LEE MARVIN’S WOODSTOCK – PART II

Back in April, I hosted some images from my trips to Woodstock in the 90s as I researched Lee Marvin: Point Blank.  It proved to be the tip of the iceberg, with more images still to come. In the  original post, titled Lee Marvin’s Woodstock – Part I (ingenious, no?) I showed pix of Woodstock’s Village Green, Lee’s parents final resting place,  and the exterior of the Marvin home in Bearsville, situated right outside of Woodstock.
This time around, take a trip inside the house that would be the closest thing Lee Marvin ever had to a childhood home. After Lee’s brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Joan, passed away the centuries old house was sold and the family items auctioned off. I’ve also been told recently that the house was ransacked, which is very unfortunate. When I visited it back in 94, it looked lived in and cozy.  Pictured below is the living room just inside the double doors off the porch seen in the background.

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Living room of the Marvin Home

It was the main area of activity when Lee and his brother were younger, and when Lee would came to visit after his stardom, as seen below on this Xmas Eve visit in the early 70s….

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Marvin living room when Lee came to visit Robert in the 70s.

The archway leading out of the living room lead to the front door, as seen below from the top of the stairs. Readers of Lee Marvin Point Blank may remember it as the sight of one Lee, Robert, and Monte’s many post war brawls (p. 56, hardcover; 53, papebpack)….

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Looking in from the front door, there’s a narrow hallway leading to a back window and a side bathroom…

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Up the staircase were of course the bedroom Lee and Robert shared shown at the far left and the center room used by Monte as an office and later Robert. Not shown further to the left is the master bedroom….

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A close-up of the office used by both Monte and Robert is filled with treasures. It was here that Robert and I spent hours recording our conversation that would make up a good part of Lee Marvin: Point Blank. The lamp on the desk, by the way, is made from a pump Robert ‘liberated’ from the Queen Mary on his trip back to the states after the war. Also visible is a framed picture from the Civil War of a Marvin. It isn’t an ancestor, but a still of Lee from Raintree County….
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Lastly, the bedroom and the bed Lee slept in after the war. I slept in it my first night with the Marvins, but only the first night. A summer storm kept me up all night and the creepy factor alone was pretty intense. Not able to sleep, I wandered the house and eventually discovered a hidden cache of Marvin rarities. When I showed it to Robert and Joan the next morning, I told them I didn’t think Lee wanted me sleeping in his bed. Joan responded, “Maybe he wanted you to be be awake to find what you found.” Maybe, indeed….
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LEE MARVIN’S WOODSTOCK -PART I

In doing research for Lee Marvin Point Blank, I was extremely lucky to eventually win over the confidence of Lee’s older brother Robert, who still lived in the Marvin family home in Woodstock when I met up with him in 1995. Several visits to the Marvin family homestead in upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley yielded some of the best and most exclusive research information of my entire project. It also allowed me a better sense of what Lee Marvin’s life was like as a youngster and after the war. Luckily, I brought my Nikon with me and took some pictures as it really hadn’t changed all that much in the ensuing years, in spite of the famous rock concert….
HUDSONAbove is the legendary Hudson River on the drive up to the Marvin homestead. Below, is the cementary called The Artist’s Colony which is the final resting place of Lee’s mother, Courtenay, who passed suddenly in 1962 of a brain hemmorage…

COURTENAYMARKERAlmost ten years later, Lee’s father, Monte also passed due to complications involving alcoholism and was laid to rest next to Courtenay….

MONTEMARKERIn the small village of Woodstock, the Maverick Theater, where Lee made his profesional acting debut, is long gone but the Village Green, which played an inauspicous role in in his fledgling acting career (Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 60-61), is still very much in existence as it was in his day. It would not be hard to imagine him here as he was described in the book….

VILLAGEGREENOn the outskirts of Woodstock, nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, in a small burg called Bearsville, lies the Marvin home….

WDSTK-D1Standing near the front porch of the family home with Robert Marvin shortly after our first in-person meeting. Note the Caskills in the background…..

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RARE IMAGES OF LEE IN POSTWAR WOODSTOCK, NEW YORK

POSTWAR WOODSTOCK (and more!)
Lee Marvin would be the first to say he never had a hometown, having grown up and gone to school all over the Eastern seaboard, from New York and New Jersey, to New Hampshire and Florida.  He would also admit that if he had any roots at all, it would be in the upstate region of Woodstock, New York. His parents gave him and his brother, Robert  memorable summers when they were children. After the war, following short horrific stints in both Manhattan and Chicago (Lee Marvin: Point Blank), the family settled in Woodstock where they took up residence for the rest of their lives. In fact, Lee’s mother Courtenay, father Monte, and brother Robert all lived in the Bearsville home until their deaths.
It was in Woodstock, while working as a plumber’s apprentice for Adolph Heckeroth, that Lee discovered his true calling. What he did until that time can be seen below….

chicago-1In Chicago after the war and still sporting the mustache he grew in the Pacific, Lee enjoys a night with one of the many local women he dated through the years.

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For most of his life, Marvin enjoyed two past times since childhood. One was fishing, that grew to include deep sea fishing off the coasts of Mexico and Australia when he got older, to another manly pursuit….

deerhunt-1He loved to go hunting as shown above, which once resulted in a a comical run-in with his boss, Adolph Heckeroth (Lee Marvin Point Blank, p. 59)

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