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|Also Known As:||Edward Montgomery Clift||Died:||July 23, 1966|
|Born:||October 17, 1920||Cause of Death:||occlusive coronary artery disease|
|Birth Place:||Omaha, Nebraska, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor model|
One of Hollywood's first Method actors, Montgomery Clift rose to film stardom a full 10 years before his contemporary Marlon Brando, although a more naturalistic performance style and less prolific résumé prevented Clift from achieving the iconic status that many movie historians felt he rightfully deserved. Emerging as a star on Broadway while still in his teens, Clift stubbornly rebuffed the courtship of several film studios for a decade, holding out for just the right project and working conditions. When he finally did succumb, it was to star alongside movie legend John Wayne in "Red River" (1948). A star from the release of his first film, Clift was immortalized on screen three years later as Elizabeth Taylor's morally challenged paramour in the romantic drama "A Place in the Sun" (1951). In the wake of these films, the handsome, brooding Clift became one of the biggest names in Hollywood with his Academy Award-nominated performance in the World War II melodrama "From Here to Eternity" (1953). Tragically, Clift's fortunes fell almost as quickly as they rose. Following a nearly fatal, disfiguring car accident while filming the Civil War drama "Raintree County" (1957), the actor's already excessive reliance on alcohol and pharmaceuticals increased to debilitating levels. In the years that followed - most famously described as "the longest suicide in Hollywood history" - both Clift's health and professional reputation went into decline. Although still capable of delivering admirable performances in such projects as "The Misfits" (1961) and "Judgment at Nuremberg" (1961), the increasingly erratic actor eventually found himself being offered few roles prior to his death at the age of 45. Nonetheless, over the course of 17 films, Clift earned not only four Academy Award nominations, but also an indelible legacy as one of the finest actors to ever grace the silver screen.
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