Gay Rights was in its earliest public stage in 1969 but that didn’t keep Lee Marvin from commenting on it in a 1969 Playboy Magazine interview. In fact, one of the things I’m often asked is why did I choose to write about Lee Marvin. Quite frankly, the more I found about him as a person the more intrigued I became as he was not a typical macho, strutting, chauvinist. His opinions astonished me, such as his thought on Gay Rights,  especially for a man of his generation. Anyone who reads Lee Marvin: Point Blank will probably discover that as I did in researching and writing it.
He was an extremely hot commodity in 1969, so when Playboy wanted a big name to interview for its anniversry issue, they could not do better than Marvin……

Cover of Dec. '69 issue of PLAYBOY featuring an interview with Lee Marvin.

Cover of Dec. ’69 issue of PLAYBOY featuring an interview with Lee Marvin.

The interview was conducted not long after the assassination of both Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy so the topic of violence in American (and film) was prevalent in the interview, as shown from one of the pull quotes below…..

Shown growing his beard for Paint Your Wagon, Lee Marvin in the famous three pix of Playboy's interview format.

Shown growing his beard for Paint Your Wagon, Lee Marvin in the famous three pix of Playboy’s interview format.

That said, THE most striking aspect of the interview, in my opinion, is when the subject of homosexuality is brought up and what Marvin has to say about it. There’s macho swagger of course, but he not only says he could he easily play a gay character, he gives it his own spin. You’d never hear John Wayne say that! I also love the fact that even the pseudo, ultra-hip Playboy interviewer is taken aback by Marvin’s response…..

Lee Marvin's comments on what he thinks about homosexuality on film.

Lee Marvin’s comments on what he thinks about homosexuality on film.


Marvin's thoughts on homosexuality continued.

Marvin’s thoughts on homosexuality continued.

By the way, for more on Marvin’s opinions on such controversial subjects — including a rather funny run-in he had with a gay producer and how he handled it — read Lee Marvin Point Blank. You won’t be disappointed.
– Dwayne Epstein



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  1. As someone who is openly gay, I was taken aback by Marvin’s candor and understand his point of view considering his years in the Marine Corp during WWII, and being in close quarters with other men, who would ultimately be in life and death situations, there is a special bond that lasts forever between men that no woman could ever understand.

    • A bond that no woman would ever understand – being in a life and death situation – suppose giving birth doesn’t count at all

      • Wow, James, sexist much? Lee was ahead of his time but you are certainly not ahead of yours. Has it escaped your notice that women serve in the military now? Or are they incapable of this bond? You are not doing much to ease the apprehension of many women that gay men are often even more misogynist than straight men. And bravo Tess. Birth is indeed a life or death situation and one that more women face then men (and women) face in combat.

        • Aqua: “Even more misogynist than straight men”.

          Yeah, cause all men hate women. But of course it is ok for women like you to generalize when spouting your hatred for all men.

          • Mark M,
            I only allowed your comment here to correct what you misquoted. Aqua wrote “SOME gay men are even more mysogynist than straight men,” which you left out of your comment and then you accused her of generalizing which is what you did yourself. NOT cool.

  2. In my opinion as a fan of Lee marvin as a actor he was a first rate movie star of the post war years and let’s face it they don’t make them like they used to it is a shame that he has gone to see how good an actor he is check him out in the dirty dozen or cat balou.

  3. I was a young woman age 26 when I met Lee in a club/bar in Reno in the sixties
    A nicer guy you could not meet. I was singing with a friend working there. Lee denied his identity but I knew that he had been in a film and that voice was unmistakable. He was a complete gentleman and I never forgot it. He did not want people fawning over him because he was a star.

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