Remembered as the "tough guy" of cinema, Lee Marvin remains one of the most iconic male actors of his time. His embodiment of the hard edged character traits led other actors to follow suit and continue to inspire future generations of stars.
The Academy Award winning actor was born on February 19, 1924 in New York City. Quitting high school to join the Marine Corps during WW ll, Marvin was later wounded in battle in the South Pacific. A year later, he returned to the U.S. and started to work as a plumber's apprentice.
Bitten with the acting bug, Marvin decided to study at the New York-based American Theater Wing. Soon Marvin began working in television and off-Broadway productions. In 1951, he starred in Broadway production, "Billy Bud" and made his first film appearance in "You're in the Navy Now." A year later, he was hired to perform in "The Diplomatic Courier" and was recruited by a top agent. This led to regular appearances onscreen.
At first Marvin did mostly supporting roles like soldiers, villains and other tough-as-nails characters. However after winning an Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1965 film, "Cat Ballou," Marvin landed more heroic roles.
Out of his 107 roles, his outstanding performances include his roles in the movies "The Wild One", " Point Blank", "Bad Day at Black Rock", "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Big Red One."
He also guest starred in many weekly drama shows during the 1950s to 1960s such as "General Electric Theater" and starred in two t.v. shows; "M Squad" and "Lee Marvin Presents: Lawbreaker".
Marvin did not stray far from his Broadway roots and starred in the screen adaption of the Broadway hit, "Paint Your Wagon." His performance in this film led him to a Golden Globe nomination. His rendition of the song "Wand'rin' Star" in the movie became a number one hit in the UK for three weeks during 1970.
Marvin passed away on August 29, 1987 in Arizona. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetary with full military honors. The legacy he left behind endures in the classic movies he starred in and continues to inspire many distinguished stars to this day.