Lee Marvin was one of the quintessential movie tough guys -- an actor who could not only act the part, but one who'd lived it. The gravelly-voiced performer was a Marine sniper during World War II and was shot by machine gun fire during the Battle of Saipan (a battle where most of his platoon died ... ). He was discharged with a Purple Heart. It's hard to imagine any of today's movie tough guys doing things like that, which is just one of the reasons why I miss Lee Marvin and his performances so much.
Known primarily for war movies and action films, Marvin forged a lengthy Hollywood career thanks to his talent, no-nonsense demeanor, and intimidating presence. Standing 6'2" tall with white hair and a glare that could make paint wither and fall off the wall, Marvin was the quintessential man's man. He was the kind of guy who'd turn down the role of Quint in Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' because he didn't think his deep sea fishing buddies would ever respect him again after seeing him fight a rubber Great White Shark. Lee was the kind of guy who'd have gone out and caught the real thing.