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.
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Given their age difference, fourth wife Lauren Bacall was sometimes called ‘Bogie’s Baby.’ But long before Bacall was Mayo Methot, ‘Bogie’s Other Baby.’ The first ever biography about Mayo Methot is scheduled for release on October 17th, 2019, with e-book pre-orders now available.
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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.
Mayo Methot’s paternal grandmother Minnie helped pave the way for her granddaughter’s entertainment future.
Public Domain Image
Minnie Methot both sang opera and composed numerous songs, like ‘Don’t Be So Unruly.’
Oregon’s Catlin Gabel Campus in Autumn
‘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.’
Margaux Hemingway-Model, actress & granddaughter of novelist Ernest Hemingway.
Gus Van Sant, Jr. -Film Director
Gus Van Sant, Jr.
Mayo Methot rests at Wilhelm’s Portland Memorial, a historic mausoleum founded in 1901. It’s appropriately located in Portland, Oregon, the place Mayo long called home.
‘Fight Club’ author Chuck Palahniuk describes navigating the massive mausoleum, a resting place for nearly 100,000:
“Within ten minutes you’ll be confused and lost. But while you’re hunting for the way out, look for the crypt of Mayo Methot…”
Also named on Mayo’s crypt are her parents, father Jack Methot and mother, Evelyn.
Rosebuds for the Portland Rosebud Photo © Roy Widing/All Rights Reserved
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.