Award season is upon us and the majors have already begun with the Golden Globe Awards. Oscar nominations came out earlier this week and the the other guild and critic awards are looming large. Much has changed from the days when Lee Marvin won his only Oscar for Cat Ballou back in the mid-60s.

Lee Marvin backstage after winning his Oscar.

For one thing, the amount of competing awards could be counted on one hand. There wasn’t much beyond the Oscars and Golden Globes. The plethora of guilds and critics organizations had yet to boast of award shows that would ultimately make the Oscars anti-climatic as there are now, with or without a wisecracking host. Matter of fact, when Marvin won his Oscar, he was as surprised as anybody since the odds-on favorite was Rod Steiger for his work in The Pawnbroker. The entire episode of Marvin’s win is covered extensively, of course, in Lee Marvin Point Blank, including some nefarious behind-the-scenes machinations that even Marvin himself was not aware of.

Julie Andrews and Lee Marvin accepting their Golden Globes for being the most popular stars of 1967, which is no longer a category.

What got me thinking about these differences in the award season of days gone by and the ones of today, is an article I read online in which an Academy member bemoans the advent of streamers, screeners, and the like and the effect it has on the season itself. It can be read here but the point is laughable. Bottom line is just that there are too damn many awards shows! Want proof? I’m going to go out on limb and make my own predictions of this year’s Oscar winners as shown below. Feel free to check back after the show to see how right I was. There are:

Best Picture: 1917.
Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix for Joker.
Best Actress: Renee Zellweger for Judy.
Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt for Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood.
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern for Marriage Story.

What’s my criteria? They’ve already won every other award leading up to the Oscars. Talk about anti-climatic! Somewhere Lee Marvin is laughing his war-wounded ass off.
– Dwayne Epstein

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dualBallou The 86th annual Oscars airs this Sunday and in honor of the event I’ve decided to post some applicable images and anecdotes of Lee Marvin’s still popular 1965 Best Actor win. It was an unlikely, yet memorable win on many levels. Comedy performances rarely win, nor do multiple roles no matter how impressive. Yet, Marvin’s dual role as both broken-down gunslinger Kid Shelleen and steel-nosed Tim Strawn of Cat Ballou managed to pull it off. Some trick photography of the day above highlights Marvin’s dual personalities.
Marvin’s road to the Oscar began with a call from his press agent and gained momentum as the awards season built up steam. First, there was the Golden Globe victory in which Marvin can be see below comparing notes with fellow GG winner Samantha Eggar who triumphed with The Collector….

At the age of 41, the slow trajectory of Marvin’s film career finally made it to the launch pad with The Killers and the double barreled success of Cat Ballou and Ship of Fools blasted him into the stratosphere. In the weeks leading up to the big night, media outlets couldn’t get enough of Marvin, who obliged them with his own handicap of his long-shot chances. Come the big Oscar night, a flurry of events, that were at turns outrageous, suicidal, nightmarish, poignant, profane, and ultimately triumphant were recounted to this author by the actor’s press agent Paul Wasserman, first wife Betty, and career-long agent Meyer Mishkin exclusively in the pages Lee Marvin Point Blank. A fan even went so far as to chronicle the evening for her scrapbook that she sent to me depicting Lee, presenter Julie Andrews, Best Actress winner Julie Christie and Marvin’s then-girlfriend, Michele Triola (with an incorrect caption, I might add)…

Partying into the night, the puffy-eyed, clearly hung-over actor was forced to hold an impromptu press conference at LAX on the way back to London to the set of director Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen…..
APLAXAldrich hated giving the actor time away from the set for the award and a few years later, when actor Cliff Robertson made the same request when filming Aldrich’s Play Dirty, it was denied, forcing someone else to pick up his Oscar for Charly.
As for Marvin, the last word of the Oscars may be long to a small newspaper in the town of Lakeland, Florida. He hated the formative years he spent their in his youth, thrown from school to school and encountering fist fights wherever he went. Yet, decades later, the Lakeland Ledger had this headline accompanying the AP wire photo from above….

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