11 February, 2009
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American actor.
After trying various jobs, Bogart began acting in 1921 and became a regular in Broadway productions in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart also turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest. He had been acclaimed for his performance in the play, and his friend Leslie Howard saw to it that he reprised his role in the 1936 film version. Despite rave reviews, Bogart was typecast as a gangster in B-movies. His breakthrough came in 1941, with High Sierra (though he still played a criminal) and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca finally 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 triumphs followed, including To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948), opposite his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); The African Queen (1951), for which he won his only Academy Award (for Best Actor); and The Caine Mutiny (1954). Altogether, he appeared in 75 feature motion pictures.