Life Span: Born 17th October 1920, Omaha, Nebraska; died 23rd July 1966, New York.
Star Sign: Libra
Famous As: US film and stage actor.
Background: His mother, Ethel 'Sunny' Clift, spent much of her life and the family fortune researching into her family background and in trying to bring up her children in a grand style. His father, William Clift, had been successful in banking although he had little money during the depression. Montgomery Clift had a twin sister, Roberta, and a brother, Brooks, who was eighteen months older.
Work: Clift took up modelling at the age of 13. When he was 15 he had moved to New York and had started acting on the stage. He was exclusively a stage actor for the next ten years and was one of the founding members of the famous Actors Studio. He appeared in original productions of The Skin of Our Teeth and There Shall Be No Night.
He turned down several offers of film roles but eventually took a role in Red River, (1946), and was briefly considered to be the most promising on the post-war US film actors. He was an extraordinarily handsome in his youth and his sensitive and sensual approach made him attractive to both men and woman.
In 1956, while he was making Raintree County with Elizabeth Taylor, he was involved in a car accident in which he nearly died and which left him permanently scarred. Afterwards he became drug and alcohol dependent. He spent a great deal of time and money on psychiatric counselling.
During his life he was not out as gay publicly but he did not try to keep it a secret in Hollywood.
A biopic called Montgomery Clift using film clips and documentary footage was released in 1983.
Friends & Relationships: in New York he became friends with the Lunts, Lehman Engel, and Thornton Wilder. In 1940 he had his first regular male lover who was a fellow actor.
Lasting Legacy: A number of great film roles including Suddenly Last Summer (1959).
Acting (Theatre): Fly Away Home, 1935. Jubilee, 1935. Your Obedient Husband, 1938. Eye On The S parrow, 1938. The Wind And The Rain, 1938. Dame Nature, 1938. The Mother, 1939. There Shall Be No Night, 1940. Mexican Mural, 1942. The Skin Of Our Teeth, 1942. Our Town, 1944. The Searching Wind, 1944. Foxhole In The Parlor, 1945. You Touched Me!, 1945. The Seagull, 1935.
Acting (Film): Red River, 1946, as Matthew 'Matt' Garth. The Search, 1948, as writer and actor as Ralph Stevenson. Received an Academy Award nomination. The Heiress, 1950, as Morris Townsend. The Big Lift, 1950, as Danny MacCullough. A Place in the Sun, 1951, as George Eastman. Received an Academy Award nomination. From Here to Eternity, 1953, as Private Robert E. Lee 'Prew' Prewitt. Received an Academy Award nomination. I Confess, 1953, as Father Michael Logan. Stazione Termini, 1953, as Giovanni Doria, (also called Indiscretion). Raintree County, 1957, as John Wickliff Shawnessy. Operation Raintree, 1957, as himself. The Young Lions, 1958, as Noah Ackerman. Lonelyhearts, 1959, as Adam White. Suddenly, Last Summer, 1959, as Dr. John Cukrowicz. Wild River, 1960, as Chuck Glover. The Misfits, 1961, as Perce Howland. Judgement at Nuremberg, 1961, as Rudolph Peterson. Freud, 1962, as Sigmund Freud. The Love Goddesses, 1965, as himself. The Defector, 1966, as Professor James Bower.