In doing interviews for the promotion of Lee Marvin Point Blank, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “What did you discover about Lee Marvin that you didn’t know before?” That is a simple question with a very lengthy answer, as researching the life of an individual is filled with revelations if you spend the amount of time delving as I did.
One of the earliest discoveries concerned a relative of Lee’s. His name was Ross G. Marvin and was Lee’s great uncle who helped to raise Lee’s father, Monte. He was a fascinating individual on many levels but the most obvious was the fact he sadly lost his life while still in his 20s. He did so being the only known fatality of Admiral Peary’s expedition in the race to the Pole.
The true story of Ross Marvin’s fate seems like something out of a Lee Marvin film, like Death Hunt (1981),but is told for the first time since it happened in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank as a a symbolic building block to Lee Marvin’s life. Below are images of young Ross Marvin as he prepared to leave with Peary in 1908 and aboard ship ready to leave for the unchartered north. Then, Ross Marvin’s headstone, followed by a newspaper clipping ten years later as a plaque is dedicated in his honor in the chapel of his alma mater, Cornell University.
Lee heard the tales of his great uncle’s adventures from his father and consequently became a lifelong admirer of such writers as Jack London and Robert Service. The truth, however, eluded Lee Marvin his entire life. Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank discover the facts in the first chapter….