Gay History, Gay Celebrities, Gay Icons
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Oscar Wilde to Truman Capote, Salvador Dali to David Hockney, Yves St Laurent to Gianni Versace, Rock Hudson
to Stephen Fry to name but a few - they form a vast and exciting part of gay history.
Life Span: Born
17th October 1920, Omaha, Nebraska; died 23rd July
1966, New York.
Star Sign: Libra
Famous As: US
film and stage actor.
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.
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.
After the financial failure of Freud, (1962),
he found it difficult to find work until Elizabeth
Taylor insisted on him being her co-star in Reflections
in a Golden Eye in which he would play an overtly
homosexual character. However, he died of a heart
attack a few months before filming was scheduled
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.
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
In 1949 he was arrested on 42nd. Street in New
York for 'soliciting' but his film studio intervened
to ensure that the charge was dropped without
Lasting Legacy: A number of great film roles including
Suddenly Last Summer (1959).
(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.
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.
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