As with so many Hollywood legends, there are a lot of dubious stories about Humphrey Bogart. The New York Times reported three years ago that he was actually born on January 23, 1899, rather than Christmas Day as Warner Brothers publicity had it. One widely held belief places him as the original model for the Gerber Baby Food infant (his mother, a successful magazine illustrator, actually drew for a far lesser-known company). Many sources credit his trademark scarred, partially paralyzed lip and resulting lisp on a World War I combat mission aboard the vessel “Leviathan,” although it’s just as likely to have come from being busted in the mouth by a shackled Navy prisoner he was escorting or simply from a large wood splinter at the age of 12. A current furniture company ad even identifies him erroneously with the art deco style of the 30s, when in fact he didn’t reach major stardom until the 40s in films that generally placed him in the shadowy world of urban streets and dingy offices.
Happy Birthday Bogie on TCM 12–25–08