Marc Lawrence

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]

Marc Lawrence
Lawrence in 1957
Max Goldsmith

(1910-02-17)February 17, 1910
DiedNovember 28, 2005(2005-11-28) (aged 95)
Resting placeWestwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Years active1932–2003
Fanya Foss
(m. 1942; died 1995)

Alicia Lawrence
(m. 2003; his death 2005)

Early years

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][4] 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.[5]


In 1930, Lawrence befriended another young actor, John Garfield. The two appeared in a number of plays before Lawrence was given a film contract with Columbia Pictures. Lawrence's film debut came in 1933.[5]

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. 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.[6] He was blacklisted and departed for Europe, where he continued to make films.

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).

One of his last roles was as Mr. Zeemo in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Badda-Bing Badda-Bang", which aired in February 1999. Previously he played the elderly Gatherer Volnoth in the 1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Vengeance Factor".

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).[5]


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

For much of his adult life Lawrence lived in Palm Springs, California (1971–2006).[7] Lawrence married Odessa-born novelist and screenwriter Fanya Foss; she died on December 12, 1995. They had two children, Michael and Toni.


Lawrence died of heart failure on November 28, 2005 at the age of 95. He was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in Westwood, California.[8]

Selected filmography


  1. "Marc Lawrence, 95, Actor Whose Specialty Was Tough Guys, Dies". New York Times. Associated Press. 2005-12-03. Retrieved 2011-12-08. 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 1930's, died on Monday at his home in Palm Springs. He was 95. ...
  2. "Marc Lawrence Biography (1910-2005)".
  3. Vallance, Tom (2005-12-03). "Marc Lawrence". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  4. "Marc Lawrence". Telegraph. 2005-12-03. Retrieved 2007-01-26.
  5. 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
  6. Bergan, Ronald (6 December 2005). "Obituary: Marc Lawrence". the Guardian.
  7. Meeks, Eric G. (2014) [2012]. The Best Guide Ever to Palm Springs Celebrity Homes. Horatio Limburger Oglethorpe. p. 16. ISBN 978-1479328598.
  8. Marc Lawrence at Find a Grave

Further reading

  • Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget, by Justin Humphreys. BearManor Media, Albany, 2006. ISBN 1-59393-041-0.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.