On this day 67 years ago (21st May 1945) Humphrey Bogart married Lauren Bacall to forge one of Holywood’s most famous partnerships. I came across this while researching for an entirely different blog story that was promptly forgotten about. I couldn’t, after all, go past a milestone that lets me talk about one of my favourite all-time actors.
Thinking about Bogart and Bacall also made me wonder about other great on-screen and off-screen partnerships that have entertained and fascinated people down the ages. We all have our favourites – and I’d love to hear yours.
It will come as little surprise to those who know me that my own on-screen favourites were John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara (if you haven’t seen The Quiet Man you need to get a life!) but more about that later.
Let’s get back to Bogie. He was 45 and Bacall was 19 when they met on the set of To Have and Have Not, the first of four films they shared together (the others being The Big Sleep, Dark Passage and Key Largo).
Their first child, Stephen Humphrey Bogart, was born in 1949. I mention this because just last month Reuters reported that Stephen followed in his father’s footsteps by taking a ride in the Florida Keys on the African Queen, the steamboat of the same name as the classic 1951 movie for which his father won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the unkempt, unflappable and hard-drinking captain of the African Queen.
The old vessel, the one used in the film, underwent a $60,000 renovation to restore her to her former glory. In the film she was supposed to have been blown to smithereens in the final scene, but in typical tradition they used a stand-in!
Bogart was a legend. During a career spanning 30 years he appeared in 75 films and earned the American Film Institute’s accolade as the greatest male star in American cinema. His credits include such classics as:
The Maltese Falcon
Angels with Dirty Faces
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Caine Mutiny
The Harder They Fall (his last movie).
Despite his impressive list of personal achievements it was his screen time with Bacall that is most remembered. It’s hard to find anyone who will speak of Bogie without also making the link to Bacall. It was that kind of chemistry.
So, who else had it? I’ve already mentioned Wayne and O’Hara (who weren’t married and never had a romantic attachment) but who else comes to mind?
Here are a few others to get you thinking:
Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn
Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn
Jean Simmons and Stewart Granger
Paulette Goddard and Charlie Chaplin
Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh
Kelly Preston and John Travolta
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin
Lauren Holly and Jim Carrey
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid
Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
Mia Farrow and Woody Allen
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem
Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig
Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold
Sadie Frost and Jude Law
Susan Sarandon and Timothy Robbins.
Who am I missing? What husband and wife combos did you like on the big screen? Please use the Leave a Reply box below to help complete the list.