Welcome to MayoMethot.com, dedicated to film & stage actress Mayo Methot.
WHY THIS WEBSITE?
Despite her impressive accomplishments, Mayo Methot remains obscure and enigmatic to many. When she is remembered, it’s often as the erstwhile, problematic alcoholic wife of screen legend Humphrey Bogart. Yet a closer examination shows Mayo’s uneven life of startling achievement and shattered promise resembles the entertainment industry: An attractive facade with plenty of sadness.
It’s unfair to relegate Mayo Methot’s legacy to that of a boozy floozy. She personifies talent early in her career and near the end stokes what some see as the then-slumbering abilities of her more famous husband.
A THUMBNAIL SKETCH
Mayo’s success on stage and screen begins long before she meets Humphrey Bogart. After years in the theatre, child star Mayo Methot receives national attention, even meeting the president at the White House. Mayo’s next big break catapults her to the lights of Broadway.
As movies replace the popularity of theatre, many actors don’t make a successful jump from the the stage or silent films to the next big thing: “Talkies.” Mayo’s credible theatre experience, honed acting skills and developed speaking ability helps her successfully transition to roles in this new phase of film. She eventually acts with plenty of other luminaries of the screen, including future husband Humphrey Bogart, plus James Cagney and Bette Davis.
Long missing from the story of Mayo Methot are answers to important, yet rarely asked questions. This includes issues like why Mayo and ‘Bogey’ married in the first place and a review of the powder-keg dynamics impacting their relationship. Respected observers credit Mayo with helping make Humphrey Bogart the household legend he remains to this day. This directly contradicts the popular notion that Mayo had only a negative effect on Bogart’s life and career.
A FAMILIAR ‘SPIN’
Mayo Methot and Humphrey Bogart shared a famously tempestuous relationship. As a result, many are now familiar with Mayo’s documented jealous rages and excessive drinking. This also helps to explain why Mayo remains a convenient scapegoat for Bogart’s unhappiness, at least until he leaves her to marry Lauren Bacall. But there is more to the story from those in a position to know. Actress Louise Brooks made the following observation:
“Besides actor Leslie Howard, no other person contributed so much to Humphrey’s success as his third wife, Mayo Methot. He found her at a time of lethargy and loneliness when he might have gone on playing secondary gangster parts at Warner Brothers for a year and then out. But he met Mayo and she set fire to him. Those passions of envy, hatred and violence-which were essential to the Bogey character, which had been simmering beneath his failure for so many years, she brought to a boil, and blew the lid off all his inhibitions forever. Part of her mission was accomplished under my direct observation.”
Is the marriage between Bogart and Mayo wedded bliss? Hardly. But in addition to eyewitness accounts confirming Mayo’s considerable positive effects on her husband, some of Bogart’s finest performances happen to occur while he’s married to Mayo, further underscoring her positive contributions to the life and career of Humphrey Bogart. Regarding the chemistry between Mayo and Humphrey Bogart, one observer noted: “I think he found her amusing. She made him laugh a lot. And Bogie liked to laugh.”
Bogart is said to have taken delight in ‘needling’ others and this includes his wives. No teetotaler himself, there is little doubt Bogart contributes to the couple’s well-known fights. Further complicating the situation are the aging Mayo’s feelings of insecurity. With her own career stalled after decades of dramatic successes, Mayo’s now more-famous husband is paid to kiss stunningly beautiful women like Ingrid Bergman during the filming of ‘Casablanca.’
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