Monty Woolley (1888 – 1963) was the son of a successful hotel magnate with grand hotels in New York City and Saratoga Springs. He prowled the streets of Saratoga during its golden age, hobnobbing with the stars of the day and emulating their theatrical lifestyle at Yale, Woolley went on to direct undergraduate dramatics at Yale and is credited as a pioneer in university and musical theater in America.
With classmate Cole Porter’s help, Woolley broke into professional theater as a stage director and actor in the 1930s. He is best remembered as the insufferable Sheridan Whiteside in “The Man Who Came to Dinner” (1939). Although repeatedly typecast in variations on this same role, Woolley could be an actor of great range, as evidenced by his Oscar-nominated performances in “The Pied Piper” (1942) and “Since You Went Away” (1946). He retired due to ill health after his last screen appearance in “Kismet” (1955).