Lee Marvin on the cover of Parade Magazine

Only son and eldest child, Christopher Marvin: He had an effect with a lot of things, like the way he held a glass. He always had that and you see all those people doing that stuff now. He had that kind of trademark in the movies… But he was a real tender gentleman, too. He and I had some real delicate time as well; soul-searching stuff, working together with my father, which I really admire. I appreciated it. I don’t think very many people really have that.

L.A. Times film critic Charles Champlin: Marvin was an interesting man. In some ways, a tragic figure. You always had the feeling about Lee Marvin that there was more work that should have been done…Cat Ballou of course was just a classic piece of film acting and film making, really…. I also have one of those memories of Lee Marvin explaining in Stanley Kramer’s Ship of Fools how he never made it in baseball because he couldn’t hit a curve. That’s my memory…

Cult film director (Two-Lane Blacktop [1971]) Monte Hellman & uncredited director of Avalanche Express (Point Blank, pp. 213-214): He was a very conscientious actor. He was fun to work with. I think of him as a movie star and he had tremendous ease with what he did. He was just really easy and fun to work with. I admired him a lot. I really loved watching him.

Cult director Sam Fuller: He was a no-bullshit guy. Behind his rough-tough guy appearance was a soul as sensitive as the one of a poet. I really regret not having done more films with him. A real pro. Never got in your way. Enhanced every shot with his incredible physique and talent. We never had one mean word or bad feeling between us…. I feel privileged to have worked with him and to have known him.

Director Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter), The Chronicles of Narnia) and Gorky Park: He was a real joy. He’s one of my best memories of working with actors in my whole career. Anything I think I could add to increasing his esteem in the world of film acting, I would love to do because I think he was a terrific actor…This generation, probably never heard of him. It’s frightening. I loved Point Blank. I always liked watching him. I thought that was a terrific piece of work…. I always liked him from the very beginning.


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Great Man’s Passing
It was 26 years ago this weekend that we felt the loss of the great man’s passing: we lost Lee Marvin to the ravages of time.The loss to many of those closest to him, such as friends, family, and co-workers, is well chronicled in Lee Marvin Point Blank.
However, as is often the case, at the time of his passing, news of his death was overshadowed by the loss of another iconic fim personality: John Huston, who had passed away the day before, at the age of 81. Still in all, Marvin’s death was indeed recorded such as in the following obituaries, like this one from the L.A. Times:

In the actor’s home town of Tucson, the following obit ran:

The now long-defunct Herald-Examiner ran a piece in which they spoke with several of Marvin’s co-workers:
obit 4

However it was the N.Y. Times, in the city of his birth, which gave Marvin’s passing the most complete coverage:

Ironically, one of Marvin’s most frequent co-stars, Charles Bronson, did not comment on his death but would himself pass away from Alzeheimer’s Disease exactly 15 years later to the day in 2003!

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