A Conversation with Lee Marvin

Interview conducted by Tony Macklin. Audio interview originally published on June 14, 2009 @ tonymacklin.net.

Listen to a conversation with Lee Marvin (MP3 format, approximately 9 minutes).

My interview with Lee Marvin was the only one I ran for.

It also was the only one I had in a bar.

I was in New York to cover the American Film Theater series, in which major plays were made into movies. Marvin played the role of Hickey in John Frankenheimer's film of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh.

I sat in and watched Lee Marvin trash tv reporters in an early brutal interview. He was flippant, distant, and gruff. One natty man told Marvin that though Marvin had made some poor films, he liked Pete Kelly's Blues. Did Marvin like it? "No." "Why not?" asked the man. "Because you liked it." The man expired like a burnt match.

A promotion man commented later that Marvin was only the second actor he had seen frighten reporters. The other was Yul Brynner.

But I was not afraid. Later I found out from his wife Pam where Lee was. And I took off running to try to get to him.

I found him in a bar having a drink. No one else could find him. Relaxed, the wolfish Lee Marvin was as fierce as a pussy cat.

We chatted and drank.

And he was responsive. Marvin was in his natural habitat.

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