Strother Martin – Biography, Spouse, Net Worth

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Strother Martin was one of the early Hollywood actors who managed to remain relevant and maintain their acting career from the 1950s to the 1980s. He was a talented actor who was able to express himself through the characters he was given to play in various movies and TV shows.

The US-based actor gained widespread popularity for portraying the character of the prison captain in the movie Cool Hand Luke. He is also known to be the supporting cast of John Wayne and Paul Newman in various movies that show the culture, lifestyle, and stories of the western people, and was also known for his movie line quotes “What we’ve here is failure to communicate”. To learn more about Strother Martin, read his profile below.

Strother Martin’s Biography

He was born as Strother Douglas Martin on March 26, 1919, in Kokomo, Indiana, U.S.A to his mother – Ethel Dunlap and father Strother Douglas Martin senior. It is unknown if he was an only child or had other siblings. Ever since he was a child, Martin had always been a good swimmer who had amazing diving techniques. He was a one time winner of the National Junior Springboard Diving Championship at the age of 17.

Though details about his elementary and high school education aren’t known, it is an established fact that Strother Martin was an alumna of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he joined the school’s swimming team and represented them in various school competitions. He later went ahead to become the swimming coach for the America Navy during World War II.

Strother Martin relocated to Los Angeles, California after the war where he was the swimming coach and swimming stun man for movie water scenes. He was given only minor roles to play in various TV shows and soon gained momentum in Hollywood when he appeared in the NBC’s anthology series Frontier and the civil war series Gray Ghost as Reconnaissance Mission in the early 1950s. He was later featured in ABC’s religious series Crossroads and also in Gunsmoke in 1955.

Martin also appeared on Crusader, Have Gun- Will Travel, Boots and Saddles, Track Down and Jefferson Drum in the later years of the 1950s.

After being cast as a supporting and recurring act for many years, Martin was later given the opportunity to act as the main character in some movies and they include, The Brotherhood of Satan (1971) – an American horror movie where he acted as Doc Duncan, Pocket Money (1972) as Bill Garret and Slap Shot – an American sports comedy movies where he played the role of Joe McGrath.

His other works include The Texan as Polk, The Rebel as Deputy Jess, The Law and Mr. Jones as a guest star, Pete and Gladys as Harold Horton, Stoney Burke as a guest star, The Dakotas as Private Anton Copang, The Rounders as Cousin Fletch and Death Valley Days as Arizona.

In 1980, Strother Martin, who was being monitored by his doctor for heart problems, died of a cardiac arrest on August 1st at the Los Robles Regional Medical center in Thousand Oaks California. He was 61 years old when he died.


Strother Martin was married to the love of his life Helen Meisels-Martin. The couple was married in the year 1967 in a wedding ceremony attended by their families and friends. Hollywood actors are known for their multiple marriages but Martin was a was faithful to death. On his death bed, Strother was still very much married to his wife, Helen. The couple was obviously happily married as there was never news of any problems regarding their relationship.

Seventeen years after his death, his wife, Helen also gave up her ghost in 1997. Helen’s ashes were kept alongside that of her husband at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

Net Worth – What Is Strother Martin Worth?

Strother Martin was a Hollywood star at a time when actors weren’t earning a lot of money, however, considering the fact that he rose to a certain degree in his acting career and maintained above average consistency, it is safe to say that he was making more than enough for just his personal needs. With almost no information regarding how much the late iconic actor earned, it is almost impossible to estimate the value of his net worth. That said, Strother was far from penury for the greatest part of his life.

Also Read: Top 10 Richest People in the world with full biography and details.