Date of Birth : Feb 19th 1924

American film actor. Known for his gravelly voice, white hair and 6′ 2″ stature, Marvin at first did supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers, and other hard-boiled characters, but after winning a Academy Award for Best Actor for his dual roles in Cat Ballou, he landed more heroic and sympathetic leading roles. In 1950, Marvin moved to Hollywood. He found work in supporting roles, and from the beginning was cast in various war films. As a decorated combat veteran, Marvin was a natural in war dramas, where he frequently assisted the director and other actors in realistically portraying infantry movement, arranging costumes, and even adjusting war surplus military prop firearms. His debut was in You’re in the Navy Now (1951), and in 1952 he appeared in several films, including Don Siegel’s Duel at Silver Creek, Hangman’s Knot, and the war drama Eight Iron Men. He played Gloria Grahame’s vicious boyfriend in Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1953). Marvin had a small but memorable role in The Wild One (1953) opposite Marlon Brando (Marvin’s gang in the film was called “The Beetles”), followed by Seminole (1953) and Gun Fury (1953). He also had a small but memorable role as smartalecky sailor Meatball in The Caine Mutiny. He was again praised for his role as Hector the small town hood in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) with Spencer Tracy.

During the mid-1950s, Marvin gradually began playing more substantial roles. He starred in Attack (1956), and The Missouri Traveler (1958) but it took over one hundred episodes as Chicago cop Frank Ballinger in the successful 1957-1960 television series M Squad to actually give him name recognition. One critic described the show as “a hyped-up, violent Dragnet… with a tough-as-nails Marvin” playing a police lieutenant.

In the 1960s, Marvin was given prominent co-starring roles such as The Comancheros (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962; Marvin played Liberty Valance) and Donovan’s Reef (1963), all with John Wayne. Marvin also guest-starred in Combat! “The Bridge at Chalons” (Episode 34, Season 2, Mission 1), and The Twilight Zone “The Grave” (1961, episode #72), in which he played a fearless gunman investigating the haunted grave of a man who swore to get revenge on him, and “Steel” (1963, episode #122 ), in which he played a former boxer who gets into the ring with a boxing robot.


The Delta Force ( 1986 )

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Gorky Park ( 1983 )

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Paint Your Wagon ( 1970 )

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The Big Heat ( 1953 )

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