Bull Montana

born: 16 May 1887
Voghera, Pavia, Lombardy,
Italy
died: 24 January 1950
Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(coronary thrombosis, age 62)

Italian-born actor and former wrestler. In 1928 his chorus-girl wife Jackie Laverne was sentenced to sixty days in jail, suspended, and two years' probation for assaulting him with a spiked-heel French slipper. He legally changed his name to Louis Montana with his 1921 citizenship.
Luigi immigrated to the USA from Italy in 1906. He did professional wrestling on the side while he worked in a quarry. The wrestling became more lucrative and he started doing it full-time. Supposedly, Douglas Fairbanks saw him working out in a gym and invited him to come to Hollywood to act in films. (His 1917 Draft Card backs this up.) He did well in films and moved up in the ranks of professional wrestlers.
About 1924, he “married” a professional dancer from Georgia who went by the name “Jackie LaVerne”. He never admitted they were married but she said they were. (Have not found a marriage record and 1910 and 1920 and 1923 Blue Book list him as “single” and 1931 Marriage Certificate to another woman says that it is his 1st marriage.) They made the newspapers in 1928 when Bull had her arrested for “assault with a slipper”. They were arguing in his car on the way back from dinner and she struck him in the head with her “French heel” slipper. It evidently was not a stunt as she went to jail and 2 days later, Bull paid her $100 bail and asked the judge to quash the guilty verdict and jail sentence. The judge complied and sentenced her to 2 years probation. Bull said she would never enter his home again.
In 1929, Bull met, courted and married (21 September) a 23 year-old widow, Mary Mathews Poulson. Supposedly, she was a businesswoman/secretary and former actress. They made the newspapers in 1931 when she sued for divorce.

From the "LA Times" 22 Aug 1931 p.16:
"...... He frowns, scowls, grimaces, glares, glowers and squints. Sometimes he smiled, said Mrs. Montana, but that was nearly as bad. In addition, the plaintiff testified, Bull would occasionally get drunk and when intoxicated his face was just simply nothing a witness could discuss in open court, she said. And once, after making the most terrible faces, said the witness, Mr. Montana began growling at me. It sounded so fearful that I had a nervous breakdown. And then he wouldn't let my mother come and see me when I was ill. Mrs. Rosalie Mathews corroborated her daughter's testimony as to that." Her divorce was granted 21 August 1931.
Real name: Luigi Montagna
Height: (ranges 5'8" - 5'10")
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography;
plus 1 film with Babe Hardy.

10


1922
The Timber Queen (serial)
[?]

1925
The Uneasy Three
Willie, the moll's brother

1925
Laughing Ladies
[?]

1926
Ukulele Sheiks
[?]

1926
On The Front Page
Private secretary

1927
Many Scrappy Returns
Zozo's husband

1927
The Sting Of Stings
Bull Montana

1928
Limousine Love
Chauffeur

1928
The Fight Pest
[?]

1929
Loud Soup
Convict
NON-HAL ROACH FILMS

1926
Stop, Look And Listen
[?]

Acknowledgements & sources:
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MGDV-LGY (1910 Census Bradford. PA.)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K6JC-TF5?from=lynx1UIV8&treeref=LRF1-3YV (1917 WWI Draft Card LA/NYC)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHQV-THD (1920 Census LA.)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVR2-LRDV (1922 Passport ht: 5'8”)
https://archive.org/stream/bluebookofscreen00unse#page/167/mode/1up/search/%22bull+montana%22 (1923 Blue Book bio 5'10”)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380481453/?terms=%22bull%2Bmontana%22 (1928 “wife” JACKIE assault)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380482575/?terms=%22bull%2Bmontana%22&match=2 (1928 “wife” JACKIE sentenced)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCFG-NQH (1930 Census LA married)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K8NT-CJ4 (1929 Marriage to Mary Mathews)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380327309/?terms=%22bull%2Bmontana%22 (1931 divorce)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9CC-ZQ3 (1940 Census LA divorced)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V4D4-W8N (1942 WWII Draft 5'9”)
https://wiki2.org/en/Bull_Montana#cite_note-obit-1 (Wiki Bio)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1193&h=4181378&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=6224
(1920 Naturalization Petition 5'8”)
Jim Jarvis (help and research)

This page was last updated on: 17 November 2018