Humphrey Bogart was the scion of a rich and socially prominent New York family. His father was a surgeon who in later years declined into drug addiction; his mother, a successful portrait painter who used her obedient son as a model. Humphrey was a poor student and welcomed the interruption to his education of World War I. He played dozens of roles in Broadway plays in the 1920s, mostly in short runs, until he created Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, which typecast him in Warner Brothers gangster films for a decade. He broke through to stardom after he teamed up with John Huston in The Maltese Falcon, and took his place in the Hollywood firmament with the legendary acting ensemble of Casablanca. He survived three tempestuous and childless marriages (his third wife, Mayo Methot, whom he nicknamed "Sluggy", went so far as to stab him), but at the height of his career he found happiness, and children, with the youthful Lauren Bacall. Jeffrey Meyers, the distinguished literary biographer, enlarges the scope of his biographical gift by concentrating on an actor. He cuts through Hollywood hype and gossip to get at the human and artistic qualities that made Bogart great. The biographer of Hemingway sees in Bogart many of the characteristics shared by the supreme novelist and treats Bogart as a professional actor, conveying his ways of working, his dedication and concentration on the set, his love of privacy, his caustic wit and plain life as well as his stoical and tragic way of dying.