TUCSON ARIZONA & LEE MARVIN

Tucson Arizona, a city with a surprising history of filmmaking (mostly westerns, of course) was also the home to Lee Marvin the last few decades of his life. Recently, I came across an online photo spread of Tucson’s rich celebrity enriched images which can be seen here
If you don’t want to scroll all the way down to find Lee Marvin like I did, here’s the image below…

Original caption: “Sarah Gorby and actor Lee Marvin hold baby javelinas before a fundraising dinner at the Tucson Racquet Club for the Sarah Gorby Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund in 1983.” Anybody know what the hell a javelina is?

 

Of course, the plethora of film & TV actors captured in photos at work, play and various other venues is certainly worth scrolling through. Pretty impressive as it runs the gamut from the 1950s to today and features everyone from John Wayne (natch!) to Ted Danson! Particular favorites are Groucho Marx and Jayne Mansfeld. The info is intriguing, as well, despite the fact that Jack Lemmon never made a movie called It Happened One Night (1934) but did costar with June Allyson in a 1956 musical remake called You Can’t Run Away From It. Also, the Paul Newman movie in which he’s getting his boots shined was not Pockey Money (whatever that is!) but Pocket Money (1972), costarring the subject of this blog. 
 Speaking of the subject of this blog, the fact that he did reside in Tucson Arizona played a pretty significant role in my biography of him, Lee Marvin Point Blank finally seeing the light of day. Publisher Tim Schaffner, a Tucson resident himself, was pondering whether to publish my work or not Told me that when he noticed his local video store having a speical on Lee Marvin movies, several folks told him some Lee Marvin stories. Hey, every little bit helps! 
 As for Lee Marvin stories, social media can help in the strangest ways. It didn’t make the book but rocker Brad Brooks had his own interesting tale to tell I wrote about here. He later told me he met the man while he worked delivering water to the Marvin home and the serial rapist was real! Just goes to show ya, you never know where or how Lee Marvin can pop up in the world!

-P.S. Been so busy on other projects I haven’t had time to blog in a while. With that in mind, allow me to wish a wonderful yet belated happy 90th birthday as of September 30th to the legendary Angie Dickinson! She is a class act I was fortunate enough to interview for my book and unpublished selections can be seen here. All the best, Angie!
– Dwayne Epstein

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GREAT MAN’S PASSING: AUGUST 29TH, 1987 WE LOST LEE MARVIN

Great Man’s Passing:
It was 28 years ago today 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: in this case it was actor/director 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:

L.A. Times Obit for Lee Marvin

L.A. Times Obit for Lee Marvin

 

LA Times obit, pt.2

LA Times obit, pt.2

 

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

Tucson obit

Tucson obit

 

The now long-defunct Herald-Examiner ran a piece in which they spoke with several of Marvin’s co-workers such as Ernest Borgnine and Ralph Bellamy:

Herald-Examiner, AP Wire obit

Herald-Examiner, AP Wire obit

 

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

NY Times obit

NY Times obit

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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PRIME CUT COSTAR GREGORY WALCOTT ON LEE MARVIN

'cut':RitchieThe 1972 film Prime Cut remains one of the strangest of Lee Marvin’s career and one that has developed quite a cult following over the years. Marvin and director Michael Ritchie (pictured above holding camera) did not get along at all, and the Calgary, Canada location was loaded with strange and interesting anecdotes (See Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 191-193). Veteran character actor Gregory Walcott costarred with Marvin as a deranged henchman called “Weenie,” shown above tangling with Marvin. Walcott had some interesting thoughts about his costar not included in the text.

Gregory Walcott: “He was a strange person. I wouldn’t know from one day to the next how he was going to be. Kind of like a Jaguar I used to own. Drives great when it drove but I never knew if it was going to start the next moment. He was a strange dichotomy. I remember I had lunch with my agent one day in a restaurant on Sunset Blvd. Lee came in with his agent, Meyer Mishkin. He saw me there, came over, and sat down. He talked for a while, shaking hands. Just delightful, you know? He was great, with his white teeth shining. Then, about a year later, I went down to Tucson on a film. By then, he had moved Tucson with his wife, Pam. He came into a restaurant on that day, saw me and just said, “Oh, yeah,” and just walked right passed me. He was a strange mixture of man.”

 

In this picture below from Walcott’s collection, during the film’s production in Canada (the sunflower field in the films’ finale were actually flown in from Kansas) the sequences shot in a local flophouse included actual transients as extras. When asked to pose with some of them, Lee Marvin had no problem with the request
prime Cut bums

 

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