San Franciscans love our larger-than-life characters. Remember when one of our San Francisco lawyers was suddenly recognized as the guy who was the attorney for Jack Ruby who shot Lee Harvey Oswald, accused of the assassination of President John Kennedy? The lawyer was Melvin Belli.
In October of 1966, he made headlines for marrying a local tv personality, Pat Montandon. He was 59 years old and she was 38. The marriage took place at a hot springs resort in Japan where they were both dressed in kimonos. They returned to San Francisco to a flurry of media coverage.
Within days, they had to announce that the marriage was over.
He went on to another marriage and a media frenzy of a divorce before marrying a sixth wife. He died in 1996, just shy of his 89th birthday. She went on to host a local tv show and write a couple of books before getting married again.
Pat always has a positive message for everyone. She was born in Oklahoma and lived through a poor upbringing in rural Texas before coming to San Francisco and working for the Joseph Magnin department store in 1960.
Her marriage to San Franciscan Al Wilsey also ended with media headlines. She has a son. Her positive attitude led her to her humanitarian work. And she has continued to write books. She lives in Beverley Hills now. She will be 88 years old this December. Here she is at 73 years old promoting one of her books: