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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marc Lawrence
Lawrence in Dillinger (1945)
Max Goldsmith

(1910-02-17)February 17, 1910
New York City, U.S.
DiedNovember 28, 2005(2005-11-28) (aged 95)
Resting placeWestwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Other namesF. A. Foss
Marc Laurence
Marc C. Lawrence
Years active1930–2003
(m. 1942; died 1995)
Alicia Lawrence
(m. 2003)

Marc Lawrence (born Max Goldsmith; February 17, 1910 – November 28, 2005) was an American character actor who specialized in underworld types. He has also been credited as F. A. Foss, Marc Laurence and Marc C. Lawrence.[1]

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Early life

Lawrence was born in New York City, the son of a Polish Jewish mother, Minerva Norma (née Sugarman), and a Russian Jewish father, Israel Simon Goldsmith.[2][3] He participated in plays in school, then attended the City College of New York. In 1930, he received a two-year scholarship to the repertory theater operated by Eva Le Gallienne.[4]


Lawrence's film debut came in 1933.[4]

Lawrence's pock-marked complexion, brooding appearance and New York street-guy accent made him a natural for heavies, and he played scores of gangsters and mob bosses over the next six decades. He had become so familiar in the niche that Lawrence was once informed by studio executive Harry Cohn that infamous mobster Johnny Roselli called Lawrence "the best hood in films." Lawrence himself concurred that many Italian hoods told him he played them better than anyone else.[citation needed]

Later, Lawrence found himself under scrutiny for his political leanings. When called before the House Un-American Activities Committee, he admitted he had once been a member of the Communist Party. He named Sterling Hayden, Lionel Stander, Anne Revere, Larry Parks, Karen Morley and Jeff Corey as Communists.[5] He departed for Europe, where he continued to make films.[citation needed]

Following the demise of the blacklist, he returned to America and resumed his position as a familiar and talented purveyor of gangland types. He played gangsters in two James Bond movies: 1971's Diamonds Are Forever opposite Sean Connery, and 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun opposite Roger Moore. He also portrayed a henchman opposite Laurence Olivier in Marathon Man (1976) and a stereotypical Miami mob boss alongside Jerry Reed and Dom DeLuise in the comedy Hot Stuff (1979).

Lawrence played Volnoth, a member of the Gatherers, in the 1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Vengeance Factor". He subsequently returned to the Star Trek franchise when he played Mr. Zeemo in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang", which aired in February 1999.

He played the elderly motel owner in From Dusk Till Dawn. His final film role was in Looney Tunes Back in Action (2003), appearing as an Acme Corporation vice president.

Lawrence directed Nightmare in the Sun (1965) and Pigs (1973).[4][6]


In 1991 Lawrence's autobiography was published entitled Long Time No See: Confessions of a Hollywood Gangster (ISBN 0-9636700-0-X). Lawrence was also the subject of a novel, The Beautiful and the Profane (ISBN 978-1-4107-0292-0) (published in 2002).

Personal life

In 1942, he married Fanya Foss, a Ukrainian-American screenwriter and had 2 children.[7] She died in 1995. His daughter Toni was married to Billy Bob Thornton from 1986 to 1988. In 2003, at the age of 93, Lawrence remarried Alicia, a Mexican woman. He lived in Palm Springs, California.[8]


After having been hospitalized for over a week after an illness, Lawrence died on November 28, 2005 at his home at the age of 95.[9]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Marc Lawrence, 95, Actor Whose Specialty Was Tough Guys, Dies". New York Times. Associated Press. December 3, 2005. Retrieved December 8, 2011. Marc Lawrence, whose pockmarked face and brooding mannerisms made him a natural for roles as the tough guy, gangster and undertaker in dozens of movies beginning in the 1930s, died on Monday at his home in Palm Springs. He was 95. ...
  2. ^ Vallance, Tom (December 3, 2005). "Marc Lawrence". The Independent. Archived from the original on March 18, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  3. ^ "Marc Lawrence". Telegraph. December 3, 2005. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Dellagatta, Steve (July 16, 1998). "Valley resident Marc Lawrence has had a long career as well-known character actor". Palm Desert Post. California, Palm Desert. p. 16. Retrieved November 20, 2018 – via Open access icon
  5. ^ Bergan, Ronald (December 6, 2005). "Obituary: Marc Lawrence". the Guardian.
  6. ^ Willis, Donald C. (1984). Horror and Science Fiction Films III. Scarecrow Press p. 258. ISBN 978-0-8108-1723-4.
  7. ^ Archives, L. A. Times (December 19, 1995). "Fanya Foss Lawrence; Screenwriter, Poet, Novelist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2024.
  8. ^ Meeks, Eric G. (2014) [2012]. The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 16. ISBN 978-1479328598.
  9. ^ "Marc Lawrence, 95, Actor Whose Specialty Was Tough Guys, Dies". The New York Times. Associated Press. December 3, 2005. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2024.

Further reading

  • Humphreys, Justin (2006). "Marc Lawrence". Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget : Interviews with the Movies' Character Actors (softcover) (First ed.). Albany, GA: BearManor Media. pp. 218–242. ISBN 978-1-62933-094-5.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 April 2024, at 23:46
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