Victor John Mature was born on January 29, 1913 in Louisville, Kentucky. His father was an Italian immigrant and his mother was a native Kentuckian. As a young man Mature came west and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. While a struggling student, he lived for a time in a pup tent in a vacant lot. His dedication paid off, and he was discovered on stage in Pasadena. Signed for the movies, his first film role was a hunky caveman in One Million B.C. (1940).
After serving on troop transport ships in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, Mature resumed acting and became one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the 1940s and 50s. Through those years he appeared in musicals, comedies, westerns, crime dramas and, of course, biblical epics. In My Darling Clementine (1946) Mature was the tuberculosis-ridden Doc Holliday, teaming up with the Earp brothers in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.