SPRING CELEBRATION WITH A RARELY SEEN LEE MARVIN!

Since March 20th, was the first day of Spring (although you’d never know it by some of the weather across the country), I thought I’d add something appropriate for the time of the year, that naturally includes Lee Marvin.
As I’ve stated previously, I was extremely fortunate in my research for Lee Marvin Point Blank to be able to get Lee’s older brother, Robert, to open up to me. It wasn’t easy at first, as he had never done so before, but once he did, the results were incredible. I genuinely believe it’s one of the many encounters that has made the book a better portrait of the man than anything else that has been published about him before. Robert allowed me full and unfettered access, and whenever I found a new archival treasure, I brought it to him to get the story behind it. The overwheleming majority of these discoveries can be found in the pages of Lee Marvin: Point Blank as we sat for hours on end with him regaling me with amazing tales with a tape recorder between us. In fact, his wife Joan asked me at one point, “What are you and Robert talking about so much?” I answered truthfully, “Just his childhood and life with Lee.” She then paid me a wonderful compliment by stating, “I only asked because I have not heard Robert laugh so much in years!”

In Woodstock back in the mid-90s as Lee Marvin's brother Robert drives home a point to me during Sunday Brunc. I know it's Sunday as he's wearing a tie, as he said his mother always told him to do on Sundays.

In Woodstock back in the mid-90s, as Lee Marvin’s brother, Robert, drives home a point to me during Sunday brunch. I know it’s Sunday because he’s wearing a tie, as he said his mother always told him to do on Sundays.

One of the best parts was showing him pictures, such as the montage of photos shown below. To be present as he laughed or teared up over the long-forgotten images cannot be duplicated in words. I can, however, add the following transcript of our conversation…..

Dwayne: Was this Halloween, this shot of you and Lee and your mother?
Robert: That’s out in Jackson Heights. Look at the hat my mother is wearing. Isn’t that something? That was the way the girls dressed. That was the style and it looked pretty good, too. That was the Spanish Gardens Apts. It still exists too, I think.
D: Was that where you lived? (nods) Was that the name of the complex…
R: Yes it was.
D: Let me ask you a tough question. I’m assuming you were dressed for Halloween. What were you guys dressed up as? Do you recall?
R: I’d be a scarecrow…maybe its Thanksgiving. My brother’s dressed as, I suppose, a green pea, maybe. No, wait a minute! It was a Spring celebration at school so it must have been like March, or something like that.
D: School pageant kind of thing. Look at that chubby face on Lee.
R: And my dear mother. God.
D: Pretty cool, huh? You’re lucky you have this stuff. Some families don’t even have these.

Top pictures from the left: Young Lee Marvin (left) holds his mother Courtenay's hand along with older brother Robert (right). On the right, both Marvin brothers are smiling for their fathers camera. Bottom pictures: Lee's parents, Courtenay and Monte Marvin, smile in front of their Spanish Gardens apt. in Queens N.Y. On the right, a much happier Lee 'Green Bean' Marvin smiles for the camera.

Top pictures from the left: Young Lee Marvin (left) holds his mother Courtenay’s hand along with older brother Robert (right). On the right, both Marvin brothers are smiling for their fathers camera.
Bottom pictures: Lee’s parents, Courtenay and Monte Marvin, smile in front of their Spanish Gardens apt. in Queens N.Y. On the right, a much happier Lee ‘Green Bean’ Marvin smiles for the camera.

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FOR MOTHER’S DAY: LEE AND HIS MOM, COURTENAY

 

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Courtenay Marvin with baby Lee and older son Robert

Lee Marvin, and his mother, Courtenay Washington Davidge Marvin, had a tumultuous relationship through the years, as related in greater depth in Lee Marvin Point Blank.  However, in honor of Mother’s Day, here are several rare images of Lee and his mother in happier times.
First, on the roof of the Marvins’ New York apartment, baby Lee sits on his mother’s lap while older brother Robert looks elsewhere….

Having moved to a newly built apartment complex in Queens called the Spanish Arms, Courtenay poses with her sons, who are in costume for a grade school pageant celebrating spring. Smiling Robert on the right is a scarecrow, while a less happy Lee is on the left as a green bean….

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Courtenay Marvin and sons in costume for Spring Pageant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, many years later, in postwar Woodstock, New York, Courtenay is far right with a drink and a cigarette. Between her and a relaxed Lee, is her son’s girlfriend at the time, actress Helen Wagner, who would go on to greater fame on the long running soap operas The Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

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Courtenay Marvin, Helen Wagner & Lee Marvin in Woodstock.

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