. In fact, before High Sierra the producers at Warner Bros. didn't think he could even play a leading man, so Bogart found himself constantly having to work hard for fame and recognition and to get the roles he really wanted, whereas guys like Gable and Robinson, and a few more that you probably never heard of, simply got fame handed to them with one good picture.
- Deadpan Snarker: His specialty. Even Bogart's purported Famous Last Words ("I should never have switched from Scotch to martinis") rang of his trademark wit.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Often a running gag with his characters. Although not a Pint-Size Powerhouse kind of short, with many men in Hollywood over six feet tall, Bogart at 5'8 was on the shorter size. In some movies, characters reference this or call the trope by name, and Bogart's response is often that he's Never Heard That One Before.
- Fedora of Asskicking: His characters tended to wear a fedora, and awesomeness followed them.
- Film Noir: Does it star Humphrey Bogart? Then yes, it is film noir.
- Iconic Outfit: Bogart's status as style icon and most Bogart parodies base themselves on some of these famous outfits:
- From The Maltese Falcon, the fedora, the trench-coat, and suit, which has become the standard private detective look.
- From Casablanca, the white tuxedo he wears at Cafe Americain, which is so iconic that numerous later films homage it, for instance Indiana Jones sports one at the nightclub sequence in Shanghai in Temple of Doom. The outfit he wears at the airport scene, which is also a fedora and trenchcoat ensemble is famous too.
- Knight in Sour Armor: A good rule of thumb in his films is that underneath all that cynicism beats the heart of a knight. Most of the time. According to his wife he was a little bit like this in real life as well. Bogie referred to himself as a last century man (being born on Christmas Day 1899) and was typically quite a gentleman, espousing some long forgotten Victorian ideals.
- Mr. Fanservice: Unintentionally actually: he was not conventionally handsome but he had strong sex appeal (by projecting strong force of personality). Funnily enough, when he first tried to break into Hollywood, one studio executive told him to "Go back to Broadway and stay there" because he felt that Bogart didn't have the face to be in movies.
- Nice Hat: Admit it, his fedora is awesome. They named that type of fedora the Bogart Fedora, because he popularized it.
- Private Detective: Trope Codifier with his playing the quintessential PI in The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, which were movie versions of two of the best hardboiled crime novels, and both of the movies themselves are considered two of the best detective/film noir movies ever made.
- Prone to Tears: He was a sensitive soul who cried easily. His second wife observed that "he cries at card tricks".
- Scully Box: Various tricks were used to conceal his height, from Ingrid Bergman having to slouch during the filming of Casablanca to switching out his character's firearms, using a smaller .32 when a .45 looked too large in his hands.
- Smoking Is Cool: Hoo, boy. You know that you're associated with smoking when your last name becomes shorthand for hoarding a cigarette. Rather unironically what killed him, as he died of esophageal cancer in 1957.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Humphrey Bogart was a gifted actor but accents were not in his skill set. He tried them sometimes in his Warner Brothers character actor days, and the results, like when he played an Irishman in Dark Victory or a Mexican in Virginia City, were always disastrous.