Humphrey Bogart (1899–1957) was an American actor and producer whose 36-year career began with live stage productions in New York in 1920. He had been born into an affluent family in New York's Upper West Side, the first-born child and only son of illustrator Maud Humphrey and physician Belmont Deforest Bogart. The family eventually came to include his sisters Patricia and Catherine. His parents believed he would excel academically, possibly matriculate at Yale University and become a surgeon. They enrolled him in the private schools of Delancey, Trinity, and Phillips Academy, but Bogart was not scholarly inclined and never completed his studies at Phillips, joining the United States Navy in 1918.
On the completion of his military service, Bogart began working in theatrical productions. He was initially employed as a manager behind the scenes for the plays Experience and The Ruined Lady, before trying his talents on stage in the 1922 play Drifting. A recurring legend about Bogart is that his dialog in the 1925 play Hell's Bells was, "Tennis anyone?", but Bogart denied that. His body of stage work included more than a dozen plays, and lasted a little over a decade. He began to pursue a career in film by 1928, first appearing in the short film The Dancing Town, and then in the 1930 short film Broadway's Like That. Bogart appeared in 75 feature films, and initially believed he was on the road to stardom when he secured a 1929 contract with Fox Film. The resulting productions of A Devil with Women, Up the River, A Holy Terror, Body and Soul and Women of All Nations for Fox, as well as Bad Sister for Universal Pictures, were collectively a disappointment to him, and he returned to stage work in New York.
Bogart's break-out role was that of escaped murderer Duke Mantee whom he played in 197 stage performances of the 1935 Broadway theatre production of The Petrified Forest, with actor Leslie Howard in the lead. The play, and his subsequent casting in the movie version, propelled him to stardom, and secured him a movie contract with Warner Bros. He made 48 films for them, including The Maltese Falcon, To Have and Have Not, Key Largo, and Casablanca, the last of which earned Bogart his first nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Bogart won the award on his second nomination, for his 1951 performance in the United Artists production The African Queen. His third Oscar nomination was for his performance in the 1954 Columbia Pictures production The Caine Mutiny. In addition to his film work, Bogart guest starred in numerous radio and television programs, primarily reprising his film roles. He formed Santana Productions in 1948, with the company's 1950 production of In a Lonely Place chosen by the National Film Registry in 2007 for permanent preservation as "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. Santana Productions also created the 1951–1952 Bold Venture half-hour radio series as a vehicle for Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall.
After Bogart completed his World War I service with the United States Navy, he found theatrical employment in New York. He stage managed the 1920 play Experience, and later became a road manager for The Ruined Lady. When he began to pursue an acting career, his debut role was in the 1922 play Drifting.
He appeared in 18 productions on Broadway, including the role that would propel him to fame and success in the movie industry; from January through June 1935, he appeared in 197 performances of The Petrified Forest as Duke Mantee, a murderer fleeing across the Arizona-Mexico border to evade capture by law enforcement. Leslie Howard appeared in the lead role as intellectual idealist Alan Squier.
Note that the opening and closing dates of the below productions are not listed. With the exception of The Petrified Forest, the sources do not indicate whether or not Bogart was in the entire run of any production.
|Drifting||1922||Multiple roles||Playhouse Theatre|||
|Swifty||1922||Tom Proctor||Playhouse Theatre|||
|Meet the Wife||1923||Gregory Brown||Klaw Theatre|||
|Nerves||1924||Bob Thatch||Comedy Theatre|||
|Hell's Bells||1925||Jimmy Todhunter||Wallack's Theatre||Popular lore says Bogart delivered the line, "Tennis anyone?" (or similar phrasing) in this play. Bogart denied it, saying his line was, "It's forty-love outside. Anyone care to watch?"|||
|Cradle Snatchers||1925||Jose Vallejo||Music Box Theatre|||
|Baby Mine||1927||Alfred Hardy||Chanin's 46th Street Theatre|||
|Saturday's Children||1927||Rims O'Neil||Booth Theatre|||
|Saturday's Children||1928||Rims O'Neil||Forrest Theatre|||
|Skyrocket||1929||Vic. Ewing||Lyceum Theatre|||
|It's a Wise Child||1929–1930||Roger Baldwin||Belasco Theatre|||
|After All||1931||Duff Wilson||Booth Theatre|||
|I Loved You Wednesday||1932||Randall Williams||Sam H. Harris Theatre|||
|Chrysalis||1932||Don Ellis||Martin Beck Theatre|||
|Our Wife||1933||Jerry Marvin||Booth Theatre|||
|The Mask and the Face||1933||Luciano Spina||Guild Theatre|||
|Invitation to a Murder||1934||Horatio Channing||Theatre Masque|||
|The Petrified Forest||1935||Duke Mantee||Broadhurst Theatre||197 performances, with Leslie Howard in the lead role of Alan Squier|
Bogart always believed that the future of his profession was ultimately in the burgeoning film industry. After signing with Charles Frohman Productions, he was cast as the male lead opposite stage actress Helen Hayes in a two-reel silent The Dancing Town (1928) for Paramount Pictures. He appeared in a Vitaphone short musical Broadway's Like That (1930), which also featured Joan Blondell and Ruth Etting.