Montgomery CLIFT

Family tree of Montgomery CLIFT


AmericanBorn Edward Montgomery CLIFT

American film and stage actor

Born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA , United States

Died on July 23, 1966 in New York City, New York, USA

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Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His father, William Brooks Clift, was a vice-president of Omaha National Trust Company. His mother was the former Ethel Fogg Anderson, who had partial maternal Dutch ancestry. They had married in 1914. Clift had a twin sister, Roberta (aka Ethel), and a brother, William Brooks Clift Jr. (1918–1986), who had an illegitimate son with actress Kim Stanley. Montgomery Clift later resided in Jackson Heights, Queens, until he got his break on Broadway. Clift's mother's nickname was "Sunny", and was reportedly adopted as a one-year old. She spent part of her life and her husband's money attempting to establish the Southern lineage that had reportedly been revealed to her at age 18 by the physician who delivered her, Dr. Edward Montgomery, after whom she named her younger son. According to Clift biographer Patricia Bosworth, Ethel was the illegitimate daughter of Woodbury Blair and Maria Anderson, whose marriage had been annulled before her birth and subsequent adoption. This would make her a granddaughter of Montgomery Blair, Postmaster General under President Abraham Lincoln, and a great-granddaughter of Francis Preston Blair, a journalist and adviser to President Andrew Jackson, and Levi Woodbury, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. However, the relationship between Blair and Anderson has not been proven and in the absence of documentation any connection to the Clifts remains in doubt.

As part of Sunny Clift's lifelong preparation for acceptance by her reported biological family, a goal which she never fully achieved, she raised Clift and his siblings as if they were aristocrats. Home-schooled by their mother as well as private tutors in the United States and Europe, in spite of their father's fluctuating finances, they did not attend a regular school until they were in their teens. The adjustment was difficult, particularly for Montgomery. His academic performance lagged behind that of his sister and brother.


Clift was educated in French, German, and Italian. During World War II, he was rejected for military service due to allergies and colitis.

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