Background to Humphrey Bogart's last words
Bogart was a long term heavy drinker and smoker and was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in 1956, although he had probably been suffering with the condition for some time before but had refused to see a doctor.
His last words are widely reported to be "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis". This is certainly a false attribution. The line first appeared in a source that was unconnected with Bogart, the novel What Are the Bugles Blowing For?, which was written by Nicolas Freeling and published in 1975. It was later attributed to Bogart, apparently for no better reason than it sounded like something that he might have said. Other collections of obituaries list his last words as "Goodbye, Spence". This has somewhat more validity as it was actually spoken by Bogart, to Spencer Tracy, the night before his death. Tracy had visited Bogart in hospital and on leaving had said "Goodnight, Bogie", to which Bogart relied "Goodbye, Spence". Tracy reported this as Bogart's way of communicating that he knew his end was near.
Humphrey Bogart's actual last words, "Goodbye Kid. Hurry back", were spoken to his wife Lauren Bacall. She left his hospital bedside briefly to pick up their children. He was comatose when she returned shortly afterwards and never regained consciousness.