Clift, Montgomery

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1920-10-17
Death 1966-07-23
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Montgomery Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 17, 1920, hours after his twin sister Roberta (Ethel). He lived with his father William Brooks Clift, his mother Ethel "Sunny" Fogg Clift, and his older brother William Brooks, Jr. In the mid 1920s his family moved to Chicago and later, in the early 1930s the family settled in New York City.

At the age of twelve, Montgomery Clift made his first stage appearance in an amateur production of As Husbands Go in Sarasota, Florida. His professional stage debut was in a Stockbridge, Massachusetts production of a new comedy called Fly Away Home. In 1935, he made his Broadway debut in a New York production of Fly Away Home. Later that year he opened in a Broadway musical Jubilee. Other Broadway plays include Yr. Obedient Husband, Eye on the Sparrow, Dame Nature, The Mother, There Shall Be No Night with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, The Skin of Our Teeth with Tallulah Bankhead, The Searching Wind, Foxhole in the Parlor, and Tennessee Williams' You Touched Me! Montgomery Clift and his longtime friend Kevin McCarthy also wrote a screenplay of You Touched Me!, but it was never produced. Other plays he appeared in are The Wind and the Rain, Out of the Frying Pan, Our Town, and Mexican Mural. The Sea Gull in 1954 was his final stage appearance.

In 1946 Clift made his first film, a western entitled Red River, opposite John Wayne. Due to a delay in the release however, his film debut was The Search in 1948 which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Later that same year Red River was finally released. In 1949 he co-starred with Olivia DeHavilland in the film The Heiress and went to Germany to film a World War II movie The Big Lift. He earned two more Academy Award nominations for best actor for his performances in A Place in the Sun (1951) and From Here to Eternity (1953). His co-star in A Place in the Sun, Elizabeth Taylor, became one of his long time friends. He made two more films with Elizabeth Taylor, Raintree County (1957) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).

On May 12 1956, Montgomery Clift was involved in a near fatal car accident after leaving a dinner party at Elizabeth Taylor's house in Beverly Hills. The accident disfigured his face, leaving it half paralyzed. Despite his injury he continued to make movies. He appeared with Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and Hope Lange in The Young Lions (1958). He co-starred with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable in the film The Misfits (1961). He also earned his fourth Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his 7-minute performance in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). In 1966, he made his last film entitled The Defector. Other films include I Confess (1953), Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953), Lonelyhearts (1958), Wild River (1960), and Freud (1962).

He died in New York on July 23, 1966 in his sleep. The cause of death was occlusive coronary artery disease. Later that year his last film The Defector was released.

From the guide to the Montgomery Clift papers, Additions, 1929-1969, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Montgomery Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 17, 1920, hours after his twin sister Roberta (Ethel). He lived with his father William Brooks Clift, his mother Ethel "Sunny" Fogg Clift, and his older brother William Brooks, Jr. In the mid 1920's his family moved to Chicago and later, in the early 1930's the family settled in New York City.

At the age of twelve, Montgomery Clift made his first stage appearance in an amateur production of As Husbands Go in Sarasota, Florida. His professional stage debut was in a Stockbridge, Massachusetts production of a new comedy called Fly Away Home . In 1935, he made his Broadway debut in a New York production of Fly Away Home . Later that year he opened in a Broadway musical Jubilee . Other Broadway plays include Yr. Obedient Husband, Eye on the Sparrow, Dame Nature, The Mother, There Shall Be No Night with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, The Skin of Our Teeth with Tallulah Bankhead, The Searching Wind, Foxhole in the Parlor, and Tennessee Williams' You Touched Me! Montgomery Clift and his longtime friend Kevin McCarthy also wrote a screenplay of You Touched Me!, but it was never produced. Other plays he appeared in are The Wind and the Rain, Out of the Frying Pan, Our Town, and Mexican Mural . The Sea Gull in 1954 was his final stage appearance.

In 1946 Clift made his first film, a western entitled Red River, opposite John Wayne. Due to a delay in the release however, his film debut was The Search in 1948 which earned him an Academy Award nomination for best actor. Later that same year Red River was finally released. In 1949 he co-starred with Olivia DeHavilland in the film The Heiress and went to Germany to film a World War II movie The Big Lift . He earned two more Academy Award nominations for best actor for his performances in A Place in the Sun (1951) and From Here to Eternity (1953). His co-star in A Place in the Sun, Elizabeth Taylor, became one of his long time friends. He made two more films with Elizabeth Taylor, Raintree County (1957) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959).

On May 12 1956, Montgomery Clift was involved in a near fatal car accident after leaving a dinner party at Elizabeth Taylor's house in Beverly Hills. The accident disfigured his face, leaving it half paralyzed. Despite his injury he continued to make movies. He appeared with Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, and Hope Lange in The Young Lions (1958). He co-starred with Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable in the film The Misfits (1961). He also earned his fourth Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his 7-minute performance in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). In 1966, he made his last film entitled The Defector . Other films include I Confess (1953), Indiscretion of an American Wife (1953), Lonelyhearts (1958), Wild River (1960), and Freud (1962).

He died in New York on July 23, 1966 in his sleep. The cause of death was occlusive coronary artery disease. Later that year his last film The Defector was released.

From the guide to the Montgomery Clift papers, 1933-1966, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

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Subjects:

  • Theater--United States--20th century
  • Theater--New York (State)--New York
  • Motion pictures--United States--20th century

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  • Actors--Drama
  • Photographers
  • Motion picture actors and actresses--United States

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