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 FIFTIES SUPERSTARS

School rebel became screen superstar

HE has been described as the greatest male star of all time.
Born in New York in 1899, the son of a surgeon, Humphrey DeForest Bogart was a rebellious child who was expelled from school, then taking odd jobs before drifting into acting on the Brooklyn stage. He never took acting lessons, and had no formal training.
His big break came when he played escaped killer Duke Mantee in the play The Petrified Forest which had 197 performances in New York. Bogart was asked to play the same role in the film version and a new career was born.
By 1938 Humphrey Bogart was on his third marriage, but it would not last. At around that time he was averaging a new movie every couple of months.
In his films Bogart became somewhat stereotyped as the cool guy who was courageous, tough and reckless but he was also able to play characters with flaws and weaknesses that led to their destruction. His most notable films included We're No Angels (1955) Angels With Dirty Faces (1938), The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Key Largo (1948), In a Lonely Place (1950), The African Queen (1951) (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role), and The Caine Mutiny (1954). In all, he appeared in 75 feature motion pictures.
Married four times, his fourth wife was actress Lauren Bacall with whom he starred in what is regarded as a film masterpiece The Big Sleep.
Bogart was also a man of principle and organised a delegation to Washington, D.C., during the height of McCarthyism, against the House Un-American Activities Committee's harassment of Hollywood writers and actors.
Humphrey Bogart died of cancer in January 1957. He was 57 years-old.

Written by The Editor - 30/01/2007 19:56:39

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