Victor Mature (29 January 1913 - 4 August 1999), an American film actor, was born in Louisville, Kentucky to a Tyrolean (German-speaking Italian) father, Marcellus George Mature, a cutler, and a Swiss-American mother, Clara Mature. He is often described as an early examplar of the term "beefcake" due to his muscular physique and stolid onscreen manner. But unlike any of his contemporaries and his many successors, Mature always brought a sense of fragility, doubt and uncertainty to his characters. His Samson in Samson and Delilah is no doubt his best known role; not because of the beefcake, but for the pathos he brings to the blinded hero.
Discovered while on stage at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, his first leading role was as a fur-clad caveman in One Million B.C. (1940), after which he joined 20th Century Fox to star opposite actresses such as Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth. However, with the US entry into World War II, Mature entered military service.
After the war, Mature was cast by John Ford in My Darling Clementine, playing Doc Holliday opposite Henry Fonda's Wyatt Earp. For the next decade, Mature settled into playing hard-boiled characters in a range of genres such as westerns and Biblical films, such as The Robe (with Richard Burton and Jean Simmons) and its popular sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators (with Susan Hayward). Both films deal with the fate of the robe worn by Jesus before the crucifixion. Victor also starred with Hedy Lamarr in Cecil B. Demille's Bible epic, Samson and Delilah and as Horemheb in The Egyptian (1954).
Mature was under no illusions as to his acting prowess. Once, after being rejected for membership in a country club because he was an actor, he cracked, "I'm not an actor - and I've got 67 films to prove it!"
Victor Mature died of leukemia at his Rancho Santa Fe, California, home in 1999, at the age of 86. He was once incorrectly listed as dead in a film book. Upon his death, Mature was brought back to his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and was buried in his family's burial plot at St. Michael's Cemetery.