Marc Lawrence


Actor

About

Also Known As
Max Goldsmith
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
February 17, 1910
Died
November 28, 2005
Cause of Death
Heart Failure

Biography

A swarthy American character player of more than 120 films since 1932, Marc Lawrence survived the blacklist in Hollywood by appearing in films overseas. When he returned to the USA, his familiar pock-marked face could be seen portraying gangsters and toughs well into the 1990s. Lawrence was usually cast in support or opposition to major stars, particularly in gangster films. He worked al...

Family & Companions

Fanya Foss-Lawrence
Wife
Screenwriter, poet, novelist. Married from 1942 until her death on December 12, 1995 of natural causes.

Bibliography

"Long Time, No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster"
Marc Lawrence, Ursus Press (1994)

Notes

Lawrence was a favorite peformer of gangsters. In 1951, while sitting with his wife in a restaurant in Naples, Italy, he was approached by a man whose demeanor was not unlike that played by Lawrence in scores of films--a mob soldier: "This little guy comes over to me and says, 'Charlie Lucky wants to talk to you. Then this other guy comes walking over, about Bogart's size. He had a little dog with him, named Bambi. He introduces himself and his dog and tells me, 'I want to hear New York talk.' So I talked New York to him for about a half-hour. Whaddya going to do?" --Marc Lawrence, who played a character perhaps based on Charles 'Lucky' Luciano in "Johnny Cool" (1963).

"Being a tough guy is easy. You just give them this hard look and yell, 'Hey, you, get over here!' and nobody bothers you." --Marc Lawrence

Biography

A swarthy American character player of more than 120 films since 1932, Marc Lawrence survived the blacklist in Hollywood by appearing in films overseas. When he returned to the USA, his familiar pock-marked face could be seen portraying gangsters and toughs well into the 1990s. Lawrence was usually cast in support or opposition to major stars, particularly in gangster films. He worked alongside the creme of the screen toughs (i.e., Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Paul Muni) sometimes taking a bullet for them, but projecting menace and sleaze throughout.

With a background that included much stage work and even some opera singing, Lawrence was nurtured in Hollywood by director William Wyler. He moved from New York to California and in 1932 made his film debut with a bit part as an unnamed hoodlum in "If I Had a Million." This began a career in which he worked for every studio (although more for Columbia than any other) appearing in 11 films in 1937 alone. Lawrence was never the protagonist and usually the sidekick, rather than the chief villain lurking. Lawrence had one of his best chances with "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), playing a nervous bookie. He was in support of Paul Muni, along with Humphrey Bogart, in "Dr. Socrates" (1935) and was a mobster in "I Am the Law" (1939), in which Edward G Robinson was a prosecutor. He was Ziggy, one of unrepentant crime boss Robinson's chief henchmen in "Key Largo" (1948).

To escape the blacklist, Lawrence and his writer wife, Fanya Foss, moved to Italy in 1951. During his six years there, he performed in numerous films (including an odd turn as Diomedes in 1956's "Helen of Troy") and even took a few turns behind the camera in the director's chair. When Lawrence returned to Hollywood to live in 1957, he first found work as a director rather than actor as the McCarthy era was not yet over. He helmed episodes of such series as "Maverick" and "77 Sunset Strip." He began acting again around 1960, appearing in numerous episodes of such series as "The Detectives," "The Untouchables" and the Western, "The Rifleman." Lawrence returned to the big screen playing a deported Mafia don, reminiscent of Lucky Luciano, in "Johnny Cool" (1963). The next year, he directed "Nightmare in the Sun" with John Derek as a drifter who meets up with Ursula Andress. Lawrence and Derek also produced the film, which did not please the critics and faltered with the public. His other directing effort, the thriller "Daddy's Deadly Darling" (filmed in 1972 and released in 1984), also did not set any box-office records. In the 70s, he had memorable roles in "The Man With the Golden Gun" (1974), the ninth James Bond movie, and as the nefarious Erhard alongside Laurence Olivier in "Marathon Man" (1976). He fit in well as a crusty man in the disastrous "Newsies" and was a mob heavy in "Ruby" (both 1992).

Through the years, Lawrence did not seem to slow down and was actually "rediscovered" by younger directors who had watched his face on the late show. In 1995, he played an irascible bellhop who gives Tim Roth "the lowdown" in "Four Rooms" and played a motel owner who gives George Clooney a dressing down in Robert Rodriguez's "From Dusk Till Dawn." Unlike many other Golden Age Hollywood players, Lawrence did not move into TV when film roles became more scarce--partly because his film roles never seemed to dry up. He did play a gangster, however, in the CBS TV-movie "Honor They Father" (1973), and made two unsold pilot, "Border Pals" (ABC, 1981) and "Terror At Alcatraz" (NBC, 1982). He continued to make the occasional guest shot on series like "Shannon's Deal" and "Gabriel's Fire" into the 90s.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Daddy's Deadly Darling (1972)
Director
Nightmare in the Sun (1964)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
The Shipping News (2001)
End of Days (1999)
Old Man
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Gotti (1996)
Newsies (1992)
Ruby (1992)
Donor (1990)
Blood Red (1989)
The Big Easy (1986)
Vinnie "The Cannon" Dimoti
Night Train to Terror (1985)
Dieter; Weiss
Cane e gatto (1983)
Terror at Alcatraz (1982)
Supersnooper (1981)
Hot Stuff (1979)
Goin' Coconuts (1978)
Webster
Foul Play (1978)
A Piece Of The Action (1977)
Marathon Man (1976)
Switch (1975)
Franks
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Rodney
Frasier, The Sensuous Lion (1973)
Honor Thy Father (1973)
Daddy's Deadly Darling (1972)
Zambrini
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Attendant
The Kremlin Letter (1970)
Priest
The Five Man Army (1970)
Carnival barker [see note]
Krakatoa, East of Java (1969)
Jacobs
Custer of the West (1968)
The Goldminer
Savage Pampas (1967)
Sergeant Barril
Johnny Tiger (1966)
William Billie
Johnny Cool (1963)
Johnny Colini
Kill Her Gently (1958)
Helen of Troy (1956)
Diomedes
Hurricane Island (1951)
Angus Macready
My Favorite Spy (1951)
Ben Ali
Black Hand (1950)
Caesar Xavier Serpi
Abbott & Costello in the Foreign Legion (1950)
Frankie
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Cobby
The Desert Hawk (1950)
Samad
Jigsaw (1949)
Angelo Agostini [also known as "The Angel"]
Tough Assignment (1949)
Vince
Calamity Jane and Sam Bass (1949)
[Harry] Dean
Out of the Storm (1948)
Red Stubbins
I Walk Alone (1948)
Nick Palestro
Key Largo (1948)
Ziggy
Captain from Castile (1948)
Corio
Unconquered (1947)
Sioto, medicine man
Yankee Fakir (1947)
Duke
Joe Palooka in the Knockout (1947)
John Mitchell
Inside Job (1946)
Donovan
Blonde Alibi (1946)
Joe Di Lima
The Virginian (1946)
Pete
Cloak and Dagger (1946)
Luigi
Dillinger (1945)
Doc Madison
Don't Fence Me In (1945)
Cliff Anson
Life with Blondie (1945)
Pete
Club Havana (1945)
Joe Reed
Flame of Barbary Coast (1945)
Disko
Tampico (1944)
Valdez
The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
Pedro
Rainbow Island (1944)
Alcoa
Calaboose (1943)
Sluggsy Baker
Submarine Alert (1943)
Vincent Bela
Eyes of the Underworld (1943)
Gordon Finch
Hit the Ice (1943)
Phil
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Jeff Farnley
'Neath Brooklyn Bridge (1942)
McGaffey
This Gun for Hire (1942)
Tommy
Nazi Agent (1942)
Joe Aiello
Yokel Boy (1942)
Trigger
Call of the Canyon (1942)
Horace Dunston
Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
[Bert] LaVerne
A Dangerous Game (1941)
Joe
Public Enemies (1941)
Mike
Lady Scarface (1941)
Lefty Landers
Hold That Ghost (1941)
Charlie Smith
Sundown (1941)
Abdi Hammud
Tall, Dark and Handsome (1941)
Louie
The Man Who Lost Himself (1941)
Frank De Soto
The Monster and the Girl (1941)
Sleeper
The Shepherd of the Hills (1941)
Pete
The Great Profile (1940)
Tony
Brigham Young--Frontiersman (1940)
Prosecutor
The Man Who Talked Too Much (1940)
Lefty Kyler
Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum (1940)
Steve McBirney
Love, Honor, and Oh-Baby! (1940)
Tony
Johnny Apollo (1940)
Bates
The Golden Fleecing (1940)
"Happy" Dugan
The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939)
Leader of heavies
Dust Be My Destiny (1939)
Venetti
Beware, Spooks! (1939)
Slick Eastman
Homicide Bureau (1939)
Chuck Brown
S.O.S.--Tidal Wave (1939)
Melvin Sutter
Sergeant Madden (1939)
'Piggy' Ceders
While New York Sleeps (1939)
Happy Nelson
Code of the Streets (1939)
Halstead
The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939)
Floyd
Romance of the Redwoods (1939)
Joe
Blind Alley (1939)
Buck
Ex-Champ (1939)
Bill Crosley
Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939)
Johnny McCoy
Invisible Stripes (1939)
Lefty
Convicted (1938)
Milton Militis
Penitentiary (1938)
Jack Hawkins
Adventure in Sahara (1938)
Poule
Squadron of Honor (1938)
Lawlor
Who Killed Gail Preston? (1938)
Frank Daniels
I Am the Law (1938)
Eddie Girard
There's That Woman Again (1938)
Mr. Stevens
The Spider's Web (1938)
Racketeers in Exile (1937)
Blackie [White]
Motor Madness (1937)
Slater
What Price Vengeance (1937)
Pete Brower
The Shadow (1937)
Kid Crow
Criminals of the Air (1937)
Blast Reardon
A Dangerous Adventure (1937)
Calkins
Counsel for Crime (1937)
Edwin Mitchell
Murder in Greenwich Village (1937)
Rusty Morgan
San Quentin (1937)
Venetti
Charlie Chan on Broadway (1937)
Thomas Mitchell
It Can't Last Forever (1937)
Life Begins with Love (1937)
Under Two Flags (1936)
Grivon
Don't Gamble with Love (1936)
Gambler
The Blackmailer (1936)
Pinky
The Cowboy Star (1936)
Johnny Simpson
The Final Hour (1936)
Mike Magellon
Trapped by Television (1936)
Griffin
Counterfeit (1936)
Dint Coleman
Road Gang (1936)
Pete
Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936)
Manuel
Don't Bet on Blondes (1935)
Gangster
Dr. Socrates (1935)
Lefty
Little Big Shot (1935)
Henchman
After the Dance (1935)
Tom
Go into Your Dance (1935)
Thug
Three Kids and a Queen (1935)
Gangster
Million Dollar Baby (1934)
Death on the Diamond (1934)
White Woman (1933)
Connors

Writer (Feature Film)

Nightmare in the Sun (1964)
Story

Producer (Feature Film)

Daddy's Deadly Darling (1972)
Producer
Nightmare in the Sun (1964)
Producer

Cast (Special)

Lucky Luciano: Chairman of the Mob (1996)
Interviewee
Border Pals (1981)

Life Events

1932

Made feature film debut in bit part, "If I Had A Million"

1951

Moved to Europe, acted in Italian films and occasionally directed

1957

Returned to Hollywood; began directing TV episodes

1964

Directed and co-produced "Nightmare in the Sun"

1973

Co-starred in TV-movie "Honor Thy Father"

1984

Produced and directed "Daddy's Deadly Darling"

1996

Appeared in feature "From Dusk Till Dawn"

Videos

Movie Clip

Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) - Don't Call Me Uncle Lon Louis Calhern, as rich lawyer Alonzo Emmerich, is being asked by bookie Cobby (Marc Lawrence) and brainy ex-con Doc (Sam Jaffe) to bankroll a heist, showing interest then ushering them out, then visiting Angela (Marilyn Monroe), whose position we infer, in The Asphalt Jungle, 1950.
Key Largo (1948) - Champagne And Pompano Director John Huston reveals Rocco (Edward G. Robinson, with aide Thomas Gomez), explaining why the thugs downstairs just pulled guns on Nora (Lauren Bacall), her Florida Keys innkeeper father-in-law (Lionel Barrymore) and their guest McCloud (Humphrey Bogart), the former C-O of their late husband and son, in Key Largo, 1948, screenplay by Huston and Richard Brooks from the Maxwell Anderson play.
Foul Play (1978) - My Place Or Yours? Still not knowing why she's being pursued, San Francisco librarian Gloria (Goldie Hawn) ducks into a bar fleeing her albino assailant (William Frankfather) where she turns to baffled Stanley (Dudley Moore, in his Hollywood breakthrough role) for protection, in writer-director Colin Higgins' Foul Play, 1978.
Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943) - The Law's Slow And Careless Martin (Dana Andrews), questioned by Major Tetley (Frank Conroy) and other members of the posse-or-lynch-mob, discovers he's suspected of murder, Gil (Henry Fonda) offering some defense, in Wiliam A. Wellman's The Ox-Bow Incident, 1943.
Asphalt Jungle, The (1950) - No, I Don't Know How It Is Freelance gangster and losing gambler Dix (Sterling Hayden) pays off nervous bookie Cobby (Marc Lawrence), who tries to apologize for insisting, then meets his newly-paroled heist partner Doc (Sam Jaffe), before crooked cop Ditrich (Barry Kelley) drops by, in The Asphalt Jungle, 1950.
Dillinger (1945) - Too Free With A Gun The end of the fact-based springing of his gang from an Indiana prison by the title character (Lawrence Tierney), then a spree montage, then Specs (Edmund Lowe) supervising the crew (Elisha Cook Jr., Marc Lawrence, Eduardo Cianelli), Anne Jeffreys the moll, in Monogram Pictures' Dillinger, 1945.
Dillinger (1945) - The Kid Has Possibilities Sent to prison for a series of petty crimes Lawrence Tierney (title character) finds out that his cellmate Specs (Edmund Lowe) has credentials, and a robust posse (Eduardo Cianelli, Marc Lawrence, Elisha Cook Jr.), early in the racy Monogram Pictures bio-pic Dillinger, 1945.
Lady Scarface (1941) - His Yappin' Days Are Over Businesslike opening, Huntley Gordon as a banker likely up to no good on the phone when the cleaning lady (Judith Anderson, title character) and her gang (Arthur Shields, Harry Burns, Horace MacMahon, Marc Lawrence) turn the tables, in the RKO programmer Lady Scarface, 1941.
Housekeeper's Daughter, The - You Can't Win! Gang moll Hilda (Joan Bennett) gives a sucker an even break to the consternation of boss Floyd (Marc Lawrence) and her boyfriend Lefty (Victor Mature) in The Housekeeper's Daughter, (1939).
Blind Alley (1939) - Here's Where You Get Off Faculty kid Davy (Scotty Beckett) with graduating Fred (Stanley Brown) lead into the first scene for escaped killer Wilson (Chester Morris) with his gang and girlfriend Mary (Ann Dvorak), early in Blind Alley, 1939.
Savage Pampas - I Know The Type Captain Martin (Robert Taylor) leads his squad in the Argentine wilderness to collect camp-follower ladies, featuring Camila (Felicia Roc) in Savage Pampas, 1967, from producer Samuel Bronston.
I Am the Law - The Big Apple Gang-moll/Reporter Frankie Ballou (Wendy Barrie) teaches law professor/special-prosecutor John Lindsay (Edward G. Robinson) a hop called "The Big Apple" until his wife (Barbara O'Neil) arrives in I Am the Law, 1938.

Trailer

Princess and the Pirate, The - (Original Trailer) A cowardly knight (Bob Hope) rescues a disguised princess from pirates.
San Quentin (1937) - (Original Trailer) A convict's sister falls for the captain of the prison guards in San Quentin (1937), starring Pat O'Brien & Humphrey Bogart.
Road Gang - (Original Trailer) A reporter (Donald Woods) exposes corruption on a southern chain gang in Road Gang (1936).
My Favorite Spy (1951) - (Original Trailer) A comedian poses as an international spy to recover mysterious microfilm in My Favorite Spy (1951) starring Bob Hope and Hedy Lamarr.
Blossoms In The Dust - (Original Trailer) Greer Garson plays the real-life Texas heroine Edna Gladney in this MGM Technicolor drama.
Sergeant Madden - (Original Trailer) A police officer's son joins the force but goes bad in Josef von Sternberg's Sergeant Madden (1939) starring Wallace Beery.
Nazi Agent - (Original Trailer) Conrad Veidt has an evil twin and he's a Nazi Agent (1942) in the first feature directed by Jules Dassin.
Captain from Castile - (Black & White Trailer) The invasion of Mexico by Cortez, as seen by a young Spanish officer fleeing the Inquisition in Captain from Castile (1948).
Five Man Army, The - (Original Trailer) Stealing gold isn't such a "mission impossible" when Peter Graves is leading The Five Man Army (1970).
Helen of Troy - (Original Trailer) A shipwrecked Trojan's love for a married Greek queen sparks the Trojan War in Helen of Troy (1956).
Invisible Stripes - (Original Trailer) Humphrey Bogart is the gang boss, William Holden the kid heading for a life of crime and George Raft the ex-con who can't get a job.
Little Big Shot - (Original Trailer) Small-time hoods turn nursemaid when a gangster's daughter is orphaned in Little Big Shot (1935).

Family

Israel Simon Goldsmith
Father
Minerva Norma Goldsmith
Mother
Toni Lawrence
Daughter
Actor. Appeared in "Daddy's Deadly Darling".

Companions

Fanya Foss-Lawrence
Wife
Screenwriter, poet, novelist. Married from 1942 until her death on December 12, 1995 of natural causes.

Bibliography

"Long Time, No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster"
Marc Lawrence, Ursus Press (1994)

Notes

Lawrence was a favorite peformer of gangsters. In 1951, while sitting with his wife in a restaurant in Naples, Italy, he was approached by a man whose demeanor was not unlike that played by Lawrence in scores of films--a mob soldier: "This little guy comes over to me and says, 'Charlie Lucky wants to talk to you. Then this other guy comes walking over, about Bogart's size. He had a little dog with him, named Bambi. He introduces himself and his dog and tells me, 'I want to hear New York talk.' So I talked New York to him for about a half-hour. Whaddya going to do?" --Marc Lawrence, who played a character perhaps based on Charles 'Lucky' Luciano in "Johnny Cool" (1963).

"Being a tough guy is easy. You just give them this hard look and yell, 'Hey, you, get over here!' and nobody bothers you." --Marc Lawrence

"I loved Eddie Robinson, but nobody was better than Jimmy Cagney. The bounce that Cagney had was special. It was a pleasure to watch him dancing through a scene as a tough guy." --Marc Lawrence