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Humphrey Bogart > Lists
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Humphrey Bogart
About this actor

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(born Dec. 25, 1899, New York, New York, U.S.—died Jan. 14, 1957, Hollywood, California) American actor who became a preeminent motion picture "tough guy" and was a top box office attraction during the 1940s and '50s. In his performances he projected the image of a worldly wise, individualistic adventurer with a touch of idealism hidden beneath a hardened exterior. Offscreen he gave the carefully crafted appearance of being a cynical loner, granting only minimal concessions to Hollywood conventions. He became a cult hero of the American cinema.

Bogart was the son of a prominent surgeon and a commercial artist. He served in the United States Navy at the end of World War I, and after the war he began a stage career in New York City playing juvenile roles in drawing-room and country-house comedies. By the mid-1920s he had won a leading role in the comedy Cradle Snatchers (1925) and other plays, and the young actor with the distinctive lisp began receiving good notices from critics. He often played the ascot-wearing playboy or country-club fixture who seemingly frolicked through life in dinner jacket and tails, which is the ultimate irony in light of his later screen persona as the hard-bitten, world-weary man of few words. He is reported to have originated the classic line of the mindless society fellow: "Tennis, anyone?"Bogart's Broadway success led to roles in two film shorts—The Dancing Town (1928) and Broadway's Like That (1930)—and a contract with the Fox Film Corporation. ...

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