Actor. He appeared in musicals, westerns, comedies, historical epics and melodramas. The brawny star of the 1940s and '50s appeared in 50 credit movies mostly with 20th Century Fox. His most noted are now classics..."Samson and Delilah" playing Samson and "My Darling Clementine" playing Doc Holliday. He was born to Italian immigrant parents as Victor Joseph Maturi in Louisville, Kentucky the only survivor of three children. His parents were from the small town of Pinzolo located in the region of Trentino in Italy. They along with his brothers migrated to America after World War I settling in Louisville. His formal education was dismal. He attended many Louisville schools...Male, Manual, St. Xavier, St. Josephs in nearby Bardstown and finally Kentucky Military Institute where he quit at age 14 and began helping his father, Marcello, in his door to door scissors grinding and knife sharpening business. He became a successful teenager entrepreneur with a wholesale candy business and later a part ownership in a restaurant. At age 21, he packed up his car and headed for California hoping for a career as an actor. He registered with casting agencies and went to study at the Pasadena Playhouse doing odd jobs to survive. He was a worker at the Playhouse, appearing in more than 60 plays. Hal Roach saw his picture advertising a play and gave him a five minute part in his movie "The Housekeeper's Daughter." While the film was running, the studio received over 20,000 letters inquiring about Victor. World War II cut short his career as he enlisted in the Coast guard where his service was extensive serving on the troop transport ship Admiral Mayo which transported troops to Normandy, the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the many islands in the South Pacific. The end of the war found him on Okinawa when the A-bomb was dropped on Japan ending the war. Upon discharge, he resumed his movie career in earnest. Some of his other more notable films..."The Shanghai Gesture" "My Gal Sal" "I Wake Up Screaming" " Wabash Avenue" "The Robe," a sequel "Demetrius and the Gladiators" and " Chief Crazy Horse" He simply disappeared into retirement in the early 1960's at age 45, living at his golf course facing manor house on the Rancho Santa Fe Country Club, San Diego County, California. His movie career earned him $18 million and Victor invested wisely in real estate and retail stores. He fought cancer the last three years of his life which culminated in his death at his home at age 86. The five times married and divorced Victor Mature's remains were taken back to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. A simple private service was held at Bosse Mortuary with interment following in the family plot at St. Michael's Cemetery. Legacy...Victor never forgot his native city of Louisville, the site of his happy childhood. He returned often, especially to participate in the Foster Brooks golf and tennis tournaments benefiting charity. Between sea duty tours, Mature appeared at Bond rallies for the Coast Guard eventually starring in the Coast Guard show "Tars and Spars", a morale show which toured the country during WWII. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the movie industry.
Bio by: Donald Greyfield
Native of Louisville, Kentucky; star of radio, stage and screen; and a veteran of World War II
Cherished husband, father and friend, whose strength and gentle loving kindness live on in the hearts of those he loved
We celebrate a remarkable man whose faith in God and love of life are an inspiration
Lorette G. Sebena Mature
1936 – unknown
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