Humphrey Bogart and Mayo Methot
It was 1943 and it was an instance of love at first sight—for Bogie, at least. The married actor found himself love struck when he first met Lauren Bacall on the set of the adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not (1944). Bacall was less than enthralled by her costar, a hard drinking man who was 25 years her senior and had a wife back home. But the two developed a respectful working relationship, until Bogie kissed her on a whim one day while on set. Bacall gave him her phone number.
Bogart started writing Bacall love letters: "You are my last love and all the rest of my life I shall love you," said one. When Bacall's mother visited the set she was outraged that her 19-year-old daughter was encouraging the advances of an older married man. Right after filming wrapped the duo teamed up again for The Big Sleep and Bogie's wife, suspicious of an affair, filed for divorce.
Bogie's marriage to actress Mayo Methot had always been fraught with tension; the pair were even dubbed "the Battling Bogarts." Their Hollywood residence was a known battleground and it was common knowledge that the pair got into physical altercations with one another. Methot once stabbed Bogart in the shoulder, but Warner Brothers intervened to suppress the story.
But when Methot caught wind of her husband's philandering ways—with a woman young enough to be his daughter—she began to visit the film set to keep an eye on him. We can only guess that she didn't like what she saw and sent him packing (some sources claim it was actually Bogart who initiated the divorce proceedings).
On May 21, 1945, Bogie wed Bacall and the tabloids had a field day. The quick turnaround, the ongoing affair and the age gap kept gossip columnists busy.
The couple went on to do two more films together and had two children, but they couldn't be more different from one another—and age was definitely a factor. Bogie preferred leisurely days spent on his boat while Bacall liked to take in the nightlife. Soon, the pair came to an arrangement and Bogart started dating his hairdresser Verita Peterson while Bacall expressed interest in Bogie's friend, Frank Sinatra. Despite their open marriage, Bogie and Bacall stayed together until his death from esophageal cancer in 1957.
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