As a mute, Elizabeth Montgomery has an almost speechless role in "The Spiral Staircase," with Gig Young, Wednesday.
By HAL HUMPHREY in HOLLYWOOD
This Wednesday, on the first of NBC's "Theater '62" series, Elizabeth Montgomery stars as the mute serving girl (9-10�p.m., WTMJ-TV).
Two weeks ago, she co-starred with Charles Bronson in the first new "Twilight Zone" (CBS) of the season. She has forthcoming appearances in the new CBS "Frontier Circus" (which WISN-TV in Milwaukee will not carry), and in an NBC' "Thriller" called "Masquerade" in which she stars with Tom Poston.
I'm afraid people will begin to say, Don't they have anybody else?'" she said. "It would have been better to, have these shows spaced over a few months." The slender, bright eyed actress admitted rather grudgingly that this sudden burst of activity for her is the direct result of her being cast as a trollop in last season's first "Untouchables," It also netted her a nomination for an Emmy, but Dame Judith Anderson beat her out at the finish with a thing called "Macbeth."
For the last 10 years, Miss Montgomery has been diligently building herself as an actress. She felt no different after that role in "Untouchables," but suddenly the men who produce TV and movies decided she was a very hot item.
"I don't quite understand it. Of course the part was a good one, but I would rather be getting all of this work now because of what I hope is an accumulation of all my ex�perience, not because of one role," she said.
Catching fire suddenly, as they call it in Hollywood, also has brought the gossip and fan magazine writers sniffing eagerly around her door. Most of them get off on the wrong foot with her by asking, "How does it feel to, be Robert Montgomery's daughter?"
"I thought they would have given up on that one by now. I'm so tired of it I guess I assumed everybody else should be. How the devil do they think it feels? I'm fond of my father, and he is fond of me. Is that a story?"
Recently, the Saturday Evening Post was shooting pictures and bombarding her with questions when the interviewer let it slip that the over-all story was about "famous children of famous stars."
With what she considered admirable con�trol, Miss Montgomery called up the editors of the Post and told them she preferred to be left out. The surprised editors acquiesced.
A short time later, Life magazine contacted her for a famous father-daughter layout it was preparing. The Life man was doubly shaken to find that she wanted no part of the project and that the Post was doing one, too.
Miss Montgomery has no personal press agent and sees no need for one.
"I think it's silly to have all these stories in the magazines about Debbie Reynolds and Liz Taylor when they aren't really doing anything," Liz Montgomery observed.
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