Monty Banks

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Monty Banks
Montybanks.jpg
Monty Banks
Born Montague Banks
(1897-07-18)18 July 1897
Cesena, Italy
Died 7 January 1950(1950-01-07) (aged 52)
Arona, Italy
Occupation Director, comedian

Montague (Monty) Banks (18 July 1897 – 7 January 1950[1] born Mario Bianchi) was a comedian and film director.

Career[edit]

Banks was born in Cesena, Italy. In the 1920s, he worked in Hollywood, starring in many silent short comedies and in the feature-length action thriller Play Safe (1927). A large excerpt from this movie is included in Robert Youngson's compilation film Days of Thrills and Laughter (1961). With the arrival of sound films, Banks's strong Italian accent forced him to phase out his acting career in favor of working as a gagman and director. He directed Laurel and Hardy in their film Great Guns, under the name 'Montague Banks'.

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Gladys Frazin. The marriage was not a happy one and they divorced on 29 April 1932 as a result of her abusive behaviour.[2] She subsequently committed suicide in March 1939. He met singer and actress Gracie Fields in 1935 and they married in March 1940. As an Italian national, he would have been classified as an 'enemy alien' in Britain during World War II. Consequently he and Fields left the UK for Canada initially, and then the neutral United States in order to prevent his internment.[3] Italian American internment also came into place in the United States during 1941 and 1942, affecting thousands of Italians, but this was eventually relaxed.

Death[edit]

He held dual Italian and U.S. citizenship. He died on a train outside Arona, Italy, of a heart attack, aged 52.[1]

Aula Didattica Monty Banks[edit]

In his home town of Cesena a foundation was created in honor of Banks, entitled the Aula Didattica Monty Banks.[4] It is "an initiative promoted by the Comune, the course is open to boys and provides the opportunity to create videos".[5]

Selected filmography[edit]

Actor

Director

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Monty Banks, 52, Screen Director" (PDF). The New York Times. Associated Press. 9 January 1950. p. 20. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
  2. ^ Westhollywoodusa.com
  3. ^ "Our Gracie". Time. 1 September 1947. Retrieved 16 December 2008. 
  4. ^ Buliro.it
  5. ^ Youtube.com

External links[edit]