The Legendary Lee Marvin was born on this day in 1924

His distinctive voice and prematurely white hair were his trademark

The Legendary Lee Marvin was born on this day in 1924

Born on February 19, 1924, in New York City, Lee Marvin trademark image was his distinctive voice and prematurely white hair. Marvin left school at 18 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 12, 1942. He served with the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific Theater during World War II.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 eventually made it to Broadway. After moving to Hollywood in 1950, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers, and other hardboiled characters, but gradually began playing more important roles. A prominent television role was that of Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger in the NBC crime series M Squad (1957–1960). One of Marvin’s most notable film projects was “Cat Ballou” (1965), a comedy Western in which he played dual roles. During the 1960’s, Marvin became one of the most required actions and western movies actors. In 1967, the hugely successful World War II epic “The Dirty Dozen”, in which top-billed Marvin again portrayed an intrepid commander of a colorful group (future stars John Cassavetes, Charles Bronson, Telly Savalas, Jim Brown, and Donald Sutherland) performing an almost impossible mission established him as a movie star. In 1969, he starred in the Western musical “Paint Your Wagon”, in which he was top-billed over a singing Clint Eastwood. Despite his limited singing ability, he had a hit song with “Wand’rin’ Star”. Marvin had a much greater variety of roles in the 1970’s and 1980’s, with fewer ‘bad-guy’ roles than in earlier years.Marvin’s last big role was in Samuel Fuller’s “The Big Red One” (1980), a war film based on Fuller’s own war experiences. A less known or publicized side of Lee Marvin was his early support for Gay Rights. In 1969, during an interview with Playboy he expressed his views on gay people, among other things, understood the discrimination that was very present in society, he also stated he would enjoy playing a gay character, which never happened, this makes Lee Marvin the first Hollywood movie star openly advocating for Gay rights. Some of the awards and recognition’s throughout his career were, for portraying both gunfighter Kid Shelleen and criminal Tim Strawn, the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, an NBR Award, and the Silver Bear for Best Actor. Lee Marvin died of a heart attack, aged only 63, on August 29, 1987.

Watch Lee Marvin performing his famous song “Wand’rin Star” on the 1969 Western Musical “Paint Your Wagon”

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