Lee Marvin – Private First Class, United States Marine Corps Movie Actor

Born on February 19, 1924, Lee Marvin left his mark as a prominent Hollywood actor. His early life diverged into a significant chapter when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. While serving as a Private First Class, Marvin engaged in fierce combat in the Pacific. His valor was acknowledged when he received a Purple Heart after being wounded at the Battle of Saipan, an injury that affected his sciatic nerve.

Acting Career

Marvin transitioned from military service to the entertainment world, making a mid-20th-century film debut and pursuing a career that witnessed a steady rise. He featured in successful motion pictures, television, and Broadway productions. Some of his career highlights include his roles in the films “The Big Heat,” “Cat Ballou,” for which he won an Academy Award, and “The Dirty Dozen.”

Personal Life and Legacy

Marvin passed away following a heart attack in Tucson, Arizona, on August 29, 1987. His final resting place is at Arlington National Cemetery, near significant landmarks such as the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns. Admirably, Marvin never wavered from his military roots, often reflecting on his service and the sacrifice of fellow veterans.

Popular Culture and Recognition

Marvin's association with the U.S. Marine Corps and his illustrious acting career established him as a notable figure both in real-life and on the television screen. A frequent guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, he shared compelling stories from his military and acting careers, although a specific anecdote of his service with Bob Keeshan, known as Captain Kangaroo, has been debunked as apocryphal.


Frequently Asked Questions

What movies did Lee Marvin star in?

Lee Marvin's career in film was marked by numerous memorable roles. Some prominent films featuring Marvin include:

  • Cat Ballou (1965) – For which he won an Academy Award for Best Actor.
  • The Dirty Dozen (1967) – A classic war movie.
  • Point Blank (1967) – A seminal revenge thriller.
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) – A noteworthy Western.

What was Lee Marvin's role in the United States Marine Corps?

Lee Marvin served as a Private First Class in the United States Marine Corps. During World War II, he was part of the 4th Marine Division, seeing action in the Pacific.

Which military decorations did Lee Marvin receive?

The military decorations awarded to Lee Marvin include:

  • Purple Heart – Received after being wounded in battle.

When did Lee Marvin pass away, and what was the cause?

Lee Marvin died on August 29, 1987. The cause was a heart attack. He was 63 years old.

Can you provide a chronological list of Lee Marvin's filmography?

A concise chronological list of Lee Marvin's filmography includes:

Year Film
1950 The Big Heat
1972 Pocket Money
1981 Death Hunt

Note: This is not a comprehensive list but reflects the variety of roles across his career.

Where is Lee Marvin interred, and who rests beside him?

Lee Marvin is interred at Arlington National Cemetery. His grave is next to other distinguished military personnel.

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