Lee Marvin’s older brother, Robert, had never been interviewed before about his famous sibling but agreed to talk with me in 1995, going on the record for the very first time. It was not easy to gain his confidence, but once I did, he slowly opened up to me, relating many events in their childhood that had never been made public before except in Lee Marvin Point Blank.
Almost everything Robert related to me before his passing in 1999 went into the book. One rare exception was a story from their childhood in which both boys nearly drowned. Following the picture from that time period (Lee is on the right with goggles), are Robert’s own words, unedited, detailing as best as he could remember the event nearly 60 years earlier in sunny Florida…..
|Remember I started telling you about the canoe, last night? Now this cabana is a beautiful place inside. You got tile wood floors..and, the beach is over here to the left. We went on our canoe that afternoon. Right. What was the guy’s name? I forget now. He was a big time lawyer down there. He and one of his sons, they had a beach house out there. They had a canoe. It was a lot of fun to run around in the waves with a canoe. Lot of fun. We tied it up to that buoy that afternoon. Maybe say 100 feet or less, offshore. A storm came up and lightening was all over the place. So we were hiding in the canoe and headed back for shore. The canoe turned over. We had to cut loose of that buoy or lightening would’ve got us. Then I looked down and saw a couple of sharks float by. A fishing boat, about two hours later came along. I would say, probably, You see clear water north of there were a few docks with these fisherman and they’re professional commercial fisherman. They pulled us up in there. They took the canoe and stuff, they had the ropes and everything. We went back. I don’t recall what happened then. I guess we called my parents, or somebody did. While we were in the water for two hours, we just sat there. We got cold, that’s all. Scared? Geez, I can’t remember. Probably just too busy surviving sort of thing.|