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

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Born in New York City in 1899, Bogart began acting after serving in the US 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 descendant of Dutch settlers — was cast to portray a Japanese waiter (via AP). Starting out with just one line, his acting career quickly took off with bigger roles and many more live performances on Broadway. “I did a lot of these when I was a kid. I started 21 and was on seven straight hits and I thought the world was my oyster,” Bogart said in a 1954 interview.

Being successful on stage must have seemed easy to him and certainly boosted his confidence in his craft. But then he decided to change things up. He moved across the country to Hollywood. Certainly his talents would easily translate to the big screen, and no doubt film studios would recognize his star potential. But alas, there was only one insurmountable problem. “I came to Hollywood and was a terrible flop here,” Bogart recalled.

So instead of embarking on a Hollywood career, he turned around and went back to New York, where he continued to perform on Broadway. Unfortunately, his next four plays were also flops. At this point his heart just wasn’t in it anymore and Bogart made a promise to himself. If he ever made it back to Hollywood, he would stay. And he would not return to the stage.



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