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Warner Bros listed his birthdate as Christmas Day, 1899, throughout his career; but film historian Clifford Mc Carty later maintained that the Warner publicity department had altered it from January 23, 1900 "..foster the view that a man born on Christmas Day couldn't really be as villainous as he appeared to be on screen". Bogart's father, Belmont, was a cardiopulmonary surgeon.

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When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film.

His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest (1936), and this led to a period of typecasting as a gangster with films such as Angels with Dirty Faces (1938).

His painful wince, his leer, his fiendish grin were the most accomplished ever seen on film." During his naval days, Bogart's character and values developed independently of family influence, and he began to rebel somewhat against their values.

He came to be a liberal who hated pretensions, phonies, and snobs, and at times defied conventional behavior and authority, traits he displayed in both life and the movies.

He did not, however, forsake good manners, articulateness, punctuality, modesty, and a dislike of being touched.

Bogart received plaudits in an October 15, 1922 newspaper review of the stage play Swifty, which stated: "Humphrey Bogart as the erring young man, Tom Proctor, did an excellent bit of work in the main".He recalled later, "At eighteen, war was great stuff. Another version, which Bogart's long-time friend, author Nathaniel Benchley, holds to, is that Bogart was injured while taking a prisoner to Portsmouth Naval Prison in Kittery, Maine.Changing trains in Boston the handcuffed prisoner allegedly asked Bogart for a cigarette, then while Bogart looked for a match, the prisoner smashed him across the mouth with the cuffs, cutting Bogart's lip and fleeing. An alternative version has Bogart struck in the mouth by a handcuff loosened while freeing his charge, the other still around the prisoner's wrist.Bogart's breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941 with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon.The next year, his performance in Casablanca (1943; Oscar nomination) raised him to the peak of his profession and, at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side.When pleased she "[c]lapped you on the shoulder, almost the way a man does", Bogart recalled.

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