Lisa Montell, Known for ‘World Without End’ and TV Westerns, Passes Away at 89.

Lisa Montell

Lisa Montell, a well-known actress from the 1950s and ’60s, passed away at the age of 89. She appeared in several notable films such as “World Without End” alongside Rod Taylor and “Ten Thousand Bedrooms” with Dean Martin.

Lisa Montell, born Irena Ludmilla Vladimiovna Augustinovich on July 5, 1933, in Warsaw, Poland, had a diverse acting career portraying characters of various ethnicities. In movies like “Naked Paradise” and “She Gods of Shark Reef,” she played Hawaiians. She also made appearances in numerous TV Westerns including “The Gene Autry Show,” “Broken Arrow,” “Tales of Wells Fargo,” and others.

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One of her memorable roles was in the science fiction film “World Without End” in 1956. The movie, directed by Edward Bernds, depicted Earth in the 26th century after a devastating atomic war. Montell played a woman who falls in love with an accidental time-traveling astronaut portrayed by Rod Taylor.

In the musical comedy “Ten Thousand Bedrooms” released in 1957, she played the sister of Anna Maria Alberghetti, Eva Bartok, and Lisa Gaye in Rome. This film marked Dean Martin’s first solo venture after parting ways with Jerry Lewis.

Montell and her family escaped to the United States from Poland before the Nazi invasion in 1939 and settled in New York City. She pursued her passion for acting, studying drama at prestigious institutions such as the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the High School of Performing Arts. Later, she attended the University of Miami. Eventually, she moved to Lima, Peru, when her father secured a job with a mining company.

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In 1953, Montell’s talent was recognized during a play, which led to her onscreen debut in “The Daughter of the Sun God,” filmed in Peru. However, the movie was not released until 1962. Subsequently, she relocated to Los Angeles following her father’s passing.

Throughout her career, Montell appeared in various films such as “Escape to Burma,” “Jump Into Hell,” “Daddy Long Legs,” “Finger Man,” and “Pearl of the South Pacific” in 1955. She also played a ballet dancer in the Leslie Caron-starring film “Gaby” in 1956. Additionally, she had roles in movies like “Tomahawk Trail” (1957), “The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold” (1958), and “The Firebrand” (1962).

Apart from her film credits, Montell made appearances on popular TV shows including “The Millionaire,” “Wire Service,” “The Ann Sothern Show,” “Surfside 6,” “Mike Hammer,” “The Magical World of Walt Disney,” and “77 Sunset Strip.”

In the mid-1960s, Montell transitioned away from acting and worked on a local TV show with Tom Bradley, who later became the Mayor of Los Angeles. She also served in his administration after his election.

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Lisa Montell is survived by her daughter, Shireen Janti, whom she had with her husband, actor David Janti. Additionally, she leaves behind her granddaughter, Tatiana.

Lisa Montell’s contributions to the film industry during the golden era of Hollywood will be remembered, and her diverse roles showcased her versatility as an actress. She will be missed by fans and fellow actors alike.