Montgomery Clift (October 17, 1920 – July 23, 1966), first film was opposite John Wayne in the film, Red River(1948).
Clift's second movie was, The Search. Clift, rewrote most of the script himself and the movie was nominated for a screenwriting Academy Award, but the original writers were credited. Clift's performance gave him the nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
Clift's next movie was, The Heiress(1949). He wanted to perform in the movie to avoid being typecast. The studio marketed Clift as a sex symbol prior to the movie's release. Clift had a large female following, and Olivia De Havilland was flooded with angry fan letters because of the final scene in the movie.
In the 1950s Clift was the most popular leading man in Hollywood. His next movie, A Place in the Sun (1951), is one of his best known roles. The studio paired up two of the biggest young stars in Hollywood at the time, Clift and Elizabeth Taylor.
Clift's performance in the movie is known as one of the best Method acting performances, and he was again nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.
For his character's scenes in jail, Clift spent a night in a real state prison. He also refused to go along with the directors suggestion that he do "something amazing" on his walk to the electric chair. Instead, he walked to his death with a natural, facial expression.
Marlon Brando, was so moved by Clift's performance, that he voted for Clift to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, and was sure that he would win (Clift voted for Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire that same year).
The movie was critically acclaimed and Charlie Chaplin called it "the greatest movie made about America".
Clift and Taylor, were called "the most beautiful couple in Hollywood".
Clift's next movie was Alfred Hitchcock's, I Confess. Clift, temporarily lived in a Catholic church and studied priests. The movie was a box office failure due to the controversy over Clift's character (a Catholic priest) being romantically involved with a woman.
Some believe Clift's peak came with the 1953 classic, From Here to Eternity. Clift, worked very hard on the character of Robert E. Lee Prewitt. He even learned to play the bugle even though he knew that he would be dubbed by a professional bugler.
He acted his character's death scene so realistically, that many members of the cast and crew cried. Once again Clift received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Clift lost out to William Holden (who won for Stalag 17). Clift was devastated over his loss, and was sent an honorary small golden bugle award by the movie's producers which he treasured for the rest of his life.
On the evening of May 12, 1956, while filming Raintree County, Clift got into a serious auto accident when he smashed his car into a telephone pole after leaving a dinner party at Elizabeth Taylor and her then-husband Michael Wilding's home. After a two-month recovery, he returned to the set to finish the film.
Clift continued to work over the next ten years. His next three films were Lonelyhearts (1958), The Young Lions (1958) and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959). Clift starred with Lee Remick in Elia Kazan's Wild River in 1960. He then costarred in, The Misfits (1961), which was both Marilyn Monroe's and Clark Gable's last film.
Clift, next film was, The Secret Passion (1962) his destructive lifestyle was affecting his health.
"Good dialogue simply isn't enough to explain all the infinite gradations of a character. It's behavior -- it's what's going on behind the lines".