George Montgomery was boxing champion at the University of Montana, where he majored in architecture and interior design. Dropping out a year later, he decided to take up boxing more seriously, and moved to California, where he was coached by ex-heavyweight world champion James J. Jeffries. While in Hollywood, he came to the attention of the studios (not least, because he was an expert rider) and was hired as a stuntman in 1935. After doing this for four years, George was offered a contract at 20th Century Fox in 1939, but found himself largely confined to leads in B-westerns. He did not secure a part in anything even remotely like a prestige picture, until his co-starring role in Roxie Hart (1942), opposite Ginger Rogers. Next, in Orchestra Wives (1942), he played the perfunctory love interest for Ann Rutherford -- though both, inevitably, ended up playing second trombone to Glenn Miller and His Orchestra.
In 1947, George got his first serious break, being cast as Raymond Chandler's private eye Philip Marlowe, in The Brasher Doubloon (1947). Reviewers, however, compared his performance unfavourably with that of Humphrey Bogart and found the film 'pallid' overall. So it was back to the saddle for George. Unable to shake his image as a cowboy actor, he starred in scores of films with titles like Belle Starr's Daughter (1948), Dakota Lil (1950), Jack McCall Desperado (1953) and Masterson of Kansas (1954) at Columbia, and for producer Edward Small at United Artists. When not cleaning up the Wild West with his six-shooter, he branched out into adventure films set in exotic locales (notably as Harry Quartermain in Watusi (1959)). During the 60's, he also wrote, directed and starred in several long-forgotten, low-budget wartime potboilers made in the Philippines.
At the height of his popularity, George attracted as much publicity for his acting, as for his liaisons with glamorous stars, like Ginger Rogers, Hedy Lamarr (to whom he was briefly engaged) and singer Dinah Shore (whom he married in 1943). After his retirement from the film business, he devoted himself to his love of painting, furniture-making and sculpting bronze busts, including one of his close friend Ronald Reagan.
|Dinah Shore||(5 December 1943 - 9 May 1963) (divorced) 2 children|
Was a heavyweight boxer before becoming an actor.
His longtime companion of over twenty years was Ann Lindberg.
The youngest of 15 children born to Ukrainian immigrants, he was raised on a Montana homestead.
An excellent craftsman, he ran a cabinet shop for over 40 years while directing and appearing in action movies. He also designed and built 11 houses for friends and family.
A self-taught artist, he created bronze busts of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Gene Autry and Randolph Scott. In later years he made sculptures of Charles Farrell and ex-wife Dinah Shore; hers and those of his children and himself sit at the Mission Hills Country Club, home of the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament. Some of his sculptures are in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library in Simi Valley, California.
After his divorce from Dinah Shore, in 1963 his private life again made headlines when his housekeeper, suffering obsessive infatuation, attempted to shoot the actor, planning to then commit suicide, but failing in both endeavors.
Left Hollywood in 1943 to enlist in the US Army Air Corps. After his discharge he went back to Hollywood and resumed his career.
Served in the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 to 1946.
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