Victor Mature

Victor Mature


1/29/1913, Louisville, KY



Birth Name

Victor John Mature


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Victor Mature was born on January 29 1913, in Louisville, Kentucky. As one of the most popular actors in the 40s, Victor Mature began his career with the film My Darling Clementine, playing the character Doc Holliday. He found further success in the film noir genre when he…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Victor also starred in the 1984 tv remake of Sampson and Delilah (1949), this time starring as the father of Sampson, the character he played in the original film.

    • Victor was given a special memorial tribute at the 72nd Annual Academy Awards on March 26, 2000.

    • Victor appeared in Dynamite Chicken (1972), a film revolving around the peace movement in the United States, along with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Richard Pryor, Joan Baez, and Andy Warhol.

    • Victor starred in both The Robe (1953) and it's sequel, Demetrius And The Gladiators (1954) as former Greek slave Demetrius, who converts to Christianity.

    • Victor was married 5 times, to Frances Charles from January 30, 1938 to 1940, Martha Stephenson Kemp from June 17, 1941 to February 10, 1943, Dorothy Stanford Berry from February 28, 1948 to November 8, 1955, Adrienne Joy Urwick from Septemeber 27, 1959 to February 6, 1969, and to Loretta Sebena, from August 4, 1974 until his death in 1999.

    • Victor did several radio plays, including Shot In The Neck (10-27-1949) and Love and Death Of Joaquin Murieta (2-16-1953).

    • Victor owned a rare red Rolls-Royce golf cart he often used at the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club.

    • Victor was a producer on China Doll (1958), though he received no on-screen credit.

    • Victor sang in many films, 3 in 1942 alone, including Footlight Serenade, My Gal Sal, and Seven Days' Leave.

    • Victor co-starred with Richard Widmark in his acting debut in Kiss Of Death (1947).

    • Victor co-starred with Lucille Ball in Easy Living (1949).

    • Victor's first leading role was as a caveman in One Million B.C. (1940).

    • Victor was a petty officer with the US Coast Guard in World War II, serving on the troop transpoert ship Admiral Mayo. Places he served were the North Atlantic, Normandy, the Mediterranean, Caribbean and the South Pacific. He was on Okinawa when the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

    • Victor went to Kentucky Military Academy, where one of his classmates was Jim Backus.

    • Victor was color-blind.

    • Victor has a Motion Picture star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame at 6780 Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Victor was 6 feet 2 1/2 inches tall.

  • Quotes

    • Victor Mature: Hollywood is a place where the stars twinkle until they wrinkle.

    • Victor Mature: Actually, I am a golfer. That is my real occupation. I never was an actor. Ask anybody, particularly the critics.

    • (said when he was rejected for membership at the Los Angeles Country Club on grounds they did not admit actors)
      Victor Mature: I'm no actor — and I have 67 pictures to prove it!

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  • Critics and movie-goers understandably but mistakenly concentrated their attention on Victor Mature\'s physique, and Hollywood responded by stripping him to the waist and then adding a touch of bondage.

    Victor Mature\'s elevation from \"well-known actor\" to \"movie star\" probably occurred in 1949 when he appeared in one of Cecil B. deMille\'s most popular spectacles, \"Samson and Delilah.\" Viewers seemed drawn to the sight of the muscular Mature being blinded by a red-hot sword and then being chained to a millstone which he\'s forced to endlessly turn for his Philistine tormentors. Wearing little more than a loincloth and a coating of sweat produced by his back-breaking labors, Mature -- often nicknamed \"the Hunk\" -- displayed the kind of physique loved by movie cameras and Paramount Pictures prominently featured his \"body-in-bondage\" image in much of its \"Samson and Delilah\" advertising.

    Four years later 20th Century-Fox cast Mature in another Biblical epic and the first movie in CinemaScope, \"The Robe.\" Now Mature\'s physique could be displayed on the w-i-d-e screen and film-makers responded by creating a scene in which Mature, playing the slave Demetrius, suffers agonies in a Roman torture chamber apparently reeking with the stench of sweat and urine. Stripped to a loincloth both smaller and bulgier than the one he wore in \"Samson,\" Mature reclines face-up on a table, his spreadeagled limbs tied at the wrists and ankles, while a wooden beam is painfully pressed down in crushing fashion over his stomach. When he still refuses to divulge any information, a Roman soldier lashes his bare chest with a multi-stranded whip, leaving bloody gashes on Mature\'s already-bruised skin. (Though Mature\'s performance here is one of his best, and though Richard Burton\'s performance seems slack and uninspired, Burton received an Oscar nomination for \"The Robe\" whereas Mature did not.)

    Three years later, in 1956\'s set-in-India but shot-in-Morocco \"Zarak,\" Mature once more found his shirt being removed so he could show off his torso while suffering some more on-screen torture. In the first reel of \"Zarak\" he\'s sentenced to be flogged to death for making advances to his father\'s young and beautiful wife. The flogging takes place in the village square where the well is located with Mature\'s hands tied to a horizonatl bar located above his head. He winces but does not cry out as the whip cuts into his bare back. His death-sentence is soon commuted and Mature manages to walk away from the village, but in the final reel he\'s again sentenced to death-by-flogging and this time the sentence is carried out to the final lash. (For some reason, though, the film-makers allow him to keep his shirt on for this scene.) Perhaps no other movie star has been flogged twice in the same movie and perhaps no other movie star has played a character who is whipped to death during the course of the film.

    Though now in his early 40s, Mature had one more example of \"beefcake torture\" left in his acting career. In 1958\'s black-and-white \"Timbuktu,\" he plays an adventurer who\'s captured by rebels in the French Sahara. The leader of these rebels, John Dehner, has Mature staked out spreadeagle-style on the sandy floor of his tent. Naturally, Mature\'s been stripped of his shirt to once more show off that impressive physique and the \"X\" position adds a sexual undertone to the scene by speading apart the victim\'s legs. To \"persuade\" him to \"talk,\" Dehner has a large poisonous spider dangled by a thread over Mature\'s face. The spider drops closer and closer to Mature whose eyes widen in dread as the deadly arachnid draws increasingly near to his exposed flesh. It\'s an imaginatively-created scene and a worthy close to Mature\'s career as Hollywood\'s #1 \"hunk in bondage.\"

    Fittingly the 2004 book, \"Lash: The Hundred Greatest Scenes of Men Being Whipped in the Movies,\" is dedicated to Victor Mature -- \"the back that launched a thousand whips.\"moreless