Strother Martin

1919 - 1980

American character actor who achieved considerable fame in the last decade of his life. A native of Kokomo, Indiana, Strother Martin Jr. was the youngest of three children of Strother Douglas Martin, a machinist, and Ethel Dunlap Martin. His family moved soon after his birth to San Antonio, Texas, but quickly returned to Indiana. Strother Jr. grew up in Indianapolis and in Cloverdale, Indiana. He excelled at swimming and diving, and at 17 won the National Junior Springboard Diving Championship. He attended the University of Michigan as diving team member. He served in the U.S. Navy as a swimming instructor in World War II. Nicknamed "T-Bone" Martin for his diving style, his 3rd place finish in the adult National Springboard Diving Championships cost him a place on the 1948 Olympic team. He moved to California to become an actor, but worked in odd jobs and as a swimming instructor to Marion Davies and the children of Charles Chaplin. He found work as a swimming extra in several films an

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