It was on 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. Their stormy relationshsip is also describedin the book via his mother’s letters to his father, 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)…
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 in his film career….
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 brother, Robert, older by 18 months….
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….
And finally, as it his birthday, Lee is shown at another neigbor’s birthday party enjoying one of the party favors given to all the guests.
In total, just my own humble way of saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEE MARVIN! Anyone and everyone interested in discovering the details of his fascinating life can find them in the pages of Lee Marvin Point Blank. Feel free to check it out, if you haven’t done so already. If you have, what better time then to give it another look? Stand it upright, hold a glass of your favorite beverage up high and salute the man who, for better or worse, created the modern American cinema of violence. Semper Fi, Mr. Marvin.