Montie Montana, dead at 87

Once lassoed President Eisenhower

Cowboy roping legend Montie Montana, who shared the screen with John Wayne and once lassoed President Eisenhower, died Wednesday in Los Angeles from complications following a series of strokes. He was 87.

Montana, born Owen Harlan Mickel in 1910, appeared in a number of John Wayne movies, including the 1962 classic “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence.”

He also appeared in the Shirley Temple starrer “Stand Up and Cheer” (1934) and served as the technical director on “The Story of Will Rogers” (1952).

He made headlines in 1953 when he roped President Dwight D. Eisenhower as a gag during his inaugural parade. He asked the President’s permission first, but Secret Service agents still weren’t amused.

Inducted into several cowboy halls of fame, Montana was a fixture on the rodeo circuit in the United States and Canada.

TV viewers know him from more than 60 appearances in the annual Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, waving to the crowd from his silver saddle.

Montie is survived by his wife, Marilee, four children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at the Pioneer Church at Oakwood Cemetery in Chatsworth.

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