Featured Star: Humphrey Bogart
As Harry Morgan in To Have And Have Not (1944)

The screen persona of the hardened and cynical yet honorable outsider that he so masterfully cultivated has continued to speak to multiple generations after his heyday, and has cemented the regard of this craggy and compelling native New Yorker in the all-time forefront of American cinema's leading men. The son of a pulmonary surgeon father and a successful commercial artist mother, Humphrey DeForest Bogart knew a privileged if emotionally austere upbringing in Manhattan An indifferent, rebellious student at prep school, Bogart dropped out and signed on for a stint with the U.S. Navy in the waning days of WWI. He took several odd jobs upon his return home; a boyhood pal's Broadway producer father gave him his first in with show business, providing him with film and stage production jobs. By the early '20s, Bogart received his first speaking role on Broadway, and he became a fixture there over the course of the decade, largely receiving indolent boy ingenue parts.

Bogart received his first screen acting opportunity in the 1928 Helen Hayes short "The Dancing Town," and he signed a deal with Fox in 1930, making his feature debut alongside friend Spencer Tracy in John Ford's "Up the River." Over the next half-decade, he shuttled between the Great White Way and Hollywood, without gaining much career traction either place. That would change with his 1935 Broadway turn as the fugitive killer Duke Mantee of "The Petrified Forest," which brought Bogie his best notices to date. The following year, stage co-star Leslie Howard threatened to walk from Warner Brother's screen adaptation of "Petrified Forest" unless Bogart was signed to reprise his role, and the results charged his screen career. Still, Warners didn't view their new hire as good for much more than being second-billed thug behind Cagney or Robinson, and such roles dominated his busy slate there for the balance of the decade ("Bullets or Ballots," "Kid Galahad," "San Quentin," "Crime School," "Angels With Dirty Faces," "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse," "The Roaring Twenties").

1941 became his breakout year, as Raoul Walsh's "High Sierra" gave him another genuinely complex criminal characterization in Roy Earle, and John Huston's "The Maltese Falcon" saw the creation of the archetypal Bogart antihero in flinty private eye Sam Spade. The following year, he established his viability as a romantic lead--and landed his first career Best Actor Oscar nomination--with his effort as expatriate bar owner Rick Blaine in the enduring adventure "Casablanca," and he never looked back for the remainder of his tenure. Late in the WWII era, he was paired opposite the striking young WB contractee Lauren Bacall in the Hemingway adaptation "To Have and Have Not." Their palpable chemistry would spiller over off-screen, as she became his fourth and last wife, and lead to their being co-billed in his most significant vehicles over the rest of the '40s, including "The Big Sleep," "Dark Passage" and "Key Largo." Other notables from the decade included "Action in the North Atlantic," "Passage to Marseilles," and his reunions with Huston for "Across the Pacific" and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre."

With the coming of the '50s, Bogie severed his long and often contentious relationship with Warner, forming his own production company. He signed on with Huston and Katharine Hepburn for the adventure "The African Queen," and his work as the sodden riverboat pilot Charlie Allnut resulted in his one career Best Actor Academy Award. His other projects of the period would prove a mixed bag in terms of critical and box-office response ("Tokyo Joe," "In a Lonely Place," "Battle Circus," Huston's "Beat the Devil"), and he'd land his final nod from the AMPAS as the paranoid martinet Capt. Queeg of "The Caine Mutiny." While Bogart subsequently continued to deliver notable work like "Sabrina" and "The Barefoot Contessa," the cigarette consumption with which he'd become identified began to compromise his health. He worked through pain on his final assignments-- "We're No Angels," "The Left Hand of God," "The Desperate Hours," "The Harder They Fall"--before being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He was only 57 when the disease claimed him in 1957.

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