Marvin, Lee, born 19-02-1924 in New York City, the son of Lamont Waltman Marvin,
an advertising executive and the head of the New York and New England Apple Institute and his wife Courtenay Washington Davidge, a fashion writer and beauty consultant. He was named in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Lee died age 63, on 12-10-1870, who was his first cousin, four times removed.
His father was a direct descendant of Matthew Marvin, Sr., who emigrated from Great Bentley, Essex, England in 1635 and helped found Hartford, Connecticut. Marvin studied violin when he was young. As a teenager, Marvin “spent weekends and spare time hunting deer, puma, wild turkey and bobwhite in the wilds of the then-uncharted Everglades.” He attended St. Leo Preparatory College in St. Leo, Florida
after being expelled from several schools for bad behavior. Marvin left school to join the United States Marine Corps
, serving as a Scout Sniper in the 4th
Marine Division, nickname “Fighting Fourth”
. Tani Masuo, He was wounded in action during the World War II Battle of Saipan, during which most of his platoon were killed.
Marvin’s wound, in the buttocks, was from machine gun fire, which severed his sciatic nerve. He was awarded the Purple Heart
and was given a medical discharge with the rank of Private First Class. After the war, while working as a plumber’s assistant at a local community theatre in Upstate New York, Marvin was asked to replace an actor who had fallen ill during rehearsals. He then began an amateur Off-Broadway acting career in New York City and served as an understudy in Broadway productions. 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 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. A father of four, Marvin was married twice. His first marriage to Betty Ebeling began in February 1951 and ended in divorce on 05-01-1967; during this time his hobbies included sport fishing off the Baja California coast and duck hunting along the Mexican border near Mexicali. He and Ebeling had a son, Christopher (born in 1952),
and three daughters: Courtenay (born 1954), Cynthia (born 1956) and Claudia (born 1958). Claudia passed away on 27-11-2012. Marvin was married to Pamela Feeley
(who had been his girlfriend in Woodstock New York, a quarter century earlier) from 18-10-1970 until his death. During the 1970s, Marvin resided off and on in Woodstock, caring for his dying father, and would make regular trips to Australia to engage in fishing for marlin at Cairns and Great White Shark at Port Fairy. In 1975 Marvin and Pamela moved to Tucson, where he lived until his death. Marvin was a liberal Democrat who opposed the Vietnam War and declared his support for the gay rights movement in a January 1969 interview with playboy magazine. He publicly endorsed John Fitzgerald Kennedy
in the 1960 presidential election.
Death and burial ground of Marvin, Lee.
In December 1986, Marvin underwent intestinal surgery after suffering abdominal pains while at his ranch outside Tucson. Doctors said then that there was an inflammation of the colon, but that no malignancy was found. He died of a heart attack 29-08-1987, age 63, after being hospitalized for more than two weeks because of “a run-down condition related to the flu.” He is interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Section 7A, where his headstone reads “Lee Marvin, PFC US Marine Corps, World War II”. Next to his grave are buried 101 Airborne Division General Maxwell Davenport Taylor
technical sergeant and the former world champion boxer and technical sergeant Joe “Barrow” Louis.