Born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 17, 1920, Edward Montgomery Clift appeared on Broadway in Fly Away Home when he was only 13. He remained in the New York theater area for ten years before he finally left for Hollywood. He had excellent theatrical recommendations and garnered the interest of lovelorn actresses. While in New York Libby Holman, a wealthy former Broadway star took over Clift's career and advised him to refuse the lead parts in Sunset Blvd and High Noon.
In 1948 Clift made his film debut with Red River (nominated for an Oscar) and next The Search (1948). He had roles in A Place in the Sun in 1951 and From Here to Eternity in 1953 plus Judgment at Nuremberg in 1961. Clift was an alcoholic and spent a great deal of money on psychiatry. In 1956 while filming Raintree County he drove his car into a tree. Elizabeth Taylor saved his life by extracting two teeth stuck in his throat. His damaged face was reconstructed, but he persisted in his dependence on alcohol and drugs. He returned to New York and tried to overcome his addictions and come to terms with his homosexuality.
Clift was set to play the lead in in Reflections in a Gold Eye in 1967 when he was found dead from occlusive coronary artery disease. Clift was known for his handsome appearance and his emotional acting style. His film Red River in 1948 gave him overnight successes and was considered the beautiful, vulnerable and sensual man everyone loved. Clift's mental problems kept him from staying on the top of his game and the loss of his good looks in a road accident caused his film career to plummet.