4 November 2014

Bogie always adored you

On 14 January 1957, Humphrey Bogart died of cancer at age 57, leaving behind his wife Lauren Bacall, son Stephen and daughter Leslie. He also left behind a lot of friends, many of whom were his colleagues from the film industry. One of them was Clifton Webb. Webb and Bogie had been friends ever since they starred together in the Broadway play "Meet the Wife" in the early 1920s. Shortly after Bogie's death, Lauren Bacall sent a note to Webb thanking him for his long and loyal friendship. Bacall's note is quite touching and is shown below.

Left photo: Humphrey Bogart, Clifton Webb and Laurence Olivier in 1933. Right: Bogie and Webb with Marilyn Monroe at Romanoff's in 1954.
Source: heritage auctions/ image reproduced with permission

Transcript:

Darling Clifton-

This is just an inarticulate but truly felt note to try to thank you for your long friendship, loyalty, and love for Bogie- for seeing him when you did and behaving as you did. I know how hard it was for you but you came through in style. Bogie always adored you. You knew him long before I did so I guess you knew that. I envy you for those extra years- you were lucky and so was I. I'm grateful for it all- there's never been a man like Bogie. It won't be the same for us, Cliff- but we have a lot that can never be taken from us and for that I'm grateful. So darling- you are now my good friend and I like that.
Always my love- Betty

Lauren Bacall wrote her message to Clifton Webb on a note card from which she had removed the "Mr. and" part. (Image source: heritage auctions)
Relaxing during a lunch for the Oliviers. In the photo, amongst others, Laurence Olivier, Clifton Webb, Vivien Leigh, Joan Bennett, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and in the chair Maybelle Webb, Clifton Webb's mother. (Photo source: heritage auctions)

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