Montgomery Clift (October 17, 1920 - July 23, 1966) was an American actor. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Clift appeared on Broadway at the age of thirteen. He achieved success on the stage and starred there for ten years before moving to Hollywood, debuting in 1948's Red River opposite John Wayne. Along with Marlon Brando and James Dean, Clift was considered the most influential actor of his generation. Clift was also famous for his good looks and intense, penetrating eyes.
Clift was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor that same year for The Search. He had a highly successful film career, performing in many Oscar-nominated roles and becoming a matinee idol for his good looks. His love scenes with Elizabeth Taylor in A Place In The Sun (1951) set the standard for romance in cinema. His signature roles were George Eastman in A Place in the Sun (1951) and Prewitt in From Here To Eternity (1953). Then he was off the screen for 4 years, until Raintree County in 1957. Amazingly, Clift was nominated for a best supporting actor Oscar for Judgment at Nuremberg in a role that only took up seven minutes of screen time. But his guilt over his hidden homosexuality led to alcoholism and drug use. In 1956, while filming Raintree County, he smashed his car into a tree, and only quick thinking by co-star Elizabeth Taylor, who pulled two teeth out of his throat to keep him from choking, saved his life. He needed reconstructive surgery on his face and returned to acting, although he could no longer play romantic leading roles.
He turned down the starring roles in East of Eden and Sunset Boulevard. However, he did appear in Wild River, a 1960 film listed in the United States National Film Registry.
Montgomery Clift died in 1966 at the age of 45 of a heart attack brought on by his severe drug and alcohol addictions. He was interred in the Quaker Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
The songs "Monty got a Raw Deal" by R.E.M. and "The Right Profile" by The Clash are about him, and even The Clash's live album was named for one of his films (From Here to Eternity).
Academy Award Nominations:
1962 - Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Judgment at Nuremberg
1954 - Best Actor in a Leading Role - From Here to Eternity
1952 - Best Actor in a Leading Role - A Place in the Sun
1949 - Best Actor in a Leading Role - The Search
Clift has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6104 Hollywood Blvd.
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
The Misfits (1961)
Wild River (1960)
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Raintree County (1957)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
I Confess (1953)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
The Heiress (1949)
The Search (1948)