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News from the Coast yesterday that Humphrey Bogart had traded in his gat came, if it had to come, at the wrong time of year. Bogie, the Andover man who never made it to Yale, was a welcome friend in warm, dark movie houses as exams menaced. While many of his 70-odd pictures will be around a long time, it's sad to realize that he won't be climbing in and out of shiny limousines on rainy nights, his dirty trenchcoat stiff despite his jaunty gait, his ragged lisp almost but never quite making him sound comical.
Characteristically, Bogie went out belting. On Saturday night, the Homely Hills Rat Pack--a crowd of millionaire and movie star drinking pals--met as usual at Bogie's to trade barbs with the "head rat." Lauren ("Baby") Bacall, his fourth wife who first drew his attention in To Have and Have Not when she told him, "If you want anything, all you have to do is whistle," presided as "den mother." Monday morning the children went off to school as usual, too.
Bogie admitted that he trusted only people who drank. This meant most of Hollywood. But he said once, when he was making $200,000 a picture, that "I've survived pretty well in a rough business, don't you think?" He did survive, and probably will for several years, not because he was a great actor but because he was an entertaining one. He scarcely ever was anything but Bogie in the movies, but that was something.
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