The faintly mysterious and baleful good looks of veteran actor Lee Montague did net him a couple of leading man roles but his long career is mostly one of solid supporting performances. He was born in London, from a liberal Jewish background, but in the days before political correctness (perhaps calling it cultural respect would make it less of a Daily Mail bugbear – probably not) he was often cast in 'more exotic' roles. From a number of Japanese officers, as in 'Camp On Blood Island' (1958), or in TV's 'The Baron', to a string of Spaniards, Russians, Greeks, Mexicans, Chinese and points between.
|The inscrutable face of the Orient in 'The Baron'|
The golden age of British TV in the '60s gave him plenty of work, including 'Danger Man', 'The Baron', and 'Department S', alongside lots of Wednesday plays and weightier series. In the '70s and '80s he crops up in 'Quiller', 'The Sweeney', 'Jesus of Nazareth' (as the prophet Habbukuk), and 'Space 1999'. He was also the star of the not-much-remembered ITV football comedy 'Feet First'.
|In 'How I Won The War' (1967).|
|As the composer's father in 'Mahler' (1974)|
In the cinema, he appears in a string of '50s and '60s war pics, including: 'Silent Enemy' (1958), 'Foxhole in Cairo' (1960), and the Richard Lester satire 'How I Won the War' (1967), memorably teaching army drill to John Lennon, Roy Kinnear and Ronald Lacey. Other movie jobs include 'Moulin Rouge' (1952), 'Billy Budd' (1962), 'Mahler' (1974), 'The Best Pair of Legs in the Business' (1975), and 'Silver Dream Racer' (1980).
Trivia: (Yes, I know it's all trivia.) He was the very first storyteller on the BBC's long-running children's programme 'Jackanory'.
Lee Montague - imdb
You've missed an outstanding role of his: it was Pietro Morriconi di Bernardone, St. Francis of Assisi's father in Zeffirelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972). The most humble man forming the creepiest villain of all times...ReplyDelete