New York City, New York, USA
Place of Death
Tucson, Arizona, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack, Other Crew
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Profile Bio Text
Lee Marvin (February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an American film actor. Known for his gravelly voice, white hair and 6` 2" stature, Marvin at first did supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers and other hardboiled characters, but after winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his dual roles in Cat Ballou (1965), he landed more heroic and sympathetic leading roles. Marvin was born in New York City, the son of Lamont Waltman Marvin, an advertising executive and the head of the New York and New England Apple Institute and his wife Courtenay Washington Davidge, a fashion writer and beauty consultant. His father was a direct descendant of Matthew Marvin, Sr., who emigrated from Great Bentley, Essex, England in 1635 and helped found Hartford, Connecticut.
After the war, while working as a plumber`s assistant at a local community theatre in Upstate New York, Marvin was asked to replace an actor who had fallen ill during rehearsals. He then began an amateur off-Broadway acting career in New York City and served as an understudy in Broadway productions. Marvin in a scene from the 1973 film Emperor of the North PoleIn 1950, Marvin moved to Hollywood. He found work in supporting roles, and from the beginning was cast in various war films. As a decorated combat veteran, Marvin was a natural in war dramas, where he frequently assisted the director and other actors in realistically portraying infantry movement, arranging costumes, and even adjusting war surplus military prop firearms. His debut was in You`re in the Navy Now (1951), and in 1952 he appeared in several films, including Don Siegel`s Duel at Silver Creek, Hangman`s Knot, and the war drama Eight Iron Men. He played Gloria Grahame`s vicious boyfriend in Fritz Lang`s The Big Heat (1953). Marvin had a small but memorable role in The Wild One (1953) opposite Marlon Brando (Marvin`s gang in the film was called "The Beetles"), followed by Seminole (1953) and Gun Fury (1953). He also had a small but memorable role as smartalecky sailor Meatball in The Caine Mutiny. He was again praised for his role as Hector the small town hood in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) with Spencer Tracy. In the 1960s, Marvin was given prominent co-starring roles in such films as The Comancheros (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) (as the title villain), and Donovan`s Reef (1963), all with John Wayne. Marvin also guest-starred in Combat! and The Twilight Zone.
Marvin had a much greater variety of roles in the 1970s and 1980s, with fewer `bad-guy` roles than in earlier years. His 1970s films included Monte Walsh (1970), Prime Cut (1972), Pocket Money (1972), Emperor of the North Pole (1973), The Iceman Cometh (1973) as Hickey, The Spikes Gang (1974), The Klansman (1974), Shout at the Devil (1976), The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (1976), and Avalanche Express (1978). Marvin was offered the role of Quint in Jaws (1975) but declined, stating "What would I tell my fishing friends who`d see me come off a hero against a dummy shark?". Marvin`s last big role was in Samuel Fuller`s The Big Red One (1980). His remaining films were Death Hunt (1981), Gorky Park (1983), Dog Day (1984), and The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission (1985); his final appearance was in The Delta Force (1986).
A father of six, Marvin was married twice. His first marriage to Betty Ebeling began in February 1951 and ended in divorce on January 5, 1967; during this time his hobbies included sport fishing off the Baja California coast and duck hunting along the Mexican border near Mexicali. He then married Pamela Feeley (who had been his girlfriend in Woodstock, New York a quarter century earlier) on October 18, 1970 and remained her husband until his death. During the 1970s, Marvin resided off and on in Woodstock, caring for his dying father, and would make regular trips to Cairns, Australia to engage in marlin fishing. In 1975 Marvin and Pamela moved to Tucson, where he lived until his death. Marvin was a liberal Democrat who opposed the Vietnam War and declared his support for the gay rights movement in a January 1969 interview with Playboy magazine. He publicly endorsed John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election.
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Keenan Wynn, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Woody Strode, John Wayne
Lee Marvin (February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an American film and television actor. Known for his distinctive voice, white hair and 6 ft 1 1⁄2 in (187 cm) stature, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers and other hardboiled characters. From 1957 to 1960, he starred as Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger in the NBC crime series, M Squad.
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