John Marley Poster


Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 October 1907New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 22 May 1984Los Angeles County, California, USA  (heart surgery)
Birth NameMortimer Marlieb

Mini Bio (1)

Veteran character actor John Marley was one of those familiar but nameless faces that television and filmgoers did not take a shine to until the late 1960s, when he had hit middle age. Distinctive for his craggy face, dark bushy brows and upswept silvery hair, his life (born in 1907) started out amid tough surroundings in Harlem, New York, as the son of Russian immigrants. A high school dropout headed for trouble, he managed to avoid the gangland trappings by joining a theater group, which eventually led to some Broadway work. World War II interrupted his still lackluster career when he joined the Army Signal Corps. Post-war film credits were comprised mostly of unsympathetic bit roles -- thugs, reporters and other sly, shifty characters -- that were routinely Greek or Italian in origin. In the 1960s, Marley appeared to good effect in the film Cat Ballou (1965) as Jane Fonda's father; earned kudos for his work in John Cassavetes' stark, improvisational indie Faces (1968); Ali MacGraw's weary blue-collar father in Love Story (1970); and the mouthy movie titan who becomes bedmates with a horse's head after refusing Mafia don Marlon Brando's offer in the epic The Godfather (1972). Thanks to those two pictures, Marley, at age 65, evolved into an important and steady fixture for the next decade or so, playing everything from gruff executives to Mafia dons himself. John Marley died on May 22, 1984 following open-heart surgery at age 76. He was survived by wife Sandra and his four children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Sandra Marley (4 April 1975 - 22 May 1984) (his death) (1 child)
Stanja Lowe (27 May 1951 - 1972) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Craggy face
Dark bushy brows
Upswept silvery hair

Trivia (5)

Father of actor Ben Marley.
During rehearsals for John's notorious horse head bedroom scene in The Godfather (1972) a fake horse's head was used. However, for the actual day of shooting, a freshly severed horse's head was used from a slaughterhouse in New Jersey. However, the blood was not real.
Married twice and the father of four -- three children, Peter Marley, Julia Marley and Ben Marley, from his first marriage; one child, Alexis Marley, from his second.
Attended City College of New York.
Reprised his role as Jack Woltz for a lengthy Godfather parody by SCTV (1976) in 1981. Here he plays Leonard Bernstein (whom he closely resembled), who refuses to give Johnny Pavorotti (John Candy) the lead role in the "new war opera".

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