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Humphrey DeForest Bogart Faces Many Challenges
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21 June 2010
Harry Smith hosts and Larry Robinson narrates this episode detailing
the life and career of Humphrey DeForest Bogart, entitled "Humphrey
Bogart: Behind the Legend."
Eldest child of Maud Humphrey Bogart and Belmont DeForest Bogart,
Humphrey DeForest Bogart arrives in 1899, in New York City, before his
two sisters, Pat and Kay.
While Belmont serves in the capacity of a Surgeon, Maud, a stern
disciplinarian, illustrates print advertising and creates from infant
model Humphrey "Baby Dimple" for a baby food label.
Bullies at Manhattan's Trinity School would constantly pick on Baby
Dimple Humphrey throughout his formative years, which wouldn't prepare
the child for a fondness for schooling, as he now enrolls in the
prestigious Phillips Academy preparatory school, in Andover,
Massachusetts, but from which he is eventually expelled, which, of
course, does not sit very well with his mother, as his parents had been
planning to enroll Humphrey at Yale University.
Well, the U.S. involvement in World War I occurs by now, and so
Humphrey enlists in the Navy, in 1918, to head to Europe, when a blast
of shrapnel injures his face and mouth, causing the scar and the
resulting lisp characteristic of his speech pattern.
Upon Humphrey's Naval discharge, Belmont lines up for him a series of
career positions in Business firms along Wall Street, but Humphrey
resigns from each and every last one, before turning his attention to a
position as an office boy for a Broadway producer, and understudying in
a theatre road show, catching the acting bug in the process.
In 1922, 190 new shows open on Broadway, a factor which ought to
improve the odds of Humphrey Bogart's receiving casting calls, but he
struggles for years to come, on stage, through three difficult
marriages (one wife even stabs him) and with the loss of his father and
younger sister, while his other sister experiences difficult
challenges, before Humphrey achieves stardom and meets the great love
of his life.
He travels to Hollywood after the Great Depression devastates the
stages, but returns to Broadway after film roles for Humphrey seem
inconsequential. But soon, he manages to secure two plum theatre roles,
which finally receive recognition for Humphrey.
Humphrey Bogart performs in a number of Broadway plays between 1922 and
1935, for which he receives the greatest recognition of his stage
career in his latter two productions: "Invitation to a Murder" (1934)
and "The Petrified Forest" (1935).
It is actor Leslie Howard who gives Warner Bros. Studios an ultimatum.
Unless they hire Humphrey Bogart, Leslie would not star in the film
version of The Petrified Forest (1936). Warner Bros. listens, and
Bogart's star begins to rise.
And when Spencer Tracy assigns him the nickname of "Bogie," well the
rest, as they say, is history.
Humphrey's marriages are with Helen Menken (192627), Mary Philips
(192837), Mayo Methot (193845), and Lauren Bacall (whom he marries in
1945). With Lauren, he welcomes two children, Stephen and Leslie.
Interview Guests for this episode consist of Lauren Bacall
(Wife/actress), Theodore Bikel (Actor), Rod Steiger (Actor), John
Huston (Director), Julius Epstein (Screenwriter), Joe Hyams
(Biographer), Alistair Cooke (Journalist), Jeffrey Lyons (Film Critic),
and Michael Medved (Film Critic/Radio Show Host), with Harry Smith
(Host) and Larry Robinson (Narrator).
Still Photographs include Humphrey Bogart, Belmont DeForest Bogart,
Maud Humphrey Bogart, Helen Menken, Mary Philips, Mayo Methot, Lauren
Bacall, Stephen Bogart, Leslie Bogart, Spencer Tracy, Leslie Howard,
Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, George Raft, Jack Warner and Frank
Archive film footage includes Humphrey Bogart, Ann Dvorak, Dick
Brandon, Leslie Howard, Charles Wilson, Mayo Methot, Peter Lorre, Mary
Astor, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Dooley Wilson, Edward G. Robinson,
Katharine Hepburn, Jennifer Jones, plus several unidentified
Film Clips include a screen glimpse of Humphrey Bogart through the
years, in scenes from Three on a Match (1932), The Petrified Forest
(1936), Dead End (1937), They Drive by Night (1940), High Sierra
(1941), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), To Have and Have
Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Key Largo (1948), The African Queen
(1951), Beat the Devil (1953), and The Desperate Hours (1955), as well
as his interview on "Person to Person: Episode #2.1" (1954), plus a
radio interview with Humphrey (1947), and Katharine Hepburn's interview
on "The Dick Cavett Show" (1973), and Newsreel coverage of Lauren and
Humphrey's traveling to D.C. to testify before the HUAC (1948) (plus a
1945 clip of their wedding reception).
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