Memorial Day this year is May 30th. If you’re near Portland, Oregon, this is a good opportunity to stop by one of America’s most amazing mausoleums, Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial. The fascinating ‘Rae Room’ tomb is opened annually on Memorial Day.
While there, you can pay respects to Mayo Methot. Her crypt is located on the mausoleum’s main building’s first floor.
Mayo Methot was born March 3, 1904, with this year marking her 118th birthday.
Mayo is remembered in disparate ways, due in part to her colorfully segmented life. Depending on who you ask, she might be thought of as either the innocent Broadway ingenue, sexy siren, or Hollywood bad girl. Often, Mayo is recalled as the wife of film legend Humphrey Bogart.
Regardless of how Mayo is portrayed, her 47 brief years were anything but boring. Early in her career, Mayo Methot was the ‘girl next door,’ yet she was far from ordinary. Armed with ambition, ability and a natural persona, Broadway and Hollywood both wanted her, as did a then-budding actor named Humphrey Bogart. As a result, Mayo lived out a drama-filled life that sometimes mirrored her roles. She also achieved the challenging ‘trifecta’ of starring on New York’s Broadway stage, followed by years in film, then marrying the man named the greatest screen legend of all time by the American Film Institute.
Mayo’s biography, ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby’ covers her storied life. It also sets the record straight about many commonly-held tabloidesque inaccuracies. Among the most common is that Mayo and husband Bogie lived as ‘the battling Bogarts’ throughout their time together. However, along with their seven year marriage, photos like these by Bogart friend Eric Hatch (among others) suggest otherwise.
Among Mayo’s most significant contributions to movie history is her influence on Humphrey Bogart’s elevation from fledgling actor to superstar as stated by actress Louise Brooks, who knew them both:
“Besides 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 – 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.”
Celebrate Mayo’s birthday with ‘Bogie’s Other Baby’ here. It’s a well-researched biography with the real scoop on Mayo’s storied life.
Meeting a US President is the kind of rare occasion few people ever experience. Theatre and film star Mayo Methot met at least two presidents, one while he was in office and the other before he was elected. Like Mayo Methot herself, the backstory for each meeting is unique.
President Woodrow Wilson
Meeting Woodrow Wilson As a pre-teen, Mayo’s fame grew upon joining a Portland advertising group’s 1913 east coast junket. Back then, west coast ad agencies were less known than their east coast competitors. So a publicity effort was devised to get advertisers and agencies to work more with west coast ad firms. Young Mayo was selected as a mascot of sorts to travel with the group. The plan was to introduce her to audiences across the nation as ‘The Portland Rosebud,’ with a final stop being the White House. It worked marvelously. A newspaper trail of the group’s travels confirms positive press wherever the Oregon-based group visited.
The trip culminated with nine-year-old Mayo Methot presenting President Woodrow Wilson with roses and a letter from Oregon Governor Oswald West inviting President Wilson to visit his state.
Meeting Ronald Reagan Mayo’s documented foray into meeting future leader Ronald Reagan occurred during her marriage to Humphrey Bogart. Mayo’s meeting with the future president was aided by their mutual work as actors. A photo of their meeting here has her seated with husband Bogie, along with actress Jane Wyman and husband Ronald Reagan.
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.
Humphrey Bogart’s escape with fourth wife Lauren Bacall to friend Louis Bromfield’s Ohio farm for their 1945 nuptials is well documented. Less known is that Bromfield’s estate was also a getaway for Bogie and wife number three, Mayo Methot on December 18, 1940.
Author Roy Widing was recently interviewed on the ‘True Stories of Tinseltown’ podcast about his latest book. ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby,’ the debut biography of actress Mayo Methot.
Mayo Methot starred on Broadway, in Hollywood and was married to Hollywood leading man Humphrey Bogart during his most productive years. That’s when he starred in films like ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Maltese Falcon.
It’s not too early to start Holiday shopping. For any Hollywood or Humphrey Bogart fans on your list, order a copy of the debut biography ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby.’In addition to her accomplished film career and starring on the Broadway stage, actress Mayo Methot was married to Humphrey Bogart for seven years during a high point in his career. Part of what makes this story so compelling and high profile is her famous husband’s stellar stature, both then and now. Humphrey Bogart is the greatest screen legend of all time, according to the American Film Institute. A few of Bogie’s timeless performances during their highly controversial marriage include ‘Casablanca’ and ‘The Maltese Falcon.’
With her colorful, high-profile behavior and marriage to Hollywood’s biggest star during his career high point, Mayo Methot’s life is replete with talent, drama, celebrity, high stakes and controversy—all ingredients for a fascinating book. ‘Sluggy’ intersects with interesting and conflicted celebrities during a special time known as Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age.’ Order your copy here today!
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.
This 1942 newspaper clipping reveals that not only could Mayo Methot play a practical joke on husband Humphrey Bogart…Bogart was also deemed Portland’s ‘son-in-law.’
Learn more about Mayo’s amazing life, including her tumultuous seven year marriage to Humphrey Bogart, voted greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute, in ‘Sluggy: Bogie’s Other Baby.’
Mayo Methot and husband Humphrey Bogart were featured in an advertisement running 79 years ago this week, in April, 1941.
1941 was a very big year for Bogart, when he starred in the films High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The advertisement for Beech-Nut brand coffee informs readers that Mayo “…can make Humphrey happy” with their mountain-grown product.
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.
Mayo Methot’s first biography is scheduled for release on October 17, 2019, with ebook pre-orders available here. Keep updated using the ‘Follow Blog via Email’ link located at the top right side menu on this page.
‘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 Frigyes Karinthy
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.
Mayo Methot and Humphrey Bogart had much in common, but once they married, media outlets increasingly portrayed her as somewhat of a shrieking shrew.
Mayo Methot circa 1940
By the time the above photo was taken, Mayo had all but disengaged from both the theatre and film. When the topic of her future was raised, Mayo stated “I’m not interested in my career anymore. Humphrey’s career is my interest.” Bogart responded with “Thank you, darling. And to my surprise and amazement, the bride can cook.”
While some are familiar with actress Mayo Methot, few realize she was once known as ‘The Portland Rosebud.’ That moniker stems from her early performances with Portland’s Baker Theatre. Since Portland has long been known as ‘The City of Roses,’ the name seemed apt and stuck.
Young Mayo’s fame only grew when a Portland advertising group traveled to the east coast in 1913. That effort was undertaken for advertisers and ad agencies to send more national advertising dollars to the west coast. Mayo Methot was selected as a mascot of sorts to travel with the group. She was introduced to audiences across the nation as ‘The Portland Rosebud,’ with the main stop being the White House. That’s where 9 year old Mayo Methot presented President Woodrow Wilson—appropriately enough—with roses.
Ever after, Mayo’s nickname nationwide was ‘The Portland Rosebud.’
Mayo Methot’s accomplishments on the stage and in film are well documented. Less known are her grandmother’s pursuits. Elizabeth Wood, mother to Mayo’s own mom Evelyn Methot, invented a ‘mop wringer pail’ that was patented in 1889.
Her mop pail design was eventually marketed through Elizabeth’s own firm, Wood & Company. Elizabeth Wood died in 1906 at the age of 61, just two years after granddaughter Mayo’s birth.