Bull Montana

Lewis Montagna (born Luigi Montagna, May 16, 1887 – January 24, 1950), better known as Bull Montana, was an Italian-American professional wrestler and actor.[1][2][3]

Bull Montana
Montana in 1919
Birth nameLuigi Montagna
BornMay 16, 1887
Voghera, Italy
DiedJanuary 24, 1950(1950-01-24) (aged 62)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Bull Montana
Billed height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Billed weight250 lb (113 kg)
Billed fromLos Angeles, California
Trained byGene Dundee


Montagna was born on May 16, 1887 in Voghera, Italy and came to the United States as a child.[1]

He became a professional wrestler under the name of Bull Montana. He gravitated to films in 1917, appearing first in several of the vehicles of his close pal Douglas Fairbanks. In 1919 he appeared as a gruesome villain in Maurice Tourneur's masterpiece Victory alongside Lon Chaney. Numbered among his many friends was Abe "The Newsboy" Hollandersky, boxer, wrestler, and movie extra, who claimed Montagna offered to help him finance his 1930 autobiography.[4]

In the early 1920s Montana, as he was known, often wrestled with his friend Jack Dempsey prior to some of Dempsey's larger fights to help entertain the press and spectators.[5]

Montagna was usually cast as a thug, henchman or something not quite sympathetic, and sometimes not quite human (he was the apelike cave dweller in 1925's The Lost World opposite Wallace Beery as Arthur Conan Doyle's Professor Challenger). Tempering his on-screen brutishness with humor, Montana starred in his own series of two-reel comedies in the early 1920s, spoofing everyone from Robin Hood (Rob 'Em Good) to the Corsican Brothers (The Two Twins). He appeared in two Buster Keaton films including a role as a professional wrestler in the film Palooka from Paducah. He continued playing movie bits into the 1940s, notably as one of Buster Crabbe's antagonists in the 1936 series Flash Gordon. Like many mashed-face musclemen of the movies, Bull Montana is reputed to have been as gentle as a lamb in real life.

He died on January 24, 1950 in Los Angeles, California.[1] He is buried in Calvary Cemetery.[2]

Selected filmography [3]


  1. "Bull Montana Dead. Actor And Wrestler". The New York Times. January 25, 1950.
  2. "Bull Montana". All Movie Bio. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  3. "Bull Montana". Bull Montana All Movie Filmography. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  4. Hollandersky, Abe (1958). The Life Story of Abe the Newsboy, Hero of a Thousand Fights, Published by Abraham Hollandersky, Los Angeles, p. 388.
  5. Dempsey wrestled Montana in "Dempsey Finishing Heavy Ring Work", The New York Times, New York City, page 2, 27 June 1921
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