LEE MARVIN’S BIRTHDAY, PRESIDENT’S DAY & THE WASHINGTON CONNECTION

Monday, February 19th would have been Lee Marvin’s 94th birthday, which, coincidentally enough, also falls on President’s Day this year. Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank are well aware of Marvin’s distant connection to the father of our country, thanks in part to a quoted letter from hs mother and dogged research from yours truly. With that in mind, I thought it a good reason to research the family link to our country’s first president in specificity. Bear with me as it’s rather entangled. Ready? Here we go….

Portrait of the Washington Family: (L-R) Martha, her granddaughter, husband George and grandson.

Lee Marvin’s mother, Courtenay Washington Davidge (1896-1963), was born in Virginia, to Estelle Courtenay Washington (1875-1942) and William Fendall Davidge (1871-1941). Got it? Good. Now, it gets a little complicated, especially since George Washington fathered no biological children. Since Courtenay’s mother was Estelle Washington, do you see the connection? Well, believe it or not, it’s not on her mother’s side. Courtenay’s father, William Fendall Davidge, was the son of Anna Louisa Washington Davidge (1836-1885) who’s father, renowned surgeon Dr. Bailey Washington (1787-1854), was the son of Lawrence Washington, making him the nephew of…..wait for it…GEORGE WASHINGTON!
Whew! That wasn’t so bad, now was it? All of this simply means that Lee Marvin’s blood line somehow includes the reason we celebrate Presdent’s Day…which by the way, never really fell on either Washington or Lincoln’s birthday. Please, don’t get me started on that one!
Anyway, I just like to think it’s good to know that the first President of the United States, first Commander-in-Chief, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen,” gave so much so that one day, we were able to get Emperor of the North, LEE MARVIN!  Happy birthday, Lee, and Happy President’s day, one and all.
-Dwayne Epstein

First president’s George Washington’s great, great, grand nephew.

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HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY TO LEE MARVIN!

Happy Birthday Lee!

It was on this day, on February 19, 1924, that Lee Marvin came into the world in New York’s Booth Memorial Hospital, which still exists, by the way. His very existence (described in a flowery letter by his mother in Lee Marvin Point Blank) was a result of the union of Virginia’s Courtenay Washington Davidge and Elmira New York’s Lamont Waltham Marvin, seen below in their halycon dating days in the early 1920s (left) and then later during the Depression where they lived in Queens, New York (right)…
leesfolks

On the rooftop of their Manhattan apartment, baby Lee is seen perched on a pillow with his mother, smiling his tongue-wagging smile even as an infant as he would do decades later as Liberty Valance….

babylee

 

Because Lee’s father, Monte, worked for Kodak in the 1920s, the Marvins were one of the few families at the time able to take such images as shown below, as his parents trade places to pose with baby Lee and his older brother (by 18 months) Robert….
family

Finally, the only known nude scene of Lee Marvin (right), shown here along with his brother, Robert (left), playing in the bucolic setting of Woodstock, New York. Beneath it is an image of curly-haired Lee as a toddler already assuming the stance and defiant curl of the lip he’d maintain in many film performances. Some things are just ingrained….

withbrother

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