Betty Marie Marvin

Date of Death

March 9, 2018

Betty Marie Marvin passed away in the early hours of March 9, 2018 at the age of 89, surrounded by family. Born in Burlington WA, to Sadie and Earnest Ebeling, she called Santa Barbara home for the last quarter century of her life. Upon graduation from Sedro Woolley, Washington High School she left Washington State for the first time to attend the University of California Los Angeles on a scholarship. In LA, she enrolled in the music department, made wonderful lifelong friends in the arts, and met and fell in love with Lee Marvin, a young actor, whom she later married. They had four children and wild wonderful times. When the marriage ended, Betty among other pursuits, graduated from Otis Art Institute with her MFA in painting. Her creativity and insatiable curiosity made her a lifelong world traveler, performer, storyteller, designer, and an incredible cook. When she first settled in Santa Barbara, she began a much beloved holiday event called “The Christmas Cook Off,” to which an invitation was highly coveted. Julia Child was among the many friends who were often in attendance. In her final years, Betty wrote a book about her life, Tales of a Hollywood Housewife: A Memoir by The First Mrs. Lee Marvin, which met with critical acclaim. She was preceded in death by her oldest child, son Christopher, and youngest child, daughter Claudia, and lived her final years in the loving community of Vista Del Monte. She leaves behind daughters Courtenay Marvin and Cynthia Michaels, grandson Matthew Michaels, his wife Ting, and great grandson, Peter. Betty inspired friends, family and often complete strangers with her enthusiasm for life, and she always found the adventure in everything that came her way. She will be missed, but anyone who was touched by her life knows she is yet again engaged in another incredible adventure.


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