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Lee Marvin

Biography

Character professional known for his huge body and deep tone of voice, he often played villains and military. In 1966, he gained an Academy Prize for Best Professional for his dual assignments as Child Shelleen and Tim Strawn within the film Kitty Ballou. After portion in World Battle II, he briefly proved helpful being a plumber’s helper before attaining Off-Broadway assignments. He played unforgettable roles within the movies The Dirty Dozen, Stage Blank and THE PERSON Who Shot Liberty Valance and he starred in it series M Squad. In his last performing appearance, he co-starred with Chuck Norris within the 1986 actions film The Delta Drive. His initial cousin four situations removed is normally Confederate General Robert E. Lee. He dated Michelle Triola from 195 to 1970 and he previously four kids. He starred alongside Claudia Cardinale within the 1966 Traditional western film THE EXPERTS.

Quick Facts


Full Name Lee Marvin
Date Of Birth February 19, 1924
Died August 29, 1987, Tucson, Arizona, United States
Place Of Birth New York City, NY
Height 1.88 m
Profession Movie Actor
Education Saint Leo University
Nationality American
Spouse Pamela Marvin, Betty Ebeling
Children Christopher Marvin, Claudia Marvin, Cynthia Marvin, Courtenay Marvin
Parents Lamont Waltman Marvin, Courtenay Washington Davidge
Siblings Robert Marvin
Partner Michelle Triola Marvin
Awards Academy Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, National Board of Review Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor
Nominations Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Movies Cat Ballou, Paint Your Wagon, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Point Blank, The Dirty Dozen, Hell in the Pacific, The Professionals, The Big Red One, The Delta Force, The Wild One, The Big Heat, Bad Day at Black Rock, The Killers, Death Hunt, Donovan's Reef, Emperor of the North Pole, Gorky Park, Prime Cut, The Comancheros, Ship of Fools, The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, Seven Men from Now, The Caine Mutiny, Violent Saturday, Raintree County, The Spikes Gang, The Missouri Traveler, The Iceman Cometh, Eight Iron Men, The Klansman, The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission, Gun Fury, Shout at the Devil, Pocket Money, The Stranger Wore a Gun, Avalanche Express, Pete Kelly's Blues, Hangman's Knot, The Duel at Silver Creek, Gorilla at Large, Monte Walsh, Sergeant Ryker, I Died a Thousand Times, Shack out on 101, The Raid, The Rack, A Life in the Balance, Attack, Dog Day, Seminole, Not as a Stranger
TV Shows M Squad
Star Sign Pisces

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1Turned down Where Eagles Dare (1968) because he did not want to star in another war film. The part went to his Paint Your Wagon (1969) co-star Clint Eastwood.
2He became a major star with Cat Ballou (1965), but his career waned considerably after Paint Your Wagon (1969).
3According to Betty Edeline - his first wife - in her memoirs: Tales of a Hollywood Housewife, Lee Marvin was very often caught drunk behind the wheel by police patrol men but he always got away only with a warning and an autograph to sign for the police officers.
4According to Betty Ebeling - his first wife - in her memoirs: Tales Of a Hollywood Housewife, when Lee Marvin died, he left only ten thousand dollars in his will for his four children.
5Attended the Democratic National Convention in 1960.
6His first wife Betty was the Joan Crawford's kids nanny before she met him.
7He had English, and some Scottish, ancestry.
8Grandfather of Jess King.
9Burt Lancaster and he did not get along during the shoot of The Professionals (1966) due to that fact that Marvin's bottoming-out alcoholism was making him unreliable and difficult at the time. Director Richard Brooks felt the need to intervene because he feared Lancaster was going to "take Lee Marvin by the ass and throw him off that mountain".
10The first actor to win an Oscar for playing two roles in the same film. The first actor nominated for playing two roles was José Ferrer, with whom he appeared in The Caine Mutiny (1954).
11Jeff Bridges has said that it was seeing Marvin and Robert Ryan at work in The Iceman Cometh (1973) that made him decide to fully commit to acting. He found that Marvin and Ryan, despite their obvious tough-guy persona's, were unusually kind and giving actors.
12Marvin was a close personal friend of the legendary character actor Robert Ryan. They did several films together, and both served in the Marine Corps in World War Two. The pair were set to star in The Wild Bunch (1969), but Marvin had several heated arguments with director Sam Peckinpah and left the project. Ryan was no fan of Peckinpah himself, but stayed on the film. Ryan and Marvin were favorites of maverick director Samuel Fuller - also a close friend of both.
13Turned down Dirty Harry (1971) and Death Wish (1974), both vigilante-themed movies. Marvin was director Sidney Lumet's first choice for Paul Kersey in "Death Wish", but Lumet dropped out and Marvin was no longer interested because of it.
14Turned down Salvador (1986).
15Turned down two movies directed by William Friedkin, The French Connection (1971) and Sorcerer (1977).
16In 1975 he left Hollywood and moved to Tucson.
17Lived with Michelle Triola for six years. In 1977 she sued him for palimony and the case went to trial. On 18 April 1979, Judge Arthur K. Marshall ordered Marvin to pay $104,000 to Triola for "rehabilitation purposes", but denied her community property claim for one-half of the $3.6 million which Marvin had earned during their six years of cohabitation. Both sides claimed victory, but in August 1981, the California Court of Appeal ruled that Triola could not show any contract between herself and Marvin to justify any payment to her. As a result, Triola recovered no money from Marvin.
18Turned down the role of Col. Trautman in First Blood (1982), as he didn't want to play a colonel.
19Went into semi-retirement from acting after filming The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (1976).
20Publicly endorsed John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election.
21He did not receive any offers at all for a year after M Squad (1957) finished, and fell into a deep depression.
22Marvin hated his most famous film The Dirty Dozen (1967), which he made only for the money and said was nothing like the actual war. He much preferred Hell in the Pacific (1968) and The Big Red One (1980), both of which reflected his strong anti-war feelings.
23He supported Eugene McCarthy in the 1968 Democratic primaries, and voted for George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.
24In December 1986, Marvin underwent intestinal surgery after suffering abdominal pains while at his ranch outside of Tucson. Doctors said then that there was an inflammation of the colon, but that no malignancy was found.
25At the time of his death from a sudden heart attack, Marvin had been hospitalized at Tucson Medical Center in Arizona since 13 August 1987 with what his spokesman described as "a run-down condition related to the flu".
26Served as a marine in the Pacific theater during WW2. In total, he took part in the invasions of 21 islands, and was wounded and nearly died as a result during the Battle of Saipan. He was a sniper, and would be sent in during the night in a small rubber boat, prior to the rest of his platoon. His wartime experiences deeply affected him for the remainder of his life.
27He was one of the first Hollywood celebrities to declare his support for the gay rights movement, in his Playboy interview from January 1969. He further stated that he would have no problem playing gay characters on screen, since he was secure with his own sexual orientation.
28Jean Seberg likened his singing voice to "rain gurgling down a rusty pipe.".
29John Boorman original wanted Marvin and Marlon Brando to play Ed and Lewis, respectively, in Deliverance (1972). But Marvin suggested that he and Brando were too old and that Boorman should use younger actors.
30Turned down William Holden's role in The Wild Bunch (1969) in order to make Paint Your Wagon (1969), for which he had been offered $1 million plus a percentage of the profits. However, the movie was a notorious failure on release.
31Was offered the lead in The War of the Worlds (1953).
32Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 611-613. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
33Was offered the role of Col. Douglas Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More (1965), but turned it down to star in Cat Ballou (1965).
34Could not ride a motorcycle at the time The Wild One (1953) was filmed but, determined not to be bettered by the star, Marlon Brando, he quickly learned. He later became a keen competitor on his Triumph 200cc Tiger Cub in desert races.
35Together with actors Nicolas Cage (Adaptation. (2002)) José Ferrer (Moulin Rouge (1952)) and Peter Sellers (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)), he is the only actor with an Oscar nomination for playing multiple characters in a film (in Cat Ballou (1965), he plays two characters, Kid Shelleen and Tim Strawn). Marvin is the only one who actually won one for a double role.
36Revisted Saipan (where he was wounded during World War II) in 1967, where his guide was P.F. Kluge, who went on to write Eddie and the Cruisers (1983).
37Turned down the lead role of Gen. George S. Patton Jr. in Patton (1970) because he did not want to glorify war.
38While serving in the Marine Corps he became best friends with John Miara of Malden, MA. Miara became Marvin's model for the character of Maj. Reisman in The Dirty Dozen (1967).
39Bonded with co-star Vivien Leigh on the set of Ship of Fools (1965). When he and his partner Michelle Triola visited Leigh at her exquisite home in England, he tore up a deck of antique playing cards that they were playing with. Much to Triola's surprise, Leigh was not at all disturbed by Marvin's boorish behavior but seemed enchanted by him.
40Named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who was his second cousin three times removed.
41Not a sentimental man by nature, Marvin kept only four souvenirs of his career over the years. These were his Best Actor Oscar for Cat Ballou (1965), the citation he received from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame for his performance in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), his Gold Record for "Wandering Star" and the high-heeled shoe that Vivien Leigh beat him with in Ship of Fools (1965).
42Was as surprised as anyone when his recording of "Wandering Star", from the Paint Your Wagon (1969) soundtrack, became a surprise hit, earning the Gold Record (the standard in those days) for one million copies sold in 1969.
43Was Steven Spielberg's first choice to play Quint in Jaws (1975).
44Was a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson and twice a descendant of male line relatives of George Washington.
45Daughter Claudia born 1958-2012.
46Daughter Cynthia born 1956.
47Daughter Courtenay born 1954.
48Son Christopher born 1952-2013.
49His body was interred next to that of Joe Louis in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA.
50Says he learned to "act" in the Marines, trying to act unafraid during ferocious combat, which brought him a Purple Heart during invasion of Saipan.


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Spikes Gang1974Harry Spikes
The Iceman Cometh1973Hickey
Emperor of the North1973A No. 1
Prime Cut1972Nick Devlin
Pocket Money1972Leonard
The Bob Hope Show1971TV Series
Monte Walsh1970Monte Walsh
Paint Your Wagon1969Ben Rumson
Hell in the Pacific1968American Pilot
Point Blank1967Walker
The Dirty Dozen1967Maj. Reisman
The Professionals1966Fardan
Ship of Fools1965Bill Tenny
Cat Ballou1965Shelleen--Strawn
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1965TV SeriesNick Karajanian
Dr. Kildare1962-1964TV SeriesBuddy Bishop / Dr. Paul Probeck
The Killers1964Charlie Strom
The Great Adventure1963TV SeriesMisok Bedrozian
Kraft Suspense Theatre1963TV SeriesSgt. Paul Ryker
The Twilight Zone1961-1963TV SeriesSteel Kelly / Conny Miller
Combat!1963TV SeriesSgt. Turk
Donovan's Reef1963Thomas Aloysius 'Boats' Gilhooley
The Dick Powell Theatre1963TV SeriesFinn / Dave Blassingame
The Untouchables1961-1962TV SeriesMike Brannon / Victor Rait / Howard Carson / ...
The Virginian1962TV SeriesMartin Kalig
The DuPont Show of the Week1962TV SeriesJuan de Nuñez
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance1962Liberty Valance
Bonanza1962TV SeriesPeter Kane
Ben Casey1962TV SeriesGerry Bramson
Route 661961TV SeriesJohn Ryan / Woody Biggs
The Comancheros1961Tully Crow
The Investigators1961TV SeriesNostradamus
Alcoa Premiere1961TV SeriesHughes
General Electric Theater1954-1961TV SeriesSid Benton / Clerk / Joe Kittridge / ...
Checkmate1961TV SeriesLee Tabor
Wagon Train1960-1961TV SeriesJud Benedict / Jose Morales
The Americans1961TV SeriesCapt. Judd
The Barbara Stanwyck Show1961TV SeriesJud Hollister
M Squad1957-1960TV SeriesDetective Lt. Frank Ballinger / Lt. Frank Ballinger / Barney
Sunday Showcase1960TV SeriesIra Hayes
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse1959TV SeriesCaptain David Roberts
Schlitz Playhouse1954-1959TV SeriesJim Patterson / Russ Anderson
Climax!1955-1958TV SeriesMannon Tate / 'Little Man' Brush / Charter Plane Pilot / ...
The Missouri Traveler1958Tobias Brown
Raintree County1957Orville 'Flash' Perkins
The United States Steel Hour1957TV Series
Studio 571957TV Series
The Rack1956Capt. John R. Miller
Pillars of the Sky1956Sgt. Lloyd Carracart
Attack1956Lt. Col. Clyde Bartlett - CO, White Battalion
Seven Men from Now1956Bill Masters
Front Row Center1956TV SeriesDavid Hawken
Kraft Theatre1956TV Series
Shack Out on 1011955Slob / Mr. Gregory
I Died a Thousand Times1955Babe Kossuck
Studio One in Hollywood1955TV SeriesTeale
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre1955TV SeriesJigger
Pete Kelly's Blues1955Al Gannaway
A Life in the Balance1955The Killer
Not as a Stranger1955Brundage
TV Reader's Digest1955TV SeriesCharlie Faust
Violent Saturday1955Dill, Bank Robber
Bad Day at Black Rock1955Hector David
Medic1954TV SeriesLarry Collins
Center Stage1954TV SeriesZach Toombs
The Raid1954Lt. Keating
The Caine Mutiny1954Meatball
Gorilla at Large1954Shaughnessy--Policeman
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse1954TV SeriesJohn Temple
The Wild One1953Chino
Suspense1950-1953TV SeriesBarrow
The Motorola Television Hour1953TV Series
Gun Fury1953Blinky
The Big Heat1953Vince Stone
The Revlon Mirror Theater1953TV SeriesRed Johnson
The Stranger Wore a Gun1953Dan Kurth
The Doctor1953TV Series
The Glory Brigade1953Cpl. Bowman
Seminole1953Sgt. Magruder
Down Among the Sheltering Palms1953Pvt. Snively (uncredited)
Dragnet1952-1953TV SeriesJames Mitchell / Henry Ross
The Plymouth Playhouse1953TV Series
Biff Baker, U.S.A.1952TV SeriesMichler / Captain Hollis
Eight Iron Men1952Sgt. Joe Mooney
Hangman's Knot1952Rolph Bainter
The Duel at Silver Creek1952Tinhorn Burgess
We're Not Married!1952Pinky (uncredited)
Diplomatic Courier1952MP at Trieste (uncredited)
Rebound1952TV SeriesSgt. Krone / Bull
Fireside Theatre1952TV Series
Teresa1951G.I. (uncredited)
You're in the Navy Now1951Radio Man (uncredited)
Treasury Men in Action1950TV Series
The Big Story1950TV Series
Escape1950TV Series
The Delta Force1986Col. Nick Alexander
The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission1985TV MovieMaj. John Reisman
Dog Day1984Jimmy Cobb
Gorky Park1983Jack Osborne
Death Hunt1981Millen
The Big Red One1980The Sergeant
Avalanche Express1979Col. Harry Wargrave
The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday1976Sam Longwood
Shout at the Devil1976Colonel Flynn O'Flynn
Klansman1974Sheriff Track Bascomb

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman1998TV Movie documentary "I was born under a wandering star"
Tohuwabohu1994-1997TV Series performer - 3 episodes
Kottan ermittelt1979TV Series performer - 1 episode
Paint Your Wagon1969performer: "The First Thing You Know", "Best Things", "Wand'rin' Star", "Finale" I'm On My Way
Hell in the Pacific1968performer: "Down in the Cane Brake" - uncredited
Cat Ballou1965performer: "Happy Birthday to You" - uncredited
The Comancheros1961performer: "Red Wing" - uncredited
The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show1957TV Series performer - 1 episode
Pete Kelly's Blues1955performer: "Bye Bye Blackbird" - uncredited

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Caine Mutiny1954technical advisor - uncredited

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Vixen Highway 2006: It Came from Uranus!2010special thanks
The New Bike2009Short acknowledgment
Blood and Concrete1991the filmmakers wish to express their gratitude to

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Fall from Grace: O.J.'s Last Run1994Video documentarySheriff Track Bascomb
Marine Corps Combat Leadership Skills1986Documentary shortHimself (narrator)
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member
The Spencer Tracy Legacy: A Tribute by Katharine Hepburn1986TV Special documentaryHimself
Late Night with David Letterman1985-1986TV SeriesHimself
Hour Magazine1986TV SeriesHimself
The 11th Annual People's Choice Awards1985TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Favourite Motion Picture Actor
Bob Hope's Unrehearsed Antics of the Stars1984DocumentaryHimself
The Making of 'Gorky Park'1983TV Movie documentaryHimself
Bob Hope Laughs with the Movie Awards1982TV Special
Tomorrow Coast to Coast1981TV SeriesHimself
Good Morning America1980TV SeriesHimself
Sam Fuller and the Big Red One1979DocumentaryHimself
The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards1978TV Movie documentaryHimself - Presenter
Superstunt1977TV SpecialHost
An All-Star Tribute to John Wayne1976TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1976TV SeriesHimself - Actor
The 18th Annual TV Week Logie Awards1976TV SpecialHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1967-1973TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Ford1973TV Special documentaryHimself
Flip1972TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1970-1972TV SeriesHimself
The Bob Hope Show1966-1971TV SeriesHimself
Top of the Pops1970TV SeriesGuest
Changing Scene II1970TV SpecialHimself
The Merv Griffin Show1965-1970TV SeriesHimself
New American Bandstand 19651970TV SeriesHimself
It Couldn't Be Done1970TV Movie documentary
The 27th Annual Golden Globes Awards1970TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy / Musical
Cinema1970TV Series documentaryHimself
The Joey Bishop Show1967-1969TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1969TV SeriesHimself - Singer
Gold Fever1969Documentary shortHimself
The Dick Cavett Show1968TV SeriesHimself
Operation Dirty Dozen1967Short documentaryHimself
The Rock1967ShortHimself (uncredited)
Tonite Let's All Make Love in London1967DocumentaryHimself (segment "As Scene from U.S.A.") (uncredited)
The 39th Annual Academy Awards1967TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Best Actress in a Leading Role
The 38th Annual Academy Awards1966TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role
The Eamonn Andrews Show1966TV SeriesHimself
Hollywood Backstage1964TV SeriesHimself
The Lawbreakers1963-1964TV SeriesHimself - Host / Narrator
Stump the Stars1962TV SeriesHimself - Guest Panelist
The Tonight Show1962TV SeriesHimself
What About Linda?1961TV SpecialHimself
Here's Hollywood1960TV SeriesHimself
Special Gala to Support Kennedy Campaign1960TV MovieHimself - Performer
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show1958-1959TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself - Detective / Himself - M-Squad
The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show1957TV SeriesHimself - Actor
Operation Raintree1957Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films2014DocumentaryCol. Nick Alexander (uncredited)
L'affaire Farewell2009Himself
How the West Was Lost2008TV Movie documentaryLiberty Valance (uncredited)
Pioneers of Television2008TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
War Stories with Oliver North2006TV Series documentaryHimself
Armed and Deadly: The Making of 'The Dirty Dozen'2006Video documentary shortHimself
Budd Boetticher: A Man Can Do That2005TV Movie documentarySgt. Magruder Bill Masters
Go West, Young Man!2003DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
La guerra en el cine2003Video documentary shortAmerican Pilot
The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller2002TV Movie documentaryThe Sergeant
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills: America's Most Heart-Pounding Movies2001TV Special documentaryHimself
Hollywood Remembers2000TV Series documentary
Hollywood Remembers Lee Marvin2000TV Movie documentaryHimself / Various Roles
Classified X1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
Lee Marvin: A Personal Portrait by John Boorman1998TV Movie documentaryHimself / Various
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryWalker, 'Point Blank' (uncredited)
Kleiner Mann ganz groß1994TV Movie documentary uncredited
American Justice1994TV Series documentaryHimself
Bob Hope's Bag Full of Christmas Memories1993TV SpecialHimself
Married with Children1993TV SeriesChino
Dream On1990TV SeriesCharacter in Martin's thoughts
Mating and Dating in the '80s1980TV Movie documentary
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to James Stewart1980TV Special documentaryActor 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' (uncredited)
The Meanest Men in the West1978TV MovieKalig Talbot
Bob Hope's World of Comedy1976TV MovieHimself
Texaco Presents: A Quarter Century of Bob Hope on Television1975TV SpecialHimself
The American West of John Ford1971TV Movie documentaryactor 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' (uncredited)
4-3-2-1 Hot and Sweet1970TV SeriesBen Rumson - Musician
Sergeant Ryker1968Sgt. Paul Ryker
Lionpower from MGM1967Short uncredited

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1971Fotogramas de PlataFotogramas de PlataBest Foreign Performer (Mejor intérprete de cine extranjero)Paint Your Wagon (1969)
1968Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsAction PerformanceThe Dirty Dozen (1967)
1967Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsAction PerformanceThe Professionals (1966)
1966OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleCat Ballou (1965)
1966Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - Comedy or MusicalCat Ballou (1965)
1966BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorCat Ballou (1965)
1966BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Foreign ActorThe Killers (1964)
1966Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsComedy Performance, MaleCat Ballou (1965)
1966NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest ActorCat Ballou (1965)
1965Silver Berlin BearBerlin International Film FestivalBest ActorCat Ballou (1965)
1963Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTheatrical Motion PictureThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)· Willis Goldbeck (producer)
· John Ford (director)
· James Warner Bellah (writer)
· Edmond O'Brien (actor)
· James Stewart (actor)
· Vera Miles (actor)
· John Wayne (actor)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1971Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsStar, Male6th place.
1970Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - Comedy or MusicalPaint Your Wagon (1969)
1970Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Star5th place.
1965Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsAction PerformanceThe Killers (1964)
1963Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Action PerformanceThe Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
1962Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading RoleAlcoa Premiere (1961)
1962Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Supporting PerformanceThe Comancheros (1961)
1958Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Supporting PerformanceRaintree County (1957)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1965NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorCat Ballou (1965)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1971Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsBest Action PerformanceMonte Walsh (1970)
1968Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Star
1967Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Star

TitleSalary
Pocket Money (1972)$1,000,000
Paint Your Wagon (1969)$1,000,000

#Quote
1I love Marlon Brando. Never seen him bad, just less good.
2[on winning Best Actor for Cat Ballou (1965)] I think one-half of this belongs to some horse somewhere in the Valley.
3[Seated in the audience, to Rod Steiger, his rival in 1965 for an Oscar] You know why they put me ahead of you? Because when they call your name I am going to stick my big foot out and you are going to fall on your ass.
4[on filming Klansman (1974) with a very sick Richard Burton] It was a wonder he [Burton] could move at all, but you have to hand it to him, he had guts, and I admired that. He never complained of being in pain. I'd say "Rich, are you okay?" and he'd say, "Just a little discomfort." Discomfort! Jesus, the guy was in f-----g agony.... I said to him, "Rich, you can't go on like this." He gave me that defiant Welsh look of his and said "Just watch me", but I could see tears in his eyes. He was crying out for help and I couldn't do anything for him.
5I don't want any more than I've got coming to me, and I don't understand those who do. Like, why would anyone want to undergo a heart transplant? A person would have to have led a pretty empty life to be that frightened of dying. How would you like to be walking around with a 17-year-old broad's heart in your chest, just to live a few years longer? You wouldn't know whether to menstruate or ejaculate. Jesus, give me my span of years and knock me down when it's all over. You've got to make room for the other guy. I know that when my ashes are blown away or they stuff me in a sewer, it's not going to hurt. I've had the simple pleasure of being present when the sun was shining and the rain was falling. I've had mine, and nobody can take it away from me.
6You have to remember there are tremendous chasms between the peaks. I've lost my grip before and it could happen again. It's a long way down and it gets deeper every time. To be a failure when I was 30 isn't like being a failure when I'm 44. There's more to lose and less time to get it back.
7Fear is possibly the greatest motivation there is. But, as I said before, by pretending not to fear, you can make it work for you and get the job done. Every actor is full of doubts about himself, and I'm no exception. If you see those fears in yourself - and expose them - the audience can associate with you more deeply than if you try to play it safe and pretend to be the invincible tough guy. To show my strength is nothing; to show my weakness is everything. I suppose it takes a certain kind of strength to admit your fears, but I really don't think it's anything more than simple honesty.
8The world has gone by quite a few days since I was a kid. I was raised in New York in the Twenties and the early Thirties in a very class - and race - conscious area. Your address meant something - and your "background." I heard all the bigoted remarks by the time I was five or six. Kids talking. Adults grumbling, "That so-and-so prick!" Growing up and discovering that the other races, creeds and colors weren't really any worse than mine was a revelation for me. I still can't say that all the stereotypes aren't true, but they're more often false than true.
9I see you've read those stories about how I'm drunk on the set all the time. Well, on occasions I have been. So what? Pope Paul VI can't take a day off and go out and get smashed at the local gin mill, but that's one of the prerogatives I can enjoy. Just because it happens once in a while, people think it's a pattern. My performance as Kid Shelleen in Cat Ballou (1965) didn't help things, either. I guess I acted so realistically drunk that audiences figured nobody could pretend that well.
10I remember the uniform of flesh, not the clothing. I remember the men. The war effort, at that time, was a condoned worldwide effort for peace and freedom. But uniforms, even then, seemed to take identity away from the individual. It's the mentality of the uniform that I don't like; I attack the uniform as a symbol of that mentality. I feel the same way about the police mentality, but instead of attacking it, I avoid it; you're in trouble if you give the cops an excuse to unload on you.
11Well, I tried to deliver the most realistic performance I could. It's a story of survival in the South Pacific during World War II - not what berry to pick or what root to gnaw on but the psyche of survival, which is what really keeps you alive, aside from water and food. The plot concerns the confrontation between an American Marine fighter pilot and a Japanese naval officer who have been marooned on a deserted Pacific island. They're men at war who have to learn to live with each other in order to survive, despite the barriers of race, ideology and language. - On Hell in the Pacific (1968)
12It's like I told the audience when I went up to accept the award: "I think half of this belongs to some horse in the Valley. Then the house came down. I was totally serious. That drunken horse really helped me. What was I supposed to say - "I'd like to thank my mommy and daddy"? - On winning an Oscar for Cat Ballou (1965)
13If I had a $5 pistol and a guy offered me $10 for it, I'd be a fool not to sell it to him, right? If they're willing to pay me $1 million a picture, baby, I'll take it.
14You don't like people because they're beautiful or they've got money or don't have money but because they're straight and honest and you feel at ease with them. Money is all a transient thing, anyway. After a certain amount of income, money ceases to have any meaning. Once I settle whatever my expenses are for the year, all the dollars above that just become a bunch of zeros. They don't make you any happier or better as a human being.
15I can't stand myself. If I could, I'd play the same guy in all my roles. I don't even like my own company; I've got nothing new to tell myself. Nor do I like the company of other actors; if I don't like myself, how could I like them? Since I can't go out in public as much as I used to, I do most of my socializing with the working stiffs on the set during a movie - the stunt men, the gaffers, the propmen. These behind-the-scenes guys keep me straight. They're working men; from their attitudes and the discussions I have with them, I get a sense of what I must do with my current role or my next one. It keeps me on their level - the level of the public. So I shoot the bull with them, hoist a few drinks, share some laughs instead of going into my dressing room and picking up the phone and calling Paris while I drink the chilled champagne. It keeps me from becoming a "star."
16Particularly now that I have enough bread to protect my privacy, I've become more appreciative of it and more bugged when it's violated. In the past, success was more my need. Therefore, I was just a pawn in the hands of my audience. I'd do anything they wanted me to, just to fulfill their expectations of me. One of the things that drove me to become an actor was that I was insecure; I thought laughs and applause would give me the security I was looking for. But as I grew older and wised up and began to enjoy some of the benefits of success, I became less concerned with how the public responds to me collectively than with their private, individual response, which I can get better sitting at a bar talking with a stranger than I can sitting in an audience watching one of my own movies. But now that I've become well known, I can't do that so much anymore, and I miss it, because the people I like best are those I don't know and who don't know me.
17My mail has certainly become more pungent in recent years. Not long ago, for example, a letter arrived from West Berlin. It was from a girl who wrote that she was an ardent admirer and, to prove it, she enclosed a photograph of herself sitting on a couch in her living room. She was suggestively dressed. She ended by saying, "Please answer this letter." What am I going to say, "Yeah, baby, I'll give you a call"? So no answer. About a month later, another letter arrived - with another picture. It's the same room, the same couch, the same girl. But now she's wearing a little less clothing. This went on for three or four letters. It reached the point where she was completely nude and her legs were spread. That broad obviously was horny even before she ever heard of me. I just became the target. There's also a dame in Georgia who writes me that she's seen The Dirty Dozen (1967) forty-five times. She asks for bus fare to Hollywood, not even plane or train fare; the Greyhound is OK for her. She needs $29.65; she's still waiting for it. There are a lot of "I'm coming to Hollywood and I want to be a star and I know you'll see that I get right to the top" letters. I take them and give them to my attorney; most of them I don't even read. I have a tough enough time with my ego without indulging myself in that kind of thing.
18Well, I don't think I'll ever be in the same league with Bogart on screen or off, but I certainly admired him as much personally as I did professionally. His pleasures were as simple as a truck driver's. Like me, he enjoyed getting a little juiced with his cronies once in a while and telling funny stories and sneaking out of the house. He was the total opposite of the standard leading man of the Thirties, who would jump in his Rolls-Royce and buzz off to his country estate and drink champagne from slippers and eat caviar for breakfast. Excesses like that have almost completely left the film community; the actor of today is much more a man of the streets, and I think that's all to the good.
19When I hear our names linked, I feel almost a little embarrassed. Bogart was somebody and I'm somebody else. The only real parallel is that he started out pretty much as I did, playing bad guys and heels. As audiences warmed to him, he metamorphosed into a good-bad guy and finally became all good. The same thing seems to be happening to me - God forbid.
20People today have a more worldly point of view than they did when they were stuck on the farm or the block they lived on in the city. The larger-than-life image of the Arrow Shirt hero just doesn't cut it anymore for an audience that's been around. The big breakthrough was the believable masculinity of guys like Tracy and Bogart.
21Ever since World War II, there's been a trend, slow at first, toward dealing with reality instead of fantasy. You see it not only in sex but everywhere. Look at what's happened to the old "happily ever after" ending. Even children in kindergarten don't believe that anymore. How can you kiss a frog and turn him into a prince? The kids say "Bullshit!" because they're a much faster generation; their maturation level is coming at an earlier age than it used to be. Some people still like happy endings in movies like Gigi (1958) and My Fair Lady (1964), but they know they're seeing a fairy tale. If you represent a story as reality and then give them a fairy-tale ending, though, they're not going to swallow it. If it's a hard-type show, mirroring life the way it exists today, they realize it's not going to be resolved simply by a kiss or a reunion - because life goes on, regardless of whether boy gets girl or the bad guys get knocked down. Most people today are concerned with real life; if you don't give it to them on the screen, they're not going to watch.
22What transpires between two adults is definitely their own business. If a girl likes to have Coca-Cola bottles shoved in her ear, that's up to her. The guy who's doing it says, "Leave me alone, I'm having fun." Who's to deny him that, as long as she doesn't scream murder? A third party, like a police officer, has no real reason to become involved - unless he's a voyeur. All voyeurs are essentially deviates. You eliminate the third party and there's no problem, no deviation. So someone digs whips. That's up to him. Or her. Two's company, three's a crowd. Too many of the archaic laws we're saddled with go back to the days of witch burning. I dare say the reason they burned the girl at the stake was that she wouldn't go down on the parson. So he says, "OK, I'll get you." And he does. He burns her. Fortunately, he had a gold-edged book on his arm, so that makes it legal. These same puritanical elements are responsible for all these incredible sex laws that are still on the books. It's the same kind of attitude that makes it impossible to imagine our parents having an affair. We've had various and sundry relationships with the opposite sex, yet we still cannot get through that barrier of imagining Mommy and Daddy balling. The New Morality may help change all that, but for now, it's still nothing more than a wind waiting for a storm; go too far and it'll all turn back into exactly what it was thirty, forty, fifty years ago.
23The big adventure in my mind at that time was over - the possibility of the North Pole or the South Pole or the Australian bush safari; the horizon was taken away from me by being married. To me, marriage symbolized the end of the road. I was still a dreamer, but I saw myself marking time until I fell into the ditch. Now that I'm alone, more or less, I don't have to think about that anymore. I can be more concerned with myself and my own feelings again. But I'm 44 now; I hope by the time I'm 45, the urgency of self-discovery will become less intense, that I'll become less important to myself, in the sense of the quandary of thinking it all out. Maybe I'll know a little bit more by then, so I don't have to sit on the porch and waste time thinking about it.
24I don't take pledges; I quit drinking every morning and I start again every evening. I wonder how long they'll stay on the wagon. Don't get me wrong, though; I've always been against senseless violence myself. When I incorporate violence in my performances, I make sure there's a point to it. If I were playing a heavy, say a cowboy bad guy, I would commit some senseless crime so that I'd have to be destroyed in the third or fourth reel. Holding up the stagecoach, for example, and shooting the old lady because she turned her back on me. So I'm against pointless violence, too. Apropos the current debate, I found myself involved in a conversation the other night about Sirhan Sirhan. Some older woman said that they ought to take him out and shoot him. I just looked at her and smiled. She was the one who talked about peace and nonviolence. But when it hits her, baby, she's ready to kill.
25The mood of sickness is in the audience; the filmmaker is only reflecting the climate of society. You don't make films to change a nation; you make films to be historically true to their time. That's what makes them current and commercial. If the audience responds to it, baby, you know where the sickness is. Criminal violence always attracts a crowd, though people are afraid to admit it. The bigger the crowd, the more the shoving; the more the shoving, the more irate the viewer becomes - till eventually he's part of the riot. The current cycle of crime films is a vicarious way to participate in the current crime wave without committing a crime yourself. That feeling is latent within each of us. Everybody wants to get even with somebody. Because of the wave of riots, the distrust, the various assassinations and the lack of socially acceptable answers to them. So you go see it on film.
26Only in the sense that if the violence in a film is theatrically realistic, it's more of a deterrent to the audience committing violence themselves. Better on the screen than off. If you make it realistic enough, it becomes so revolting that no viewer would want any part of it. But most violence on the screen looks so easy and so harmless that it's like an invitation to try it. I say make it so brutal that a man thinks twice before he does anything like that. A classic example is All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). Lew Ayres jumps into a shell hole with a Frenchman and knifes him. He's stuck there for the rest of the night with this guy dying. He'll be killed if he tries to get out. In the morning, the Frenchman is still looking at him, but he's dead. Ayres spends the rest of the picture in captured France trying to find the dead man's wife and apologize to her for his brutality. A statement was certainly made there, and it was made through violence. In a typical John Wayne fight in a barroom, on the other hand, tables and bottles go along with mirrors and bartenders, and you end up with that little trickle of blood down your cheek and you're both pals and wasn't it a hell of a wonderful fight. That's fooling around with violence. It's phony; it's almost a caricature - as opposed to a fight like the one in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), when Tim Holt and Humphrey Bogart walk into the bar and Holt gets hit in the mouth with a bottle by Barton MacLane and all he can do is hang onto MacLane's leg for the rest of the fight. That scene conveyed a sense of real pain and hurt. Or take the fight between Ernest Borgnine and Montgomery Clift in From Here to Eternity (1953). You don't even see them; you just see their feet behind a barrel - and you hear. One man gets up and one man's dead. You know how mean that fight was, even though you never even saw it.
27All I can say is that, in Europe, American pictures are the most popular, which amazes me. They do love the violent pictures. And, of course, they have seen violence. So maybe an acting-out on the screen alleviates the pressure on them. I know when I was a kid and would see John Wayne punch some guy and knock him through the wall, I'd say, 'Boy, I'm glad I wasn't that guy.' Or I didn't wan't to be involved in that relationship. So maybe there is good value to it. Now in acting, when craziness is shown in a sick manner or, in other words, 'to no value', I look down on it. Because real violence is a thing that must not be tolerated, and in order not to tolerate it you must be educated in knowing what it is. Violent films come out with value ... When I play these roles of vicious men I do things you shouldn't do and I make you see that you shouldn't do them. I played a lot of what I hate, now I like to play parts which I love. I can play bigots, etc, parts no one else will. I am not fascinated by death any more: there is lots of anti-violence in my heart, and after committing murder it was hard to find peace. Acting is a search for communication - that is what I am trying to do, get my message across. Marines are all volunteers: when it gets rough, you say to yourself, 'Well, you asked for it.' Cat Ballou (1965) was about an aging ex-gunfighter who took the easy way out; to me, he became the Marine I once was, or had wanted to be.
28[on Paul Newman and Pocket Money (1972)] Newman has it all worked out. I get a million. He gets a million, too, but that includes $200,000 expenses. So, if that's the game . . . I never talked to Newman in my life. No, I talked to him on Park Avenue once. Only to give him a piece of advice. This 15-year-old girl wanted his autograph. He told her he didn't give autographs, but he'd buy her a beer. "Paul", I said, "she's only 15". "I don't give a shit", he said. I think it shows. With Newman, it shows. Cut to an old broad in Miami Beach looking at his picture in Life magazine: "A Gary Cooper he ain't."
29[on John Wayne] Something good about Duke, I gotta admit: When he's on, he's on. "Send us more Japs", that's The Duke for you.
30I studied violin when I was very young. You think I'm a dummy, right? I'm only in dummies. The Dirty Dozen (1967) was a dummy moneymaker, and baby, if you want a moneymaker, get a dummy.
31[on Johnny Cash] Do you realize that he gets three million a year for singing that shit? "I walk the line, I keep my eyes wide open all the time." I met him in Nashville. He said, "You haven't heard my other stuff?" "No", I said, "I haven't." He sent us his complete 27 fucking albums. Jesus, Johnny, I like your stuff, but for Christ's sake . . .
32[in 1977] I know my career is going badly because I'm being quoted correctly.
33[on Marlon Brando] Brando is not exactly a generous actor, he doesn't give. But he does make demands on you and if you don't come through then he'll run right over the top of you.
34There was that very credible virility of guys like Spencer Tracy or Humphrey Bogart. I don't think that I could one day resemble them, but in life and in movies I profoundly admired Bogart, both personally and professionally.
35[on Robert Mitchum] The beauty of that man. He's so still. He's moving and yet he's not moving.
36[on working with Paul Newman on Pocket Money (1972)] I remember "Pocket Money." At the beginning, it was understood that Newman and I would earn the same amount and have roles of equal importance. Well, I've never seen a situation so much reversed. It was Newman's company who produced the film and when they came to show it, Newman had become the sole star and I was nowhere.
37[on Sam Peckinpah] Sam was dangerous for me. He had my number and I had his, and that can be bad between an actor and a director. 'Cause he was a little guy.
38[on Robert Aldrich] I loved Aldrich. Very saddened by his passing. Richard Jaeckel was a good friend of his. He went to see him on his last stretch in the hospital. He was in a coma much of the time. And Jaeckel asks if there is anything he can get him. And Aldrich says, "Yeah, a good script."
39Stimulation? Thursdays. Motivation? Thursdays. Paydays. That's it. It's important not to think too much about what you do. You see, with my way of thinking there are always Thursdays -- no matter how the picture works out.
40If I have any appeal at all, it's to the fellow who takes out the garbage.
41Ah, stardom! They put your name on a star in the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard and you walk down and find a pile of dog manure on it. That tells the whole story, baby.
42[upon accepting his Best Actor Academy Award for Cat Ballou (1965)] I think half of this belongs to a horse somewhere out in the [San Fernando] Valley.
43Tequila. Straight. There's a real polite drink. You keep drinking until you finally take one more and it just won't go down. Then you know you've reached your limit.

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1Films often portrayed his liberal politics
2Typecast as a heavy before graduating to unsympathetic heroes

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