Biography

Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.

In July 1942 Mature attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy but was rejected for color blindness. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard after taking a different eye test the same day. He was assigned to the USCGC Storis (WMEC-38), which was doing Greenland patrol work. After 14 months aboard the Storis, Mature was promoted to the rate of Chief Boatswain's Mate. In 1944 he did a series of War Bond tours and acted in morale shows. He assisted Coast Guard recruiting efforts by being a featured player in the musical revue "Tars and Spars" which opened in Miami, Florida in April of 1944 and toured the United States for the next year. In May 1945 Mature was reassigned to the Coast Guard manned troop transport USS Admiral H. T. Mayo (AP-125) which was involved in transferring troops to the Pacific Theater. Mature was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in November 1945 and he resumed his acting career.

Film career

After the war, Mature was cast by John Ford in My Darling Clementine, playing Doc Holliday opposite Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp. For the next decade, Mature settled into playing hard-boiled characters in a range of genres such as Westerns and Biblical films, such as The Robe (with Richard Burton and Jean Simmons) and its popular sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (with Susan Hayward). Mature also starred with Hedy Lamarr in Cecil B. DeMille's Bible epic, Samson and Delilah (1949) and as Horemheb in The Egyptian (1954) with Jean Simmons and Gene Tierney. He reportedly stated he was successful in Biblical epics because he could "make with the holy look".

He also starred with Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) and, according to her autobiography, had a romantic relationship with her. 

After five years of retirement, he was lured back into acting by the opportunity to parody himself in After the Fox (1966), co-written by Neil Simon. In a similar vein in 1968 he played a giant, The Big Victor, in Head, a potpourri movie starring The Monkees. The character poked fun at both his screen image and, reportedly, RCA Victor who distributed Colgems Records, the Monkees's label. Mature enjoyed the script while admitting it made no sense to him, stating "All I know is it makes me laugh."

Mature was famously self-deprecatory about his acting skills. Once, after being rejected for membership in a country club because he was an actor, he cracked, "I'm not an actor — and I've got sixty-four films to prove it!" He was quoted in 1968 on his acting career: "Actually, I am a golfer. That is my real occupation. I never was an actor. Ask anybody, particularly the critics."

Victor Mature died of leukemia in 1999, at his Rancho Santa Fe, California home, at the age of 86. He was buried in the family plot at St. Michael's Cemetery in his hometown of Louisville.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Victor Mature has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6780 Hollywood Blvd.

Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.

In July 1942 Mature attempted to enlist in the U.S. Navy but was rejected for color blindness. He enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard after taking a different eye test the same day. He was assigned to the USCGC Storis (WMEC-38), which was doing Greenland patrol work. After 14 months aboard the Storis, Mature was promoted to the rate of Chief Boatswain's Mate. In 1944 he did a series of War Bond tours and acted in morale shows. He assisted Coast Guard recruiting efforts by being a featured player in the musical revue "Tars and Spars" which opened in Miami, Florida in April of 1944 and toured the United States for the next year. In May 1945 Mature was reassigned to the Coast Guard manned troop transport USS Admiral H. T. Mayo (AP-125) which was involved in transferring troops to the Pacific Theater. Mature was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in November 1945 and he resumed his acting career.

Film career

After the war, Mature was cast by John Ford in My Darling Clementine, playing Doc Holliday opposite Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp. For the next decade, Mature settled into playing hard-boiled characters in a range of genres such as Westerns and Biblical films, such as The Robe (with Richard Burton and Jean Simmons) and its popular sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (with Susan Hayward). Mature also starred with Hedy Lamarr in Cecil B. DeMille's Bible epic, Samson and Delilah (1949) and as Horemheb in The Egyptian (1954) with Jean Simmons and Gene Tierney. He reportedly stated he was successful in Biblical epics because he could "make with the holy look".

He also starred with Esther Williams in Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) and, according to her autobiography, had a romantic relationship with her. 

After five years of retirement, he was lured back into acting by the opportunity to parody himself in After the Fox (1966), co-written by Neil Simon. In a similar vein in 1968 he played a giant, The Big Victor, in Head, a potpourri movie starring The Monkees. The character poked fun at both his screen image and, reportedly, RCA Victor who distributed Colgems Records, the Monkees's label. Mature enjoyed the script while admitting it made no sense to him, stating "All I know is it makes me laugh."

Mature was famously self-deprecatory about his acting skills. Once, after being rejected for membership in a country club because he was an actor, he cracked, "I'm not an actor — and I've got sixty-four films to prove it!" He was quoted in 1968 on his acting career: "Actually, I am a golfer. That is my real occupation. I never was an actor. Ask anybody, particularly the critics."

Victor Mature died of leukemia in 1999, at his Rancho Santa Fe, California home, at the age of 86. He was buried in the family plot at St. Michael's Cemetery in his hometown of Louisville.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Victor Mature has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6780 Hollywood Blvd.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 59

Birthday 1913-01-29

Day of Death 1999-08-04

Place of Birth Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1994 Sphinx – Secrets of the History (1 episode) as Hanibal
1984 Samson and Delilah as Manoah
1979 Firepower as Howard Everett
1976 Won Ton Ton: the Dog Who Saved Hollywood as Nick
1975 Mi Marilyn as Himself (archive footage)
1972 Every Little Crook and Nanny as Carmine Ganucci
1968 Head as The Big Victor
1966 After the Fox as Tony Powell
1965 Verifica incerta - Disperse Exclamatory Phase
1961 The Tartars as Oleg
1959 Hannibal as Hannibal
1959 The Big Circus as Henry Jasper 'Hank' Whirling
1959 The Bandit Of Zhobe as Kasmin Khan
1959 Escort West as Ben Lassiter
1958 Timbuktu as Mike Conway
1958 China Doll as Capt. Cliff Brandon
1958 Tank Force as Sgt. David Thatcher
1957 The Long Haul as Harry Miller
1957 Pickup Alley as Charles Sturgis
1956 Zarak as Zarak Khan
1956 The Sharkfighters as Lt. Cmdr. Ben Staves
1956 Safari as Ken Duffield
1955 The Last Frontier as Jed Cooper
1955 Violent Saturday as Shelley Martin
1955 Chief Crazy Horse as Crazy Horse
1954 Betrayed as 'The Scarf'
1954 The Egyptian as Horemheb
1954 Demetrius and the Gladiators as Demetrius
1954 Dangerous Mission as Matt Hallett
1953 The Veils of Bagdad as Antar
1953 The Robe as Demetrius
1953 Affair With A Stranger as Bill Blakeley
1953 The Glory Brigade as Lt. Sam Pryor
1952 Million Dollar Mermaid as James Sullivan
1952 Androcles and the Lion as Captain
1952 Something for the Birds as Steve Bennett
1952 The Las Vegas Story as Lt. Dave Andrews
1950 Gambling House as Marc Fury formerly Marcus Furioni
1950 Stella as Jeff DeMarco
1950 Wabash Avenue as Andy Clark
1949 Samson and Delilah as Samson
1949 Easy Living as Pete Wilson
1949 Red, Hot and Blue as Danny James
1948 Cry of the City as Lt. Candella
1948 Fury at Furnace Creek as Cash Blackwell / Tex Cameron
1947 Kiss of Death as Nick Bianco
1947 Moss Rose as Michael Drego
1946 My Darling Clementine as Dr. John 'Doc' Holliday
1943 Show-Business at War as Himself
1942 Seven Days' Leave as Johnny Grey
1942 Footlight Serenade as Tommy Lundy
1942 My Gal Sal as Paul Dresser
1942 Song of the Islands as Jefferson Harper
1941 The Shanghai Gesture as Doctor Omar
1941 I Wake Up Screaming as Frankie Christopher (Botticelli)
1940 No, No, Nanette as William Trainor
1940 Captain Caution as Daniel 'Dan' Marvin
1940 One Million B.C. as Tumak
1939 The Housekeeper's Daughter as Lefty

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