Sometimes the most unlikely people wind up with a #1 hit – take actor Lee Marvin for instance, and his 1970 song, Wand’rin’ Star.
lee marvin fax
- Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor, best known for his deep voice which made him perfect for playing the roles of cowboys, villains, police detectives, and soldiers.
- Lee’s acting awards included, an Academy Award for Best Actor, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award.
- Lee served as a US marine during WWII. After the war, he found work as a plumber’s assistant at a local community theatre in New York. One night, he was asked to replace an actor who had fallen ill during rehearsals. Lee fell in love with acting and the rest is, as they say, history.
- But, we’re interested in his song… Lee gained a the role in the 1969 movie, The Wild Bunch but fell out with the movie’s director, Sam Peckinpah. He pulled out of the movie and took a role alongside Clint Eastwood in the Western musical Paint Your Wagon.
- No one would claim Lee was a great singer but, despite that, he had a hit song with “Wand’rin’ Star”.
- This was back in 1970, and he was getting paid a million dollars per film—a phenomenal amount at the time.
- Lee featured in around 65 movies and several television programmes and series.
- Lee died of a heart attack on August 29, 1987.
wand’ring star fax
- Wand’rin’ Star was written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical Paint Your Wagon in 1951.
- In 1969, a movie version was released starring Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. Lee took the role of prospector Ben Rumson who had a number of songs in the film, including Wand’rin Star.
- It was initially suggested that Lee mime to the voices of other singers but, despite his limited singing ability, he refused.
- Wand’ring Star hit #1 in the UK and Ireland keeping The Beatles’ Let it Be at #2 in the UK. It was Lee’s only single. It didn’t feature on the US charts.
- The B-Side to Lee’s version featured I Talk to the Trees—also from Paint Your Wagon—by Clint Eastwood.
- In 1990, Wand’rin’ Star was covered by English comedian Julian Clary. It was also covered by Shane MacGowan and The Popes on their 1997 album, The Crock of Gold.
- Wand’ring Star lyrics.
wand’ring star – lee marvin – 1970
i talk to the trees – clint eastwood – 1970
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