Lee Marvin

Today, February 19, is the birthday (1924) of Lee Marvin, the well-known TV and film actor. He was tall and lanky with white hair and a distinctive voice.

He served in the marines in WWII and was wounded at the Battle of Saipan. After the war he started working as a plumber’s assistant at a theater, filled in for a sick actor, and the rest, as they say, was history.

He played in a really wide variety of roles, often villains and soldiers and gunfighters. He was particularly known for his portrayal of a hard-nosed detective in the 1957-60 TV hit “M Squad”. And he even starred in the MUSICAL Paint Your Wagon, one of my favorite movies; he sort of sang the hit song “Wand’rin’ Star”. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his comic role as Kid Shelleen in the offbeat 1965 Western Cat Ballou with Jane Fonda.

He was in quite a few highly regarded Westerns. Like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with John Wayne and James Stewart; he was Liberty. He starred in The Professionals, another of my favorite Westerns. The photo is of him (on the right) with Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale.

He died on August 29, 1987. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.