Edit
Melvin Belli Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (6) | Trivia (5) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 29 July 1907Sonora, California, USA
Date of Death 9 July 1996San Francisco, California, USA  (pancreatic cancer; stroke; pneumonia)
Birth NameMelvin Moulon Belli
Nickname King of Torts

Mini Bio (1)

Melvin Belli was born on July 29, 1907 in Sonora, California, USA as Melvin Moulon Belli. He was an actor and producer, known for Guilty or Innocent (1984), Whodunnit? (1979) and Gimme Shelter (1970). He was married to Nancy Ho, Lia Triff, Pat Montandon, Betty Ballantine, Joy Turney and Toni Nichols. He died on July 9, 1996 in San Francisco, California.

Spouse (6)

Nancy Ho (29 March 1996 - 9 July 1996) (his death)
Lia Triff (3 June 1972 - 1988) (divorced) (1 child)
Pat Montandon (1966 - 1966) (annulled)
Betty Ballantine (1933 - 1951) (divorced) (4 children)
Toni Nichols (? - ?) (divorced)
Joy Turney (? - ?) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (5)

As an attorney, he defended Jack Ruby, the man who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
His son, Caesar Belli (full name Melvin Caesar Belli), now a personal injury lawyer, appeared with his father Melvin in the Star Trek (1966) episode Star Trek: And the Children Shall Lead (1968).
The flamboyant attorney represented such celebrities as Mae West, Muhammad Ali, Jim Bakker & Tammy Faye Bakker, Errol Flynn, Beverly Aadland, Tony Curtis, Lenny Bruce, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Chuck Berry, Alex Haley, Nick Nolte, Lana Turner and The Rolling Stones. Though he won more than $600 million in damages for his clients, keeping a third for himself as commission, he filed for bankruptcy the year he died.
He won a class-action suit against Dow-Corning. Despite his victory in court, Dow-Corning's subsequent bankruptcy left him unable to recoup the $5,000,000 his firm has spent on physicians and other expert witnesses. This forced his firm, not him personally, to seek bankruptcy protection in December, 1995, just months before his death.
Ex-father-in-law of Gretchen Belli.

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm not an ambulance chaser. I'm usually there before the ambulance.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page