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HomeEntertainmentHumphrey Bogart Once Revealed The Reason He Lost Interest In Performing Live

Humphrey Bogart Once Revealed The Reason He Lost Interest In Performing Live



Born in New York City in 1899, Bogart began acting after a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War I. He made his Broadway debut in a play called “Drifting,” and it was a sign of the times that he — a descendent of Dutch colonial settlers — was cast to portray a Japanese waiter (via AP). While he started out with just one line to deliver, his acting career quickly took off from there with bigger roles and many more live performances on Broadway. “I did an awful lot of it when I was a kid. I started in ’21 and I was in seven smash hits in a row and I thought the world was my oyster,” Bogart said in a 1954 interview.

Finding success on stage must have seemed easy, and it certainly built his confidence in his craft. But then, he decided to change things up. He made a move across the country to Hollywood. Surely his talents would easily translate to screen work, and no doubt, movie studios would see his star potential. But unfortunately, there was just one insurmountable problem. “I came to Hollywood and was a terrible flop here,” Bogart recalled.

So instead of launching a Hollywood career, he turned around and went back to New York, where he continued performing on Broadway. Unfortunately, his next four plays were flops, too. By that point, his heart just wasn’t in it anymore, and Bogart made a promise to himself. If he ever made it to Hollywood again, he’d stay. And he wouldn’t return to the stage.

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