Trinity- Pawling School · 700 Route 22 · Pawling, NY 12564 · 845- 855- 3100 · Fax 845- 855- 3816
www. trinitypawling. org
Margaret Taylor, Archivist
The Acting Debut of Robert Montgomery: Where It All Began
The famous motion picture star Robert Montgomery made his acting debut in 1921 while enrolled at Pawling School in Pawling, New York; he played the part of Mrs. Ralston ( pictured) in the play, “ Nothing But the Truth,” presented on February 5, 1921. This exhibit documents Montgomery’s acting debut as well as many other aspects of his life at Pawling School ( renamed Trinity- Pawling in 1947).
Although little has been written about Montgomery’s early life, it is known that he was born in Beacon, New York in 1904. Robert’s given name was Henry, named after his father, Henry Montgomery, Sr. While attending Pawling School he was known as Henry; he changed his name to Robert in 1924.
While enrolled at Pawling School ( September, 1919 through June, 1921), Montgomery excelled in poetry, participated in sports, joined the Glee Club and Drama Club, and was recognized as a leader by his peers.
Although Pawling was a college preparatory school, Robert Montgomery never attended college. In 1924, just three years after leaving the school, he set off for Broadway, landed acting roles, was noticed by motion picture conglomerate, Metro- Goldwyn- Mayer. After subsequently being offered a contract by MGM, he headed off to Hollywood, where he became a famous movie star.
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Henry Montgomery attended Pawling School (now called Trinity-Pawling School), a private all male boarding school, for two years from 1919 through 1921. In 1924 Henry changed his given name to Robert and went on to become one of Pawling School's most famous alumni. His career was honored with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; the first was awarded for his accomplishments in motion pictures, the second for his work in television. Although he did not graduate from Pawling School and subsequently moved to Hollywood, he later returned to the area and purchased a home in nearby Patterson, New York. See this exhibit's epilogue for more information about Robert Montgomery's acting career and life.