When you look back on Lee Marvin’s impressive career, a few things about him standout: he was a tough guy in most of the movies he appeared in, he had that premature white hair, and he had a very low, gravely, distinctive voice. Hearing him speak, you wouldn’t think Marvin would be one to ever record a hit single, but that’s exactly what he did in 1969!
When the 1951 stage musical Paint Your Wagon was adapted for the big screen in 1969, Lee Marvin played the part of prospector Ben Rumson. The role required Marvin’s character to sing a number or songs, and while he isn’t the most vocally-gifted singer, Marvin decided to forego miming another singer’s voice and perform the songs himself. The film itself flopped at the box office, but the soundtrack was quite popular. In 1970, Lee Marvin’s performance of “Wand’rin Star,” actually made it to the number one spot on the charts in the UK, beating out “Let It Be,” by The Beatles! It’s easy to see why; Marvin’s voice is perfect for this song! See for yourself in the performance below, and let us know what you remember about Lee Marvin in the comments section!