About Lawrence Montaigne

 

Lawrence starred or co-starred in twenty-five films in the U.S. and in Europe and also appeared in more than two hundred television episodes.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Rome, Italy, he developed an early talent for languages, which opened many doors for him as an actor. Trained as a classical dancer, he appeared on Broadway in "Hazel Flagg" and in "Shinbone Alley" with Eartha Kitt. He was eventually lured to Hollywood where he worked with the Hollywood Bowl Ballet Company. In films, he worked as a dancer with such notables as Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner and Mitzie Gaynor. He studied fencing both in the U.S. and Europe, which afforded him the opportunity to work as a stuntman on "Scaramouche", "The Three Musketeers", "Julius Caesar", and in a series of low budget, swashbuckling films for Sam Katzman at Columbia.

Upon discharge from the Marine Corp, he studied Drama at The Dramatic Workshop in New York, and was prepared to make the transition into acting when the opportunity arose. He was featured in such films as "The Great Escape" (with Steve McQueen and James Garner), "Tubruk" (with Rock Hudson and George Peppard), "The Power" (with George Hamilton and Suzanne Pleshette), "Captain Sindbad" and "Damon & Pythias" (both starring Guy Williams), "The Mongols" (starring Jack Palance and Anita Ekberg) and "Escape To Witch Mountain" (with Ray Milland and Donald Pleasance.) He starred in "Pillar Of Fire" (made in Israel), "Moby Jackson" and "Rapina Al Quartiere Ovest" (both made in Italy.) He has worked in Italy, Germany, Yugoslavia, Israel and Spain.  "Of all the films, television and theatre I've done, I can honestly say that the things I'm most remembered for are the two roles I created on Star Trek: DECIUS in Balance of Terror and STONN in Amok Time."

"Many people have the impression that actors begin their careers and go from one acting job to another, ad infinitum," confided Lawrence. "Such is not actually the case. Most actors spend the better part of their careers holding down mundane jobs that afford them the opportunity to take acting jobs when the occasions come along. For example, Harrison Ford worked at the studios as a carpenter for years before he got his big break. Likewise, most actors have backgrounds in a variety of other fields, not always akin to acting." In reflecting back over the years, Lawrence feels he has lived a number of lifetimes when he considers all the different kinds of jobs he held between acting jobs. As a student at NYU he worked as a soda jerk, a collection man for a concessionaire in New York nightclubs, and a clerk in the morgue of the New York Times. Later, in Los Angeles, he worked as a dishwasher at Snow Whites Restaurant (that still stands on Hollywood Boulevard), a cab driver in Beverly Hills, an attendant in a laundromat and a milling machine operator at Lockheed Aircraft. In later years he took his California State Contractor's License (which he still keeps current) and worked at restoring and building single family residences.  He also worked in the mailroom at Twentieth Century Fox where some twenty years later he returned to co-star with James Brolin in the pilot, CITY BENEATH THE SEA, for Irwin Allen.  While living in Europe in the late fifties, he worked in Rome dubbing Italian films into English.

While living in Israel for three years, he carried a rifle for an oil company in the Negev Desert, worked as a cowboy on a Kibbutz, and served as a fisherman on the Menorah, a seventeen-meter fishing boat in the Mediterranean Sea. In Rome, he set up his own photography business and free-lanced as a photojournalist for Globe International, which sent him all over the world to cover stories. Being part Hungarian and claiming to have the gypsy lust for travel, working as a photo/journalist afforded him the opportunity to see such countries as India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and such exotic cities as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kwala Lampur. Of course, all this travel was not conducive for keeping a marriage in tact, which accounted for his four marriages. "I kept trying in the hopes that eventually I would get it right." He never did. "I was the world's worst husband. I had no sense of responsibility when it came to supporting a family. I thought that money was something you spent. When you had it, you bought things with it. When you didn't have it, you tightened your belt until the next ship came in."

He returned to the States in the sixties, just one week before the assassination of John Kennedy. Lawrence says that all the experiences he had and all the countries he visited helped to mold him into a better actor. "There weren't too many characters I couldn't identify with in one way or another. I'd been there, done that."

Lawrence eventually made the transition from acting to writing when he was hired by Walt Disney Productions to write the screenplay from his original story, THE MILLION DOLLAR DIXIE DELIVERANCE, a Civil War adventure starring Brock Peters.

"The only thing in my life that was constant was my insatiable appetite for books and learning. Each time I settled down in some city, the first thing I did was to enroll in the local college or university. It took me thirty years to get my Bachelor's Degree and nine months to do my Masters." He holds a Masters Degree from North Texas State University where he also taught as an Associate Professor for five years.

 He moved to Henderson, Nevada,  six years ago where he was employed as a proof reader doing medical translations for Worldwide Translations.  He also taught Drama part time at UNLV.  Since January of 2008 he has been traveling around the country promoting his autobiography, A VULCAN ODYSSEY.  He can also be seen in the recent Star Trek film, OF GODS AND MEN.