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Monte Blue Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (11) | Salary (1)

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 railroad accident when Monte was eight and his mother could not support four children. He was admitted (along with another brother, Morris) 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)
Tove Janson (11 November 1924 - 23 March 1956) (her death) (2 children)
Erma Gladys (? - 1923) (divorced)

Trivia (11)

Entered films as an assistant director 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 (d. 2008) and Richard Monte(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.
Grandfather 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.
Monty Blue came to my elementary school in the Los Angeles area in 1945 or 1946. He told a few cheerful stories and did a few rope tricks, impressing the kids. I made an effort to learn "roping", and practiced quite a bit over the ensuing ten years or so. After his appearance at school, when I told my parents about the show, they both knew of Monty Blue and smiled about my good luck.
The Okmulgee (Oklahoma) Times once published a story that Blue was Cherokee, and that he be asked to play only heroic parts, since Indians were generally portrayed as villains. The newspaper cited Blue's role in _Orphans of the Storm_ (1921) as Danton, a villain who sent hundreds to the guillotine.

Salary (1)

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

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