Humphrey DeForest Bogart (; December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American film and theater actor. His performances in numerous films during the Classical Hollywood era made him an American cultural icon. In 1999, the American Film Institute selected him as the greatest male star of classic American cinema.Bogart began acting in Broadway shows and began his movie career in Up the River (1930). The film also starred Spencer Tracy. Bogart played the romantic role in a part as large as Tracy’s, despite Bogart’s much lower billing. Bogart appeared in various supporting parts for several years, sometimes portraying gangsters due to his resemblance to John Dillinger. He was highly praised for his work in The Petrified Forest (1936), which was his big break into the Warner Bros. gangster pantheon.
Bogart’s breakthrough from supporting roles to A-list stardom came with High Sierra (1941), his last role as a gangster, and The Maltese Falcon (1941), considered to be one of the first great film noirs. His private detectives Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and Phillip Marlowe in The Big Sleep (1946) became the model for detectives in other film noirs. His first true romantic lead role came when he appeared alongside Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942), although filming the pair involved efforts to mask the fact Bergman was taller than the 5’8″ (1.73 m) Bogart. Casablanca, a Best Picture Academy Award Winner, landed him his first nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Bogart and 19-year-old Lauren Bacall fell in love when they filmed To Have and Have Not (1944) and soon after the main filming for The Big Sleep (1946), their second film together, concluded in early 1945, he filed for divorce from his third wife and married Bacall. After their marriage, she also played his love interest in Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948).
Bogart’s performances in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), as a paranoid gold prospector, and In a Lonely Place (1950), as a screenwriter suspected of murder, are today considered to be his best, although they were not as recognized at their time of release. The unsettled, sometimes terrifying character he portrayed in these roles is again illustrated in his World War II war boat commander in The Caine Mutiny (1954), which was a critical and commercial smash, and garnered him another Best Actor nomination.
It was for his cantankerous transport boat pilot alongside Katharine Hepburn’s missionary in the World War I adventure The African Queen (1951) that Bogart won the Academy Award for Best Actor. In his later years significant roles included competing with William Holden for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954) and The Barefoot Contessa with Ava Gardner. A heavy smoker and drinker, Bogart died from esophageal cancer in January 1957.