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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 11 January 1887Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Date of Death 18 February 1963Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameGerard Montgomery Blue
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Stalwart, durable Monte Blue, a romantic leading man of the silent days, was born January 11, 1887, as Gerard Monte Blue (some sources indicate 1890, but his mother's application for his admission to the Soldier's and Sailor's Orphan's Home lists his birth date as January 11, 1887). Various sources have reported his first name as George or Gerald, but, again, in his mother's application, it is spelled Gerard. His father was killed in a car crash when Monte was eight and his mother could not support five children. He was admitted (along with another brother) to the orphanage at that time. There he built up his physique playing football. At one time or another the able-bodied gent was a railroader, a fireman, a coal miner, a cowpuncher, a ranch hand, a circus rider, a lumberjack and, finally, trekking west, he became a day laborer for D.W. Griffith's Biograph Studios.

Blue eventually became a stuntman for Griffith and an extra in The Birth of a Nation (1915), which was his first film. Griffith took him in and made him an assistant on his classic epic Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916), where he earned another small part. Gradually moving to support roles for both Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille, Blue earned his breakthrough role as "Danton" in Griffith's Orphans of the Storm (1921) with sisters Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish. He rose to stardom as a rugged romantic lead opposite Hollywood's top silent stars, among them Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow and Norma Shearer. He made a relatively easy transition into talkies as he had a fine, cultivated voice, but, at the same time, lost most of his investments when the stock market crashed in 1929. By the 1930s the aging star had moved back into small, often unbilled parts, continuously employed, however, by his old friend DeMille and Warner Bros. At the end of his life he was working as an advance man for the Hamid-Morton Circus in Milwaukee. He died of a coronary attack complicated by influenza in 1963.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Betty Jean Munson Mess (1959 - 18 February 1963) (his death)
Tova Jansen (11 November 1924 - 23 March 1956) (her death)
Erma Gladys (? - 1923) (divorced)

Trivia (9)

Entered films as a screenwriter and stuntman with D.W. Griffith.
Silent-film actor.
Wife Tove Janson is daughter of Bodil Rosing.
He was raised in an orphans' home (The Soldiers and Sailors Orphans Home in Knightstown, Indiana). His father, a Civil War veteran in the Union army who had once served as a scout for famed frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody, was killed in a car crash when Blue was eight years old and his mother could not raise Monte and her other four children by herself.
Children with Tove Janson: Barbara Ann and Richard (d. 1962)
Once appeared in a Harry Houdini movie called The Grim Game (1919) in which he did stunts in an airplane because Houdini had a fear of flying.
Father of Tove Blue Valentine.
Once saved a chorus girl (Wanda Stewart) from serious injury by tearing her gown off after it had accidentally caught on fire during a stage performance in Seattle.
In the movie "Key Largo" Monte Blue played the part of 'Sheriff Ben Wade' and the late great Jay Silverheels played the uncredited part of, 'Tom Osceola', one of two Indian brothers on the run from the law. Monte and Jay would soon cross paths again a year later, but under different circumstances. Jay Silverheels, became immortalized in the role of "Tonto" in the 'Lone Ranger' show and Monte guest starred on the show for a total of 6 times between 1949-1953; Five times as a sheriff and one time as an Indian chief.

Salary (1)

Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916) $5 /day

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