Lenny Montana
American professional wrestler
Lenny Montana
Lenny Montana was an American actor, who played the role of feared hitman Luca Brasi in The Godfather. Prior to becoming an actor, he had a successful career as a professional wrestler,. He stood 6'6".
Biography
Lenny Montana's personal information overview.
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News
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WWE: The Rock and the Top 10 Wrestlers Clearly at Home on the Silver Screen - Bleacher Report
Google News - over 5 years
After spending much of his early career as a wrestler, Lenny Montana moved on in the early 1970s. He got his big break when he was cast as Luca Brasi in The Godfather. From that point forward, Montana became one of the leading actors when a film had a
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Google News article
Defiance - WhatDVD.Net
Google News - over 5 years
Look closely and you'll see Tony Sirico (Paulie from The Sopranos) in an early role and Lenny Montana (Luca Brasi from The Godfather) in small but memorable roles as respectable members of the neighborhood. Director John Flynn orchestrates everything
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Google News article
Nightmare movie that kind of worked out - Yorkshire Post
Google News - over 5 years
“I remember on The Godfather, big Lenny Montana, who played Luca Brassi, he was a professional wrestler and he was really connected to the Mob. “Well, he did that scene with Brando, saying that he hoped he had a beautiful son. When they first did it,
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Google News article
Sullivan on Cinema: Apocalypse Now - Red Bull (International)
Google News - almost 6 years
But I remember on The Godfather, big Lenny Montana (Luca Brasi), he was professional wrestler and he was really connected to the Mob. Well, he did that scene with Brando, saying that he hoped he had a beautiful son and so forth, and when they first did
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Google News article
A Mantova 'Film Legend' rassegna di film digitalizzati - CremonaOnLine
Google News - almost 6 years
... Franco Citti, Richard Bright, Corrado Gaipa, Victor Rendina, Saro Urzì, Simonetta Stefanelli, Jeannie Linero, Lenny Montana, John Martino, Tere Livrano, Al Martino, Salvatore Corsitto, Ardell Sheridan, Morgana King Titolo originale The Godfather
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Google News article
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS; Haircuts He Has Known
NYTimes - over 8 years
ROCCO SCALI was sitting in his car on Henry Street, in front of the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn Heights, when he spotted a familiar face. There are a lot of them for Mr. Scali, better known to customers as Rocky, who for 50 years has been cutting hair in the barber shop on the hotel's ground floor, right outside the entrance to the subway station.
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NYTimes article
ALDRICH'S '...ALL THE MARBLES'
NYTimes - over 35 years
ROBERT ALDRICH has made all kinds of movies, including some very good action films (''Vera Cruz,'' ''Ulzana's Raid'' and ''Emperor of the North Pole''), some that are high camp (''Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?'') and some, like ''The Dirty Dozen'' and ''The Grissom Gang,'' that are so violent that they come close to being selfparody. Each has
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lenny Montana
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1992
    Age 65
    Montana retired from acting after appearing in the B movie Blood Song, which he also co-wrote. He died of a heart attack on August 26, 1992 while in Lindenhurst, New York.
    More Details Hide Details He was 66 years old. His likeness was used as his character Luca Brasi in The Godfather Game. Terence McGovern provided the voice acting. Montana was survived by his loving wife Sylvia, four children and twelve grandchildren.
  • FORTIES
  • 1971
    Age 44
    It was in 1971 that Montana was acting as a bodyguard for a senior Colombo Family member that he met Francis Ford Coppola and Al Ruddy.
    More Details Hide Details After being introduced to the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Montana, they quickly cast him for the role of Luca Brasi. When Bettye McCartt, Al Ruddy's assistant, broke her watch, Montana offered to get her a new one. A week later, Montana returned with a "gift from the boys" – an antique diamond watch. He was picked for the part after the original actor playing the character died of a stroke. This would be his first film appearance. His role was that of sadistic mob enforcer Luca Brasi, a hitman used by Don Corleone (Marlon Brando). Montana was so nervous about appearing opposite Brando that he kept practicing his lines over and over again. Francis Ford Coppola rewrote the scene to feature this. Montana also suffered an attack of nerves during the scene where his character thanked the Don; Coppola also wrote this into the script as Brasi being overwhelmed by the Don's invitation to his daughter's wedding. He had little screen time in the role of Luca Brasi, but his notable height and physique caught the eye of producers, and he appeared in several movies and television programs after appearing in The Godfather.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1964
    Age 37
    Montana was due to be Gorilla Monsoon's tag team partner in 1964, but it never happened due to Monsoon becoming partners with The African Savage at the last minute.
    More Details Hide Details Lenny had been interested in acting, and was meeting with casting agents in Los Angeles at the same time he was due to team up with Bison. Montana began to wrestle less and less, and went into semi-retirement; however he appeared in matches up until his acting career took off in the early 1970s. Montana became involved with the Colombo crime family in the late 1960s. Tall and very heavily built, his talents were mostly as an enforcer and an arsonist. He would tie a tampon to the tail of a mouse, dip it in kerosene, light it, and let the mouse run through a building, or he would put a candle in front of a cuckoo clock so that when the clock's bird would pop out the candle would be knocked over and start a fire. Eventually, Montana ended up doing time in Riker's Island Prison. Upon being released, as a friend of the family, Montana would act as a bodyguard for many of the senior members of the Colombo Family.
  • 1963
    Age 36
    Finally, the duo won the NWA World Tag Team Championship in Georgia, during October 1963, they defeated Karl Von Brauner and Kurt Von Brauner.
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  • 1962
    Age 35
    On November 23, 1962, he won the NWA (Georgia) Southern Tag Team Titles with his partner Gypsy Joe, defeating 'Grizzly' Jake Smith and Luke Brown.
    More Details Hide Details Montana then went on to form a powerful partnership with Tarzan Tyler, in which they would win three titles. First, the NWA International Tag Team Titles on April 9, 1963 defeating Ted Evans and Chief Little Eagle, then again winning the NWA International Tag Team Titles later in June 1963, defeating billed champions Chief Little Eagle and Dick Steinborn.
    Things came to a head when Montana defeated Eddie Graham in a NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (Georgia version) title match on May 1, 1962.
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  • 1961
    Age 34
    After recovering from his injury, in 1961 Montana began to wrestle in Florida.
    More Details Hide Details He came to the Tampa Bay area and began to wrestle under The Zebra Kid alias. At his great size, he would often pin his opponents in under one minute. The Zebra Kid had a notable feud with Eddie Graham; their battles sold out Fort Homer Hesterly Armory many Tuesday nights in 1961.
  • 1960
    Age 33
    Then with Hard Boiled Haggerty, he won the AWA World Tag Team Championship on October 4, 1960, defeating Stan Kowalski and Tiny Mills (wrestling as Murder Inc.) in Minneapolis.
    More Details Hide Details But in a match against Verne Gagne, Montana suffered a broken leg, forcing Haggerty to choose a new partner.
    As a popular wrestler within the circuit, Montana met the then unknown Eddie Sharkey in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details The two struck up a friendship. After seeing what Sharkey could do, Montana recommended that he try his hand at professional wrestling. Montana also clued in Sharkey on the then-unacknowledged truth about professional wrestling, that all the outcomes are predetermined. Later on in that year, Montana won the NWA Texas World Tag Team titles with Joe Christie, under the Len Crosby name.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1956
    Age 29
    His final success of the 1950s came in 1956, winning the NWA Texas Tag Team Championship with Gene Kiniski, defeating Herb Freeman and Ray Gunkel on September 18 in Dallas under the alias Len Crosby.
    More Details Hide Details He also worked as a bouncer during this time to earn extra money, refusing patrons and removing drunken customers at several bars and clubs. By the late 1950s, Montana was on the road with the Carnival Circuit as a wrestler.
  • 1953
    Age 26
    However he lost the title on December 11, 1953 to Sonny Myers, who had held the title a previous three times before defeating the Zebra Kid.
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    He soon won the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship, defeating Dave Sims on October 1, 1953 in Kansas City.
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    His wrestling career began in neighboring New Jersey in 1953. He wrestled under the Zebra Kid gimmick, and was billed at the height of 6 foot 6 inches. It wasn't long before Montana found success. Along with Golden Terror, they won the New Jersey Tag Team titles on April 4, 1953.
    More Details Hide Details Lenny began to travel on the road, wrestling in the Midwest.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1926
    Born
    He was born in Brooklyn, New York City in 1926 of Italian-American heritage.
    More Details Hide Details He was fluent in both the English and Italian languages.
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