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THE TIDE HAS TURNED FOR
ELIZABETH MONTGOMERY

TV Guide
August 19, 1961
Mr. and Mrs. Gig Young in their living room.
Along came 'The Untouchables'...
And suddenly Elizabeth Montgomery was a lot more than just Robert Montgomery's daughter
    "I don't know whether I want to do this script or not," said Elizabeth Montgomery, crossing her shapely bare legs. "It's a strange kind of a thing, really. Sydney Pollack's directing it. It's for Frontier Circus (a CBS series debuting in the fall).

     "But it's really incredible. I was telling Sydney Pollack today the last three things I've done have all come from directors.
The Untouchables I got through Wally Grauman, and then last week I did a Twilight Zone (which will open the program's season on CBS, Sept. 15) I'm absolutely mad about, for Monte Pittman. I don't know what it is all of a sudden."

     Snubbing out her cigaret (sic) in a glass ash tray resting on a copy of "American Race Horses, 1959," Miss Montgomery sat waiting for her husband, a 43-year-old actor named Gig Young. Elsewhere in her contemporary Spanish living room the furnishings included a lamp made out of a milk can, a clock made out of a banjo and some clumps of healthy-looking chrysanthemums growing up out of a wooden wash tub. Restless in an armless lounging chair, the lady of the house was, at the moment, a picture of indecision, the only person in Hollywood who did not know what it was all of a sudden.

     Robert Montgomery's only daughter, and a well-bred lady of 29 (sic), she starred last Oct. 13 in "The Rusty Heller Story" on
The Untouchables, playing a slatternly chorus girl of 21 with a Southern accent out of "Tobacco Road." It won her an Emmy nomination, doubled her acting price, resulted in a picture contract, inundated her with TV scripts and, after 10 soso years in the business, all but established Robert Montgomery as Liz Montgomery's father. It also, she said, nearly knocked her off a stool at a lunch counter in Williams, Ariz.

     "Bob Stack had come up to me when we were working on the show and said, 'Liz, if you don't get an Emmy nomination for this, I'll be surprised.' And I said, 'Oh, Bob, for heaven's sake, don't ridiculous.' It was the last thing I did in 1960 before Gig and I left for New York (Young appeared on Broadway for six months in "Under the Yum-Yum Tree"). Then last spring Gig and I were driving back from New York and we stopped in Arizona. Gig said, 'There's a Los Angeles paper' and I said 'Oh, I just can't wait to see who's been nominated for all those statues.' And I looked down and saw Ingrid Bergman--Judith Anderson--and me."

     She added: "I knew Judith Anderson would get it. It wasn't a wish. I just knew it."

     Tall and well proportioned (5-feet-6, 112 pounds), Liz has no middle name and complains: "Stories on me always start out 'Elizabeth Montgomery has green eyes and went to Westlake School for Girls.'" She did, in fact, put in 11 years at Westlake School for Girls, perhaps the most exclusive establishment of its kind in Southern California. (Her schoolmates included Spencer Tracy's daughter, Herbert Marshall's daughter, Alan Mowbray's daughter and Artur Rubinstein's daughter.) "I spent half my time in the headmistress's office and the other half in the dramatics library. School bored me and I always knew I wanted to be an actress."

     At one time she considered changing her name to Elizabeth Young.

     "People will think you're Robert Young's daughter," Father Montgomery objected.

     "Half of them do already," said Liz.

     "Aren't you proud of the Montgomery?"

     "Well, no, not really," said Elizabeth.

     Today she says: "I gave him the needle but good."

HOLLYWOOD SEEPED THROUGH
     Elizabeth and her father are as close as ever, although she has acted with him only once--when her career began on
Robert Montgomery Presents in 1951. (She played his daughter in a spy drama.) Last Father's Day she phoned him in New York from Hollywood, and last fall she visited the White House while Montgomery was coaching Eisenhower for a TV appearance.

     Her mother is Elizabeth Allen, a Broadway actress who retired when she married Montgomery. Elizabeth and her younger brother Robert (Skip), now a New York stockbroker after four years of mild success in TV Westerns, spent their childhood summers on the family farm in upstate New York. "Our parents protected us from too much Hollywood stuff," says Elizabeth, "but it seeped through." When she was 16 her parents separated and Elizabeth entered Spence School in New York. At 19, while studying drama, she turned pro on her father's show and later became one of the regulars in his summer-stock-company TV shows.

     Feverishly busy in TV at 21, she lost her American Academy of Dramatic Arts diploma at an NBC rehearsal the day after graduation.

     Her dossier now reads: 200 TV roles, one picture ("The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell") and two Broadway plays. Until
The Untouchables, however, she got some confusing fan mail. When she appeared on Cimarron City with George Montgomery (no relation), a viewer asked, "Why don't you and your brother work together more often?" Her road to establishment as something other than Robert Montgomery's hard-working, fun-loving daughter also is paved with a one-year marriage to a man who worked on her father's show. She and Gig Young met later at Warner Brothers when she appeared on a TV series he was hosting. Dutifully suppressing ambition, she passed up a second appearance on The Tab Hunter Show last winter because it involved a trip to Hollywood. Instead, that week she went to see Young in "Under the Yum-Yum Tree" for the 33rd, 34th, 35th and 36th times.

SIX-RING CIRCUS AT HOME
     Now, as she waited for him to come home from a business lunch, she flew around the house like any housewife with a decision to make on her own. The phone rang. "That was Monique, my agent. 'What about
Frontier Circus?'" The doorbell rang. "The liquor-store man. Mr. Young's been shopping." The phone rang. "That was Sidney (sic) Pollack. I don't know what to tell him." The phone rang. "The garage. Our Jag is ready." The phone rang. "That was Gig. I told him the car was ready." The phone rang. "Well," with a sigh, "that was Revue again. I told them I'd do it. Now I'm nervous."

     When Young came in, she said: "Hi, darling. Listen, I told them I'd do that thing at Revue. Now I'm nervous."

     He kissed her forehead. "Hi, Slim Jim," he said.

     "Oh, you weren't even listening! I told them I'd do that thing at Revue!"

     Young looked properly thoughtful.

     "I hear they've got a wonderful old mangy lion," he said.