From the first day he came to Hollywood to the end of his life, Lee Marvin’s sole theatrical representative was the late Meyer Mishkin. There was a brief period during the run of TV’s “M Squad” where they had a falling out, but shortly after that Marvin gladly returned to the fold.
The relationship the two men shared was in many ways typical of Hollywood actor/agent pairings, as described throughout Lee Marvin Point Blank via the exclusive interview Mishkin graciously granted me prior to his 1999 passing. Surviving together for close to four decades in the entertainment industry also proves that in many ways their teaming was quite atypical, such as their first meeting, or what Lee said and did the night he won the Academy Award.
As Lee would often say to Meyer, “You know, I learn Yiddish words from you. Like when you say to me, ‘Lee! Don’t be a schmuck!'”
Pictured below are the two of them at the 1969 London Premiere of Paint Your Wagon. Following that, an exclusive and unpublished anecdote by Mishkin that illustrates how they worked together…
Meyer Mishkin: I’ll tell you this one story. He was doing a film at Universal. One day I got a call. “Meyer, you better do something about it. Lee’s shooting the film but tonight he went across the street to the bar. He’s getting loaded.” I said, “Okay.” I came to the studio, Universal, and I went across the street into the bar. I walked in and there was Lee, gyrating all over the place. I walked in, and as he was doing it, I just yelled “LEE!” He turned around, saw me, and went stiff as a board. “Okay.” [Lee said with his hands up]. I said, “C’mon, c’mon. I’m taking you home.” He got into my car and we drove to Malibu where he was living. When we got to the house, got out of the car, walked over to the door, I said to him, “Give me your keys.” He said, I don’t have them. I don’t know where I left them.” I said, “How are we going to get in?” He said, “Don’t worry.” Took two steps back and he kicked the door in. I sat with him for a little while and I said, “Look, I’m going to have a limo pick you up tomorrow morning. I want you to be on the set. You’re gonna be working, etc.” He said [with his hands held up] “All right.” That’s what he used to do. The next morning, he showed up. The limo came, picked him up, took him to the set. Everything was okay. He took, I think another day. I met someone in the industry who said to me about Lee getting drunk in the bar, “Hey, you walked in and he sobered up.” I said, “Yeah, but only ten percent.”