Redbook Magazine once did something rather extraordinary. Apparently, when Johnny Carson was still in the comparatively early stages of hosting The Tonight Show, he had Lee Marvin on as a guest and enjoyed the conversation so much, he invited Lee to his house to continue the chat and allowed Redbook to print it.
I got the idea to post this blog entry of the Redbook article after recently posting a late life video of Lee’s appearance on the Carson show to promote The Big Red One in 1980 (that can be viewed here). It’s interesting in that the Redbook article is a result of Marvin’s first appearance on Carson while the video may very well have been his last appearance.
I discovered the article during my research for Lee Marvin Point Blank and quoted from it profusely. Clearly, Carson and Marvin had a natural report which allowed them to open up with each other in a much more candid way then they would have on television. Keep in mind, this article is from November, 1967, when such subjects as sex, sex education and the like were considered taboo for national television.
Friends of Lee Marvin had told me that the actor so enjoyed chatting with Carson he felt comfortable enough to sometimes prank the host. He once appeared on the show acting drunk but when they came back from commercial break, both men were laughing uproariously as Marvin let Carson in on the joke.
I should point out that the original article was in color and what I was able to scan below is a Xerox copy. Since the magazine ceased publication in 2019, enjoy this rare gabfest between two icons of popular culture.
– Dwayne Epstein

Lee Marvin shown successfully flipping a cigarette in his mouth on the first page of the article.

An amused Johnny Carson at Lee Marvin’s antics on page 2.

Page 3 of the Redbook article.

The conclusion of Redbook’s candid conversation.

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  1. Hi Dwayne,
    🤔 All this 1967 Las Vegas banter about sex guilt, etc. I never understood that kind of guilt. I had a puritanical background too, but our family’s guilt mindset was the sin of the desire to consume a whipped cream-based dessert, the ultimate root-of-all-evil being something from the cream pie family or that drippy hot fudge sundae you defined for me in your last post from Lee’s Schlitz Theatre script!

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