The 1960 Democratic Convention…..with Lee Marvin?
In researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank, I encountered many surprises, not the least of which was the actor’s personal politics. The popular theory was that in being such a macho tough guy on screen, he must have been a conservative Republican, like his frequent co-star John Wayne. Not so, in Marvin’s case, according to friends and family.
Fans may think of him as a classic badass who thought like Wayne, but the truth is he was, by all accounts, a lifelong liberal Democrat who despised Republican stalwarts, such as costar Ronald Reagan (See Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 109-110).
Marvin rarely made his politics publicly known but he felt so strongly for candidate John F. Kennedy, he agreed to appear on stage at the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in support along with several other like-minded celebrities of the day (Ralph Bellamy, Lloyd Bridges, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Tony Curtis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Rosemary DeCamp, Anthony Franciosa, George Jessel, Phyllis Kirk, Hope Lange, Peter Lawford, Janet Leigh, Shirley MacLaine, Mercedes MacCambridge, Sheree North, Arthur O’Connell, Alma Pedroza, Vincent Price, Edward G. Robinson, Frank Sinatra, Jan Sterling, Inger Stevens, Shelley Winters).
Kennedy’s assassination during the filming of The Killers devastated the cast & crew and made for a poignant and ironic event in Marvin’s relationship with his son (p.135). He would never again publicly endorse a political candidate.