Movies - TV
Humphrey Bogart's Constant Smoking Served A Practical Purpose
By SHAE SENNETT
It’s difficult to picture legendary actor Humphrey Bogart without a cigarette hanging from his lips, giving him the signature cool and rebellious image that he’s known for. Smoking was common in films in the ‘30s, so it’s no wonder there are more scenes of him with a cigarette than without, and his constant smoking even led to cigarettes being nicknamed “Bogeys” in his honor.
During long-winded monologues, it was common for actors to smoke to keep the audience’s attention, a practice that Bogart adopted. According to producer Rob Long’s account, the actor was concerned a scene was too boring and said the only way to make the scene interesting was to add “two camels f***ing” in the background.
Instead, his director gave him a pack of cigarettes, which became his calling card, as he used the prop to add dramatic effect to his scenes. Unfortunately, the iconic prop that defined his anti-hero characters would lead to his death, with Bogart spending the last year of his life bedridden with throat cancer.