77 (passed away Sep. 27th, 1981)
May. 21st, 1904
Beacon, New York, USA
Robert Montgomery's Main TV Roles[no roles found]
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
As a child, Robert Montgomery enjoyed a privileged life, as his father was the president of the New York Rubber Co. When he died, the fortune was gone and Robert worked at a number of jobs. He later went to New York to be a writer, and on the advice of a friend tried acting. He worked with George Cukor on the stage and his first film, at MGM, was So This Is College (1929). When Norma Shearer picked him to be her leading man in Private Lives (1931), he was set. He played many likable characters over the years, covering the gamut from very poor to very rich. In 1935, he became President of the Screen Actors Guild. His stay with MGM lasted 16 years, and was only interrupted by WWII when he joined the navy. He saw action in both Europe and the Pacific. He returned to MGM in 1945 and co-starred with John Wayne (I) in the John Ford (I)-directed They Were Expendable (1945) and then made his directorial debut with Lady in the Lake (1947) (although he had directed a few scenes, uncredited, in They Were Expendable (1945) when John Ford (I) took ill). He then left MGM to become an independent director, preferring work behind the camera instead of in front. He was a friendly witness before the House Un-American Activities in 1947 during the McCarthy era and then spent most of his time on television and stage. His popular show, "Robert Montgomery Presents" (1950), was where daughter Elizabeth Montgomery (I) (who later gained fame as beautiful witch Samantha on TV's popular "Bewitched" (1964)) got her first acting job.
- Son of Henry Montgomery and wife Mary Weed Barney.
- Was widely considered to be one of the best dressed men in Hollywood and for years did not carry a wallet because it ruined the drape of his suits.
- (1935-1938) President of Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
- Father of actress 'Elizabeth Montgomery (I)' (qv).
- He was host of CBS Radio's "Suspense" for six months in 1948 when the show went from a half hour to an hour.
- Served on the board of directors of several major corporations in the 1960s, including R.H. Macy and Co. and the Milwaukee Telephone Company.
- Actually had three children by wife Elizabeth Bryan Allen. His first child, Martha Bryan, was born October 13, 1930, but died of spinal meningitis at the age of 14 months. Elizabeth and Robert Jr. arrived in 1933 and 1936.
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 571-573. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
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