Before his death, Gig Young was an amazing actor with an Oscar award to show for it. Sadly his legacy was stained after he allegedly murdered his fifth wife and committed suicide.
During her prime, American actress Elizabeth Montgomery was viewed as one of the most charming women in Hollywood. Her signature green eyes and blonde hair had made her iconic.
She was most famous for her role in the TV hit series "Bewitched," where she played the benevolent witch Samantha Stephens. Apart from her professional life, Montgomery also had a lot going on in her personal life.
Portrait of actor Gig Young on May 15, 1970. [Left] | Monochrome photo of actress Elizabeth Montgomery. [Middle] | Portrait photo of Elizabeth Montgomery on March 1, 1965. [Right]. | Photo: Getty Images
She was married four times, and her second marriage was to the late American actor Gig Young. The Hollywood stars' marriage lasted for seven years, from 1956 to 1963. Let's take a deeper look into the life of Young and the tragic experiences he faced before his death.
WHO WAS GIG YOUNG?
Gig Young was born Byron Barr in 1917 in Minnesota to Emma Barr and John Barr, who was a reformatory chef. The star discovered his interest in the acting sector at a very young age.
While in high school, he was involved in plays, which helped him develop his immense talent. Young aspired to be one of the best actors someday; however, his life while growing up was filled with poverty and many other challenges.
Portrait of actor Gig Young circa 1952. | Photo: Getty Images
Upon his graduation from high school, the icon took up a job as a car salesman. Although he was not from a rich home, he made sure to strive to achieve his dreams.
While working as a salesman during the day, Young attended acting classes at night. Later on, he abandoned his job searching for greener pastures in Hollywood after a friend offered to give him a ride if he would pay for half of the gas.
Actor Gig Young at the 27th Annual Golden Globe Awards on February 2, 1970. | Photo: Getty Images
YOUNG'S RISE TO STARDOM
In Hollywood, the actor certainly did not find life easy. He found accommodation in a cheap hotel, which took 12 dollars a week.
Not long after he arrived in Hollywood, Young finally got his big acting break. With few acting skills, he applied for a scholarship to Southern California's Pasadena Community Playhouse.
Young was lucky enough to receive the scholarship, which was the beginning of his successful acting career. While acting in the Playhouse, he was spotted by a Warner Brothers' talent scout and was eventually signed to a long-term contract.
Portrait of actor Gig Young circa 1943. | Photo: Getty Images
Young still gave performances under his original name Byron Barr, and in 1942, he made his film debut. The actor was cast in "The Gay Sister" and was given a role of a character named Gig Young.
After giving an outstanding performance, the Studio Head Jack Warner advised him to adopt the name "Gig Young," and the icon listened.
Featuring in "The Gay Sisters" opened many doors for Young. He landed another role in "Come Fill The Cup," which earned him his first Academy Award Nomination. Apart from that, Young starred in "Teacher's Pet" and "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"
Actor Gig Young attends the rehearsals for 43rd Annual Academy Awards on April 14, 1971. | Photo: Getty Images
INSIDE GIG YOUNG'S FAILED MARRIAGES
In the entirety of his lifetime, Young walked down the aisle five times. His first marriage was to Sheila Stapler in 1940, and upon the actor's return from World War II, the pair divorced and went their separate ways.
Not long after, Young tied the knot for the second time in 1951 with Warner Brothers Drama Coach Sophie Rosenstein. The duo's union lasted for one year, ending in 1952 after Rosenstein sadly passed away from cancer.
While the police strongly believed that it was a murder-suicide incident, friends of the actor insisted that Young did not kill his wife
Gig Young holding the sword in publicity portrait for the film 'The Three Musketeers', 1948. | Photo: Getty Images
The award-winning actor's third marriage was to Elizabeth Montgomery, which eventually ended in 1963. Young got married for the fourth time to Beverly Hills realtor Elaine.
Although the duo divorced, their time together yielded one daughter, Jennifer. Young was not only struggling with relationship issues, but his health had also taken a downward spiral.
His life was greatly affected by many years of alcoholism and drug addiction, which left him emotionally and physically damaged. Surprisingly, the actor battled with skin cancer, and Young's friends revealed the news upon his death.
American actress Elizabeth Montgomery wearing in a black leotard and reclining on a chaise longue, circa 1967. | Photo: Getty Images
GIG YOUNG AND RUTH SCHMIDT
Ruth Schmidt, otherwise known as Kim Schmidt, was Young's fifth wife. She was from West Germany and also an editor of Forum Arts magazine. In addition, Schmidt ran the Quorum Art Gallery in Hong Kong, China.
She and Young met for the first time in September 1977 while filming sequences to complete the movie "Game Of Death," which renowned actor Bruce Lee was making when he died.
After their first encounter, the pair began dating, and on September 27, 1978, they got married in New York. The couple's marriage lasted for only three weeks before Young allegedly murdered his wife.
Actor Gig Young and wife Kim Young attend the grand opening of David Hamilton Gallery on December 6, 1977. | Photo: Getty Images
YOUNG ALLEGEDLY MURDERED HIS WIFE
On October 19, 1978, Young allegedly shot Schmidt with a .38-snub-nose revolver, and afterward, he shot himself.
Upon arrival at the scene, detectives found the couple's bodies lying lifeless in the master bedroom of their two-bedroom duplex Manhattan apartment.
Detectives revealed that a diary was found in the blood-soaked bedroom, where the couple was found, and what was written in it read, "We got married today."
Portrait of actor Gig Young, circa 1950's. | Photo: Getty Images
Detective Richard Chartrand revealed that the gun was found in Young's hand, and there was no sign of a third party in the room as the door to the apartment was locked.
Chartrand also said no suicide note was found, but a notebook listed the locations Young would eat every day, and his Oscar award was found near the bodies.
While the police strongly believed that it was a murder-suicide incident, friends of the actor insisted that Young did not kill his wife. They believed the tragic death was a frame-up.
Gig Young looks on in a scene from the movie "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?," circa 1969. | Photo: Getty Images
Celebrities also aired their thoughts about the actor and the occurrence. Actress Doris Day said Young was funny and light-hearted, and she loved him. New York Press Agent Sy Presten said he had dinner with the couple before their death, and they seemed very happy.
Even though the circumstance surrounding Young's death is controversial, he will always be remembered for his talent and impact in the movie industry.
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