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SIX YEAR GIG
A look at Elizabeth Montgomery's marriage
to actor Gig Young.
December 28, 1956 - January 1963

Scroll down to view photo galleries and buy videos.
Mr. and Mrs. Gig Young in 1961
An early portrait of Gig Young, circa 1942
BEGINNINGS
    Gig Young was born Byron Ellsworth Barr in St. Cloud, Minnesota on November 4, 1913 (although he was later known to subtract five years from his age,) the youngest of three children born to James Earl Barr and his wife Emma. The elder Barr was founder of the successful J.E. Barr Pickling and Preserving Company in St. Cloud. Although his elder brother was eager to follow his father into the family business, the youngest of the Barr family was not. After the Great Depression began, the Barr company floundered and J.E. Barr moved his family to Washington, D.C. where he had a job as a food broker.  It was here that Gig became interested in acting while he was still in high school. He participated in school plays, but the family didn't think much of his theatrical ambitions. After graduation he hitchhiked to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of an acting career. He found employment as a soda jerk, a ballroom dance instructor and car salesman and spent his nights acting with an amateur group. After winning a scholarship to the Pasadena Playhouse he obtained a contract with Warner Brothers in 1941. He played bit parts under his given name, Byron Barr, used the name Roland Reed in a couple of stage productions and received his first name change when the studio rechristened him Bryant Fleming. Then he was cast in The Gay Sisters with Barbara Stanwyck. The name of his character was 'Gig Young' and in a highly publicized move, the studio re-rechristened him Gig Young.
     After serving in the Coast Guard during WWII, Gig returned only to find that after his pre-war successes in
The Gay Sisters and Old Acquaintance, Warner Brothers seemed to have lost interest in him. In 1947 the studio dropped his option. He then began freelancing at various studios; obtained a contract with Columbia Pictures; and then later went back to freelancing. He almost always found himself cast in the second lead, losing the girl to the leading man. But if the role was a good one, Gig proved to be an actor of great talent.
     In 1949 he and his first wife, Sheila Stapler were divorced after nine years of marriage. In 1951, Gig married for the second time, to Sophia Rosenstein, a drama coach. This marriage ended in 1952 when Rosenstein died of cancer.
THE MARRIAGE
    After a broken engagement to Elaine Stritch, Gig met Elizabeth Montgomery on a blind date in 1955. Gig was the host of the television series Warner Brothers Presents and Liz made an apperance on the show in an episode entitled "Siege" in 1956. Gig and Liz were married on December 28 of that year. The couple's desire to have children was thwarted by a vasectomy Gig had at the age of 25 due to health problems. He underwent surgery to reverse the vasectomy, but the marriage produced no children. Although their marriage endured for six years, it was a stormy union, largely due to the fact that Gig was a chronic alcoholic. Although Liz tried to handle the problem by keeping up drink-for-drink, this, coupled with the fact that Gig couldn't seem to get over the loss of his second wife, led to the end of their marriage. In January of 1963, Elizabeth went to Mexico for a quickie divorce from Gig. She was then free to marry director-producer William Asher, whom she had met while making the feature film Johnny Cool.
AFTER LIZ
    Nine months after his divorce from Elizabeth Montgomery, Gig Young married real estate agent Elaine Whitman who was pregnant with Gig's child.  Their daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1964 and Gig proclaimed it a "miracle," feeling the operations he had undergone had been successful after all. Whitman divorced Gig on November 23, 1966. Ongoing court battles over child support lead to Gig publicly denying the child as his own, feeling he had been tricked into marriage. Because he had claimed the child in the original divorce papers, he had no legal recourse in the matter.
     In 1969 Gig got one of his best acting roles in
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? with Jane Fonda. He won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance (he had been nominated in 1951 for Come Fill the Cup and in 1958 for Teacher's Pet.)
     Gig also appeared on the stage and had regular roles in the short-lived television shows
The Rogues (1964-1965) and Gibbsville (1976.)
     On September 27, 1978 Gig married his fifth wife, a 31-year-old German girl named Kim Schmidt who had been the script girl on his last film,
The Game of Death. Three weeks later on October 19, 1978, in the Manhattan apartment the newlyweds shared, Gig shot Schimdt in the head, killing her instantly. He then shot himself. The police theorized that it was a suicide pact, but were baffled by the additional three revolvers and 350 rounds of amunition found in the apartment. After the investigation the police stated Gig had definately acted on the spur of the moment and his actions were not planned.
THE LIZ AND GIG PHOTO GALLERY
OTHER PHOTOS OF GIG YOUNG:
1942
Circa 1942
1963 1964 Circa 1969
Circa 1956
THE FILMS OF GIG YOUNG

Misbehaving Husbands (1940) - as Byron Barr
Here Comes the Cavalry (1941) - uncredited
Sergeant York (1941) - uncredited
Dive Bomber (1941) - uncredited
Navy Blues (1941) - uncredited
The Tanks Are Coming (1941) - as Byron Barr
You're in the Army Now (1941) - uncredited
One Foot in Heaven (1941) - uncredited
They Died with Their Boots On (1941) - uncredited
The Male Animal (1941) - uncredited
The Gay Sisters (1942)
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) - uncredited
Captains of the Clouds (1942) - uncredited
Air Force (1943)
Old Acquaintance (1943)
Follow That Woman (1945)
Escape Me Never (1947)
The Woman in White (1948)
The Main Street Kid (1948)
The Three Musketeers (1948)
Tell It to the Judge (1949)
Wake of the Red Witch (1949)
Lust for Gold (1949)
Tarnished (1950)
Covered Wagon Raid (1950)
Hunt the Man Down (1950)
Too Young to Kiss (1951)
Slaughter Trail (1951)
Come Fill the Cup (1951)
Only the Valiant (1951)
Target Unknown (1951)
You for Me (1952)
Holiday for Sinners (1952)
Torch Song (1953)
The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
Arena (1953)
City That Never Sleeps (1953)
Young at Heart (1954)
The Desperate Hours (1955)
Desk Set (1957)
The Tunnel of Love (1958)
Teacher's Pet (1958)
The Story on Page One (1959)
Ask Any Girl (1959)
That Touch of Mink (1962)
Kid Galahad (1962)
A Ticklish Affair (1963)
For Love or Money (1963)
Le Couteau dans la plaie (Five Miles to Midnight) (1963)
Strange Bedfellows (1964)
The Shuttered Room (1967)
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
A Son-in-Law for Charlie McReady (1973)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Michele (1975)
The Killer Elite (1975)
The Hindenburg (1975)
A Black Ribbon for Deborah (1975)
Game of Death (1978)
FILMS OF GIG YOUNG
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
THE TANKS ARE COMING AIR FORCE ESCAPE ME NEVER THE THREE MUSKETEERS WAKE OF THE RED WITCH ONLY THE VALIANT THE GIRL WHO HAD EVERYTHING
CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS YOUNG AT HEART
DVD
DESK SET TUNNEL OF LOVE TEACHER'S PET
YOUNG AT HEART THE DESPERATE HOURS
ASK ANY GIRL THAT TOUCH OF MINK FIVE MILES TO MIDNIGHT STRANGE BEDFELLOWS THEY SHOOT HORSES DON'T THEY?
KID GALAHAD
THE KILLER ELITE
DVD
GAME OF DEATH
BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA THE KILLER ELITE