Actor. He is best remembered for his role as ‘Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt’ in the motion picture "From Here to Eternity" (1953). He represented the new wave of post-World War II actors who were handsome, intelligent, soft-spoken, introspective, and acted with intensity. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta, to a banking family, his mother, Ethel, had been born out of wedlock, and she determined that the children would grow up knowing their true southern aristocratic heritage. At age 13, Montgomery appeared on Broadway in "Fly Away Home" which gave him the acting bug. He stayed in New York theater for the next ten years, before going on to Hollywood, debuting in "Red River" (1948) with John Wayne. During World War II, he was rejected for military service due to allergies and colitis. He earned a total of four Oscar nominations for his roles in such films as "A Place in the Sun" (1951), "From Here to Eternity" (1953), and "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961). Depressed over his homosexuality (not acceptable in society then), he began drinking heavily, and became an alcoholic, and addicted to pills. In 1957, while filming "Raintree County" (1957), he ran his car into a tree, severely smashing his face. While his face was rebuilt, he reconciled with his estranged father, but was still struggling with his addictions to pills and alcohol. Recovering well, he put on a feted performance opposite Marlon Brando in "The Young Lions" (1958), and with Elizabeth Taylor in "Suddenly Last Summer" (1959). While working on "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967), he was found dead in his bed by his companion, Lorenzo James. The autopsy revealed that he had died of "occlusive coronary artery disease."
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson