A self-taught artist, he created bronze busts of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Gene Autry and Randolph Scott. In later years he made sculptures of Charles Farrell and ex-wife Dinah Shore; hers and those of his children and himself sit at the Mission Hills Country Club, home of the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament. Some of his sculptures are in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum and Library in Simi Valley, California.
After his divorce from Dinah Shore, in 1963 his private life again made headlines when his housekeeper, suffering obsessive infatuation, attempted to shoot the actor, planning to then commit suicide, but failing in both endeavors.
An excellent craftsman, he ran a cabinet shop for over 40 years while directing and appearing in action movies. He also designed and built 11 houses for friends and family.
His longtime companion of over twenty years was Ann Lindberg.
Left Hollywood in 1943 to enlist in the US Army Air Corps. After his discharge he went back to Hollywood and resumed his career.
Received many awards during his lifetime, including the Ralph Morgan Award from the Screen Actor's Guild and The Hollywood Westerner's Hall of Fame, Ronald Reagan Award.
The youngest of 15 children born to Ukrainian immigrants, he was raised on a Montana homestead.
Two children by Dinah Shore: Melissa Montgomery (born in 1947) and adopted son John "Jody" David Montgomery.
Was a heavyweight boxer before becoming an actor.