Victor Mature

Actor, Businessman, Restaurateur
Standing 6'3" with a head of curly black hair and famously broad shoulders, Victor Mature seemed born to fill the expanding motion picture screen of the postwar era. The coarse Kentuckian with a disdain for discipline ... Read more »
Born: 01/29/1913 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Filmography

Actor (28)

Samson and Delilah 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Every Little Crook and Nanny 1971 (Movie)

Ganucci (Actor)

Head 1968 (Movie)

(Actor)

After the Fox 1966 (Movie)

Tony Powell (Actor)

Hannibal 1960 (Movie)

Hannibal (Actor)

I Tartari 1959 (Movie)

Oleg (Actor)

China Doll 1958 (Movie)

Captain Cliff Brandon (Actor)

Escort West 1958 (Movie)

Ben Lassiter (Actor)

The Bandit of Zhobe 1958 (Movie)

Kasim Khan (Actor)

Timbuktu 1958 (Movie)

Mike Conway (Actor)

No Time to Die 1957 (Movie)

Thatcher (Actor)

Pickup Alley 1957 (Movie)

Charles Sturgis (Actor)

Safari 1956 (Movie)

Ken (Actor)

The Long Haul 1956 (Movie)

(Actor)

Chief Crazy Horse 1955 (Movie)

Crazy Horse (Actor)

The Last Frontier 1955 (Movie)

Jed (Actor)

Violent Saturday 1955 (Movie)

Shelley Martin (Actor)

Betrayed 1954 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dangerous Mission 1954 (Movie)

Matt Hallett (Actor)

Demetrius and the Gladiators 1954 (Movie)

Demetrius (Actor)

The Egyptian 1954 (Movie)

Horenheb (Actor)

The Glory Brigade 1953 (Movie)

Lieutenant Sam Prior (Actor)

Affair With a Stranger 1952 (Movie)

Bill Blakeley (Actor)

Million Dollar Mermaid 1952 (Movie)

James Sullivan (Actor)

Something For the Birds 1952 (Movie)

Steve Bennett (Actor)

My Darling Clementine 1946 (Movie)

(Actor)

Seven Days Leave 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Biography

Standing 6'3" with a head of curly black hair and famously broad shoulders, Victor Mature seemed born to fill the expanding motion picture screen of the postwar era. The coarse Kentuckian with a disdain for discipline received 20,000 fan letters from his film debut in the Hal Roach comedy "The Housekeeper's Daughter" (1939), which led to his promotion to leading man for the dinosaur romp "One Million Years, B.C." (1940). After the war, Mature came into his own as an actor at 20th Century Fox, partnering with Henry Fonda for John Ford's mythic oater "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and going head to head with Richard Widmark in Henry Hathaway's steely noir "Kiss of Death" (1947). The advent of CinemaScope and the standardization of Technicolor thrust Mature into a clutch of chromatic biblical epics and he soldiered shirtless through "Samson and Delilah" (1949), "The Robe" (1950), "Demetrius and the Gladiators" (1954) and "The Egyptian" (1954) with professional aplomb, never taking himself, or critical condescension, seriously. With no need for shoulder pads, shoe lifts, a hairpiece, or studio-mandated secrecy regarding his private life, Mature proved his worth to the film industry as a low risk, reliable, scandal-free leading man. Savvy investments in real estate and the booming television market allowed the actor to retire at age 44, though he returned for roles in a handful of films before his death in 1999 denied moviegoers the company of a Hollywood star who stood every inch a king.

Relationships

Brother
died in infancy

Dorothy Berry

Wife
married on February 28, 1948 divorced in 1955

Frances Evans

Wife
married on January 30, 1938 divorced in 1941

Martha Kemp

Wife
married on June 17, 1941 divorced in 1943 widow of bandleader Hal Kemp

M Mature

Father
Austrian-born emmigrated to the USA began working as a scissors grinder, eventaully found employment as an executive at a commercial refrigeration business

Clara Mature

Mother
of French-Swiss ancestry

Victoria Mature

Daughter
born c. 1975

Lorey Sabena

Wife
married c. 1974 divorced

Adrienne Urwick

Wife
married in 1959 divorced in 1969

EDUCATION

St Xavier's School

Louisville, Kentucky
parochial school

St Paul's School

Louisville, Kentucky
parochial school

George H Tingley School

Louisville, Kentucky
public school

Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena, California 1937
attended on fellowship

St Joseph's Academy

Bardstown, Kentucky

Kentucky Military Academy

Linden, Kentucky

Milestones

1984

Final acting assignment, played Samson's father in the ABC movie "Samson and Delilah"

1979

Last feature film "Firepower"

1968

Again spoofed his image as 'The Big Victor' in Bob Rafelson's "Head", starring The Monkees

1966

Returned to film acting spoofing his screen image in Vittorio De Sica's "Caccia alla Volpe/After the Fox"

1961

"Retired" from acting

1950

Hired to replace Tyrone Power in "Samson and Delilah"

1947

Had what many consider his best role in the noir classic "Kiss of Death"

1946

Delivered strong performance as Doc Holliday in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine"

1941

Served with US Coast Guard, first in Atlantic Ocean, then Pacific

1940

Broadway debut in the musical "Lady in the Dark"; played a movie star opposite Gertrude Lawrence

1940

Signed long-term contract with 20th Century-Fox

1940

Signed with RKO

1940

Starred in "One Million B.C."

1939

Signed contract with Hal Roach Studio; film debut in "The Housekeeper's Daughter". opposite Joan Bennett

1936

Stage debut in "Paths of Glory" at Pasadena Playhouse

1935

Sold restaurant interests and went to Hollywood to pursue acting career

1933

With confectionary profits became co-owner of a restaurant (date approximate)

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky

While student at Pasadena Playhouse (from 1937) appeared in over 50 stage productions

Was expelled from several schools; parents sent him to parochial and military schools hoping it would teach him discipline

After quitting scool for good at age 14, entered confectionary business in Louisville

Ran a television retail shop in the 1970s

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