Born: 19 February 1924
Died: 29 August 1987 (heart attack)
Birthplace: New York, New York
Best known as: Rugged star of The Dirty Dozen
Tall, white-haired and, at times, just plain mean-looking, Lee Marvin was one of the most rugged heroes of the big screen and one of Hollywood's biggest stars in the late 1960s. A decorated veteran of World War II, Marvin started acting in New York and appeared on Broadway in the early 1950s. In the movies he was first typecast as a brutal thug, usually in westerns and crime dramas such as The Wild One (1954, with Marlon Brando), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962, starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart). After a three-year stint as the star of television's M Squad (1957-60), Marvin gradually moved from villain to hero in the movies and by 1965 had won an Oscar for his dual role in the broad western comedy Cat Ballou (1965, starring Jane Fonda). As a leading man, Marvin starred in a variety of movies, including Point Blank and The Dirty Dozen (both 1967), Hell in the Pacific (1968), Paint Your Wagon (1969, a musical western with Clint Eastwood) and Monte Walsh (1970). In 1979 Marvin made headlines when longtime girlfriend Michelle Triola sued him for half his fortune in what was called the "palimony" trial (Triola's claim was ultimately rejected). His other films include The Big Red One (1980), and Gorky Park (1983).
Extra credit: Marvin won an Emmy in 1961 for the TV movie People Need People... Marvin was wounded in the buttocks while serving as a Marine during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart; he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Who2?, LLC. All rights reserved.
More on Lee Marvin from Fact Monster:
Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.