Lee Marvin's Best

Lee Marvin (1924 - 1987) took on many roles during his Hollywood acting career. Depending on the movie, he was a cowboy, a criminal, a soldier, a cop, and more. But above all else, he was a star.

In memory of Marvin, who died Aug. 29, 1987, we're watching the way his career grew from his earliest bad-guy roles to the strong and varied career he enjoyed at his peak in the 1960s and '70s. Here are a few of our favorites.

Marvin started out on the big screen with a series of small soldier roles in war flicks, but it was a television show that would give him his real big break. As steely cop Frank Ballinger, Marvin made M Squad a hit… and M Squad made Marvin famous.

After M Squad's success, Marvin's roles grew bigger and more interesting — like his turn as the title character in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Marvin didn't star, but his role was prominent… and he had the box-office cachet of acting alongside John Wayne and James Stewart.

The best actor Oscar Marvin won for 1965's Cat Ballou cinched it — he was now a household name.

In 1967, Marvin was back to playing a soldier — but what a difference a few years made. The Dirty Dozen featured Marvin as its head honcho, the top-billed commander of a group of military misfits.

Paint Your Wagon made Lee Marvin an unlikely one-hit wonder with the song "Wand'rin' Star." Though Marvin never claimed to be much of a singer, the track rose to No. 1 in the U.K. and Ireland.