Strother Martin was an American film and television actor. The youngest of three children, he was born in Kokomo, Indiana, on 26 March 1919 to a machinist father and a housewife mother. Martin was originally an Olympic diving hopeful and swimming instructor, serving with the US Navy in World War II. After the war ended he moved to Los Angeles, where he taught swimming to the children of film stars like Charlie Chaplin and Marion Davies; and appeared as an extra in water scenes in films. He gained popularity and fame in the 1960s and 1970s for his portrayal of villainous characters in Western films and television shows, including The Horse Soldiers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. He played Coffer in The Wild Bunch; Percy Garris in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; and Colonel Stonehill in True Grit. He was married to Helen Meisels-Martin from 1967 but they had no children. He died of a heart attack on 1 August 1980, aged 61.