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Hall of Fame Hard Guy

Posted By Alex Belth On January 4, 2009 @ 12:23 pm In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

Day two of the NFL playoffs this afternoon.  I enjoyed both games yesterday.  Tough guys, football players, huh?

Well, here’s a real tough guy for you, one of the hardest men ever to grace the silver screen. From a Johnny Carson interview on The Tonight Show:

Carson: Lee, I’ll bet a lot of people are unaware that you were a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima and that during the course of that action, you earned the Navy Cross and were severely wounded.

Marvin: Yeah, yeah … I got shot square in the ass and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Mount Suribachi. The bad thing about getting shot up on a mountain is guys getting shot hauling you down. But Johnny, at Iwo, I served under the bravest man I ever knew. We both got the Cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison. The dumb bastard actually stood up on Red Beach and directed his troops to move forward and get the hell off the beach. That Sergeant and I have been life long friends.When they brought me off Suribachi we passed him and he lit a smoke and passed it to me lying on my belly on the litter. “Where’d they get you Lee?” he asked. “Well Bob, they shot me in the ass and if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse. Johnny, I’m not lying, Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew!” You now know him as Bob Keeshan. You and the world know him as “Captain Kangaroo”.”


Thanks to the wunnerful Internet, here is Roger Ebert’s 1970 Esquire profile [1]:

“I need a beer,” Marvin said. “Who’s gonna get me a beer? I’mgonna get me a beer? I feellike a beer. Hell, I need a beer. Where are my glasses?” He peered around him. “Ever read this book? I got it for Christmas or some goddamn thing. A history of the West. Look here. All these cowboys are wearing chaps. Workingmen, see. Look here Bronco Billy dressed up in the East’s conception of the Western hero. See. From a dime novel. That’s how authentic a Western we made when we made ‘Monte Walsh.’ Where’s that beer? That author, he knows what it was reallylike. Get me a beer.”

“Finish your coffee,” Michelle said.

“I said get me a beer.”

Marvin paged through the book of Western lore, stopping to inspect an occasional page. When he stopped, he would pause for a moment and then whistle, moving on. Then silence. Only the pages turning. Now and again, a whistle.

“Where’s that fucking beer, baby?” He dropped the book on the rug. “Look, if I want to develop an image, I’ll do it my own fucking way.”

Michelle went into the kitchen to get a beer.

Dig this, from John Boorman:

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[1] Roger Ebert’s 1970 Esquire profile: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19701010/PEOPLE/41115001/1023

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