Saturday, February 20, 2010


The steely eyed fellow above is one Lee Marvin born this day 1924 in New York City. He bounced around a few schools in his youth, getting expelled from several, before finishing school and joining the Marines. During World War II he was wounded at the battle of Saipan, received a Purple Heart. After the war, while working as a plumber's assistant he was asked to fill in for an actor who had fallen ill at a small theatre in upstate New York. That little twist of fate was his big break in some ways, and he moved to New York City to pursue more roles, beginning with amateur off Broadway productions. He moved to Hollywood in 1950, and a star was soon born. He played in a lot of war movies, due to his combat experience, and played a lot of hard boiled tough guys as well. In 1965 he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "Cat Ballou" a role that was just a bit out of his usual type. A lot of this roles are worthy of hero status, but it is for his role as Hickey in "The Iceman Cometh" that I put him on the hero stand. It is a lovely movie, and he does a fantastic job in the main role, if you have not seen it you should. He even somehow managed to get some oddball secret society named after him. It is called "the Sons of Lee Marvin" and the main criteria for getting membership is some physical resemblance to Lee Marvin. Apparently the real son of Lee Marvin is not a fan of the group, and it is probably just a goofy way of making themselves feel "cool." And one thing Lee Marvin was, was cool, and for being one cool, tough guy, and for all those lovely roles in some damn good films. Lee Marvin (February 19th, 1924-August 29th, 1987, at the age of 63), you are my (178th and a day late) hero of the day.

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