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Victor Mature

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Published on Jun 17, 2008

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.


Victor Mature (1913-1999) was born in Louisville, Kentucky and performed at the Pasadena Playhouse before he was signed by 20th Century Fox. Dubbed "A Beautiful Hunk Of A Man", Mature performed in various genres, notably film noir (I Wake Up Screaming, Kiss Of Death, The Las Vegas Story), westerns (My Darling Clementine, Chief Crazy Horse), biblical epics (Samson and Delilah, The Robe), action yarns (One Million BC, Captain Cautious) and musicals (My Gal Sal, Footlight Serenade, Million Dollar Mermaid). His dark good looks and physique allowed critics to label him "a pretty boy" and "beefcake" while most ignored his acting skills, which was far deeper than they acknowledged. The actor himself had a self-deprecating sense of humor when it came to his profession and did not take himself too seriously. When he tried to apply for a membership and the Hollywood Country Club, they informed him they did not accept actors, to which he replied, "I'm no actor - I've got 67 films to my credit to prove it!" He also romanced some of Tinseltown's famous leading ladies, some of whom were costars - Betty Grable, Esther Williams, Rita Hayworth (they were briefly engaged) and Lana Turner. Mature served in the Coast Guard during WWII and resumed his postwar work with ease - one of his biggest successes was John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" (1946) in which he played Doc Holliday. "Samson And Delilah" (1949) was part of the epic biblical movement that swept through Hollywood in an attempt to squash the new medium of television. He worked steadily into the mid-60s, and then left films at 45. He made occasion forays back onto the big screen in the 70s, and his last performance was in the television production of "Samson And Delilah" in 1984, where he played Samson's father. When asked if it bothered him to play the father of the character he had portrayed in 1949, he quipped, "If the money was right, I'd play his mother!" Five times married, his only child, daughter Victoria, was the product of his final marriage. Victor passed away from leukemia in 1999. Although he is not as well remembered as his contemporaries, Mature had a naturalness and an unaffectedness that comes across onscreen. I used Peggy Lee's "My Old Flame" since it seemed to fit so well. Enjoy!

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