This drawing was done in the courtroom while working on the Marvin vs Marvin “Palimony” case for NBC News. Michelle Triola Marvin, his girlfriend for 6 years, described earning her keep; at one point she told us of her heroic efforts holding the 6’2″ Lee Marvin by his ankles as he drunkenly flailed upside down from a 20th story window in Beverly Hills. At the proceedings, when Lee Marvin finally noticed us drawing him, he gave the old-finger-scratching-the-forehead salute. Then a cross-eyed stare.
Drawing courtesy NBC News, Los Angeles, California
Lee Marvin looked like a guy you did not want to be on the wrong side of. A marine war hero turned actor. Probably the only guy who could kick Chuck Norris’s butt with one hand while lighting up a Marlborough with the other. Let’s all hoist one for Lee Marvin. Coolest of the cool.
Some quick courtroom facts.
In 1979,Lee Marvin was sued by Michelle Triola Marvin, his live-in girlfriend, who legally changed her surname to “Marvin”. They never married but she went after the money like all real spouses do under California law. She said she suffered a lot. This was dubbed the first “palimony” case, Marvin v. Marvin, 18 Cal. 3d 660 (1976). In 1979, Lee Marvin was ordered to pay $104,000 to Triola for “rehabilitation purposes” but the court denied her community property claim for one-half of the $3.6 million which Lee Marvin had earned during their six years of cohabitation. So, in the end, he kind of won. Lee Marvin said that the trial was a “circus” and that “everyone was lying, even I lied.”