First of all, anyone who knows me, or anyone who's read this ongoing blog for a few years, either knows or perhaps has a hint that Humphrey Bogart has forever been my favorite actor. And that's the way it is.
I've watched Casablanca so many times I could almost recite the lines from the script. The same is true with The Maltese Falcon. Those are probably my two favorites. Of course, The African Queen (with Katherine Hepburn, a lifelong friend) and To Have and Have Not (with Lauren Bacall who became his fourth wife) are right up there, too. And there are many more movies that he made while at Warner Bros and afterwards, at his own movie company, Santana, that I would watch again any time the opportunity presented itself.
Bogart's career was a very bumpy ride to stardom. He hated pretense and false praise, and he didn't like phonies. He told people what he thought, and some believe that honesty was what doomed him to small roles for a large part of his career. In fact, most of his early films were "B" movies. Bogart was aware of this. He once said:
"I can't get in a mild discussion without turning it into an argument. There must be something in my tone of voice, or this arrogant face—something that antagonizes everybody. Nobody likes me on sight. I suppose that's why I'm cast as the heavy."
But after making Casablanca, he became the highest paid actor in Hollywood at a salary of $460,000 a year. And since I mentioned Lauren Bacall earlier, here's a bit of trivia that a lot of people aren't aware of. Her quotable line from To Have and Have Not, "You do know how to whistle, don't you?" was cause for Bogie to buy her a gold whistle during the making of that movie. When Bogie died, Lauren placed the gold whistle in his casket.
Now, here comes the whole point of this post. I watched a Bogart film last night that I had never seen. It was entitled The Black Legion. It was a 1937 film with Bogart playing a family man who gets mixed up with the wrong group and ends up in trouble. After the movie was over, I did a little research and learned, to my total surprise, that he and Lauren Bacall had a son named Stephen Humphrey Bogart.
Now that in itself isn't anything astonishing. However, the amazing part is that Stephen just happened to be born on January 6, 1949. I couldn't believe it! My favorite actor's son and I were not only born in the same year, we were born in the same month on exactly the same day—maybe even at the same time! Wow. How cool is that?
So now you know that Bogart's son and I are the same age, exactly, to the day. If you know Stephen Humphrey Bogart, or have his email address, send him a link to this blog and tell him I'd love it if he would take the time to leave a comment.
As Bogie said in the last line of The Maltese Falcon, "It's the stuff that dreams are made of."