Classic Hollywood #42

The Young And Handsome Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart c 1933

Humphrey Bogart in the early 1930’s

If you’ve ever seen the classic film Casablanca (1942) starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, allow yourself to ask a shallow question, “based on looks alone, how would a beautiful girl like Ilsa (Bergman) fall in love with Rick (Bogart)?”

Humphrey Bogart was 42-years-old when Casablanca was filmed and had a scrawny frame, was not particularly tall, wore a toupee and looked rather haggard. Bogart also smoked cigarettes on screen and in real life like a chimney.

Even with all those perceived shortcomings, most women will tell you Humphrey Bogart was a sexy man.

His sexual machismo and incredible personality popped right off the silver screen. Maybe it was just the way he carried himself during many of his character portrayals – no nonsense, short on words, strong with his fists and not taking any guff from anyone. Or as funny as this sounds, maybe just underneath that worn exterior Bogart was a really handsome man and those good looks always came through regardless of how he appeared.

Humphrey Bogart Lauren Bacall on set of Dark Passage 1947 photo Mac Julian

Humphrey Bogart Lauren Bacall on set of Dark Passage 1947 photo Mac Julian

Even Bogart’s fourth and final wife Lauren Bacall said in her autobiography that the first time she saw Bogart on screen which happened to be in Casablanca she wasn’t impressed.

But when they met in person on the set of To Have or Have Not in 1944, Bacall 19-years-old at the time, changed her tune.

Within three weeks into the filming they were having an affair. In 1945 Bogart divorced his third wife Mayo Methot and settled into a happy marriage with Bacall that lasted for the rest of his life.

Humphrey Bogart smoking c 1950 photo London ExpressIf there was ever an advertisement for what smoking can do to your looks and your health, this final photograph of Bogart says a lot. This picture was taken around 1951. Bogart would die from cancer of the esophagus in 1957 at the age of 57. As director John Huston said at Bogart’s funeral in his eulogy, “There will never be another like him.”

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