Humphrey Bogart Feared He Was Gay

Even though he supposedly slept with 1,000 women

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 27, 2010 10:09 AM CDT

(Newser) – Humphrey Bogart may have been known as a legendary lover—both on screen and off—but he feared he was gay before meeting fourth wife Lauren Bacall. A new biography by Darwin Porter alleges Bogart slept with 1,000 women before marrying Bacall in 1945, but began to fear he was gay when he became impotent during his second marriage to Mary Philips, the Daily Mail reports.

“When I can't perform she mocks and ridicules me,” the book claims Bogart said, adding that he told a friend he considered suicide, “but I never get beyond the thinking stage. I just can't see myself taking a razor to my throat.” Humphrey Bogart, the Making of a Legend, out next month, also claims his first wife, Helen Menken, had “a lot of lesbian affairs.”

circa 1945:  American actor Lauren Bacall sits in the lap of her husband, actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), looking over her shoulder while a makeup artist touches up Bogart on a film set.
circa 1945: American actor Lauren Bacall sits in the lap of her husband, actor Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), looking over her shoulder while a makeup artist touches up Bogart on a film set.   (Getty Images)
1945:  Married American actors Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957) kneel in front of a fireplace in their home, California.
1945: Married American actors Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957) kneel in front of a fireplace in their home, California.   (Getty Images)
1945:  American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957) points at a script with his eyeglasses while his wife, American actor Lauren Bacall, reads over his shoulder.
1945: American actor Humphrey Bogart (1899 - 1957) points at a script with his eyeglasses while his wife, American actor Lauren Bacall, reads over his shoulder.   (Getty Images)
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