Fans of Humphrey Bogart are well aware of his multiple marriages. Of them all, Bogie’s most tempestuous were his seven years as husband to actress Mayo Methot. Nicknamed ‘Sluggy,’ Mayo’s public disagreements with her movie ‘tough guy’ spouse made the ‘Battling Bogarts’ a constant source of celebrity news. Here are three tidbits you probably didn’t know about Bogie’s famously feisty partner.
1. When Mayo was just a teenager, her sea captain father broke the jaw of a young boy who blew kisses to her. This taught Mayo to take matters into her own hands…later with her Hollywood husband.
2. Early in their relationship, Mayo was an accomplished Broadway star and ‘Bogie’ was a struggling movie novice. Their roles changed over time and as Bogart acquired bigger parts, Mayo relinquished both her stage and screen career.
Mayo Methot – 1930, The Ben Solowey Collection
3. After her death in 1951, Humphrey Bogart had flowers regularly sent to Mayo’s Oregon crypt. They stopped arriving in 1957, the year of Bogart’s own passing.
Initially designated to honor the deceased who served in our military, Memorial Day for some is also connected to the memory of civilians.
Memorializing is one way to honor others who are no longer with us. After her death at the age of 47 in 1951, actress Mayo Methot’s former husband, Humphrey Bogart, reportedly sent flowers to her crypt until he died in 1957.
Due to this year’s Coronavirus concerns, few are expected to visit the Portland, Oregon mausoleum where Mayo is interred. Yet the memory of Mayo Methot lives on for many who appreciate her noteworthy legacy, since this small town girl ‘made it’ by achieving the most unlikely trifecta of all.
That’s because Mayo (1). Starred on Broadway, (2). Performed for years before the klieg lights of Hollywood and (3). Married arguably the biggest screen icon of all time, Humphrey Bogart, named the greatest male star by the American Film Institute.
The below 1943 news column by journalist Jimmy Fidler provides an often overlooked perspective about the relationship between Humphrey Bogart and his wife, Mayo Methot. Fidler suggests their much-reported tempestuous relationship was calmer at sea in the absence of others, especially away from the white hot media spotlight.
Click Image for Details
The couple’s mutual nautical interests were aided by the fact that Bogart was a Navy veteran and Mayo’s father a sea captain.
Mayo & Bogie, Happy at Sea
While aboard their boat the ‘Sluggy,’ the case can be made that these two professional actors didn’t have an audience egging them on, so it was easier to simply enjoy each other’s company. Get the real story behind film icon Humphrey Bogart’s seven year marriage to stage and screen actress Mayo Methot here in the new book ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby.’
This week—seventy six years ago, in November, 1946—Ohio’s Evening Independent newspaper documented an employment offer for stage & screen star Mayo Methot.
1946 News Article
The opportunity arrived more than a year after Humphrey Bogart and Mayo Methot divorced. Yet it wasn’t the only offer Mayo received. That’s because a year earlier, Mayo received a different letter from an experienced Broadway producer & director:
“…I want to bring you back to the theatre, either as a player or a co-producer. I have the play which I intend to open in N.Y…”
‘Sluggy’ is the biography of Mayo Methot, third wife of film star Humphrey Bogart during the peak of his career. Anyone curious about their seven year roller-coaster Hollywood marriage will find ‘Sluggy’ a revealing view into the mercurial relationship that even movie ‘tough guy’ Humphrey Bogart couldn’t control. His later wife was called ‘Bogie’s Baby.’ Yet years before her, was ‘Bogie’s Other Baby,’ Mayo Methot. Buy ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby.’ Available at Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ls7dhb
It was an August, 1938 trip to Portland soon after their marriage that signaled both Mayo’s commitment to new husband Humphrey Bogart and her disengagement from acting. Mayo had a minor role in the film ‘The Sisters’ released on October 14, 1938, starring Errol Flynn and Bette Davis. Yet when the topic of her future was raised in a front page Oregon Journal story on August 24, 1938, Mayo stated “…I’m not interested in my career anymore. Humphrey’s career is my interest.” Humphrey responded with “Thank you, darling. And to my surprise and amazement, the bride can cook.” However, Hollywood’s hold on Mayo hadn’t completely loosened.
Humphrey Bogart’s third wife, Hollywood and Broadway performer Mayo Methot, is interred at Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial in Portland, Oregon. Known as ‘The Portland Rosebud’, Mayo’s hometown experiences were key in shaping her later success.
Perform an Internet search or read the countless books about Hollywood. There you’ll find sordid and sorry snippets of Mayo Methot’s once high-profile life. What hasn’t been told is a fact-based account of both her human frailties and strengths.
Mayo Methot’s untold backstory of grit and talent included a work ethic that took her to the top. ‘Sluggy’ fills this void with the ambition of even-handedness, avoiding hagiography and its evil twin, the hatchet job. —Excerpt from ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby.’
Mayo Methot was Humphrey Bogart’s third wife. Born in 1904, she was twenty years older than Lauren Bacall, Bogart’s fourth wife. Before Bacall’s 1924 birth, Mayo Methot was already performing on the Broadway stage, as noted in this newspaper article.
‘Six degrees of separation’ involves the concept that we’re all six or fewer personal connections from each other. This means if you follow the ‘friend of a friend’ link far enough, any two people can be linked within a maximum of six steps. While the theory has been popularized more recently, an early proponent of ‘six degrees of separation’ was Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in 1929.
‘Six Degrees’ proponent Karinthy Frigyes
Mayo Methot’s educational background is shared by well known luminaries. Like Mayo, some have been been involved in acting and/or film. Here are a few of Mayo’s fellow celebrities from Oregon’s Catlin Gabel School, previously known as ‘Miss Catlin’s School.’
Catlin Students Margaux Hemingway-Model, actress & granddaughter of novelist Ernest Hemingway.
An early object of Mayo Methot’s affection was actor William Reid, whom she met as a youth.
Wallace Reid – Public Domain Photo
After an injury in 1919 while filming ‘Valley of the Giants’ on location in Oregon, the ‘movie star handsome’ Reid was given painkillers in order to continue filming. He became addicted and as a result, his health deteriorated. In 1923, Wallace Reid died in the arms of his wife, Dorothy Davenport. Wallace Reid is now considered one of Hollywood’s earliest victims of drug addiction.