Hollywood is a place where the stars twinkle until they wrinkle
Victor Mature was the original Hollywood’s ‘beefcake’ as popular for his rippling muscles and pinup good looks, as he was for his on-screen presence.
Born in Kentucky, he was a rebellious youth and at one time sold candy, before pursuing a film career. He hit the big time after being cast as a caveman in Hal Roach’s 1940 film, One Million Years BC.
He acted in films across many genres suspense, musicals, comedy and adventure but tended to gravitate towards historical epics. He starred in films including Samson and Delilah and Biblical epic, The Robe.
While the media made much of his sex-symbol image – he was once billed “a beautiful hunk of man” – Victor also played gritty roles that demonstrated his acting gifts. Yet the five-times married star was famously modest about his acting ability, later confessing to only being proud of about half of the films he had made.
He earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but from the mid-1960s began to pursue a career in business – a second career in which he also enjoyed huge success.
A wealthy man when he made a return to acting in the 1980s, he played Samson’s father in a TV adaptation of Bible story Samson and Delilah.
Clearly having relished being in front of the camera again, he quipped: “I’d have played Samson’s mother if they’d asked me.”