Having started out portraying sadistic bad guys in a number of notable film noirs, actor Lee Marvin was propelled to stardom and leading man status following his Oscar-winning performance as two characters in the classic Western comedy "Cat Ballou" (1965). Prior to that particular triumph, Marvin began making a name for himself with supporting roles in "The Wild One' (1953) and "The Big Heat" (1953), with the latter showcasing a famed scene where his menacing character threw scalding coffee in Gloria Grahame's face. Later in the decade, he had a stint as an investigator of organized crime on the briefly popular "M Squad" (NBC, 1957-1960), which helped turn the actor into star. Following turns as a sadistic cowboy in "Bad Day at Black Rock" (1955), the titular murderer in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" (1962), and a methodical assassin in "The Killers" (1964), Marvin changed the course of his career with his Academy Award-worthy performance in "Cat Ballou." From there, Marvin portrayed characters whose inescapable use of violence was nonetheless heroic: he was an avenging member of a Western posse in "The Professionals" (1966), the leader of a squad of soldier-convicts sent on a suicide mission in "The Dirty Dozen" (1967), and a cold, vengeance-mind thief in the unrelenting crime thriller "Point Blank" (1967). His career crested with a co-starring role in the notorious Western musical "Paint Your Wagon" (1969), in which he displayed one of the worst singing voices in cinema history, before hitting a slow, downward slope throughout the 1970s with underwhelming films like "The Klansman" (1974), "Shout at the Devil" (1976) and "Avalanche Express" (1978). Marvin rebounded late in his career with two excellent movies - the gruesome World War II epic "The Big Red One" (1980) and the methodical crime thriller set in Soviet Russia, "Gorky Park" (1984), both of which helped put an exclamation point on a sterling career.