He was educated at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky, the Kentucky Military Institute, and the Spencerian Business School.
He made his debut in The Housekeeper’s Daughter (39, Hal Roach) and is treasured for his Tarzan-like progenitor in One Million B.C. (40, Roach, and wintrily surveyed by D. W. Griffith); with Anna Neagle in No, No, Nanette (40, Herbert Wilcox); a reptilian womanizer in The Shanghai Gesture (41, Josef von Sternberg); My Gal Sal (42, Irving Cummings); Hot Spot (42, Bruce Humberstone); a consumptive Doc Holliday hidden under a huge white handkerchief in My Darling Clementine (46, John Ford); Moss Rose (47, Gregory Ratoff); haunted by Widmarks giggle in Kiss of Death (47, Henry Hathaway); Cry of the City (48, Robert Siodmak); Easy Living (49, Jacques Tourneur); Red Hot and Blue (49, John Farrow); hairy and grandiloquent in Samson and Delilah (49, Cecil B. De Mille); Wabash Avenue (50, Henry Foster); Gambling House (51, Ted Tetzlaff); Million Dollar Mermaid (52, Mervyn Le Roy); Affair with a Stranger (53, Roy Rowland); Veils of Bagdad (53, George Sherman); The Robe (53, Foster); Demetrius and the Gladiators (54, Delmer Daves); The Egyptian (54, Michael Curtiz); Violent Saturday (55, Richard Fleischer); as Chief Crazy Horse (55, Sherman); as the scout in The Last Frontier (56, Anthony Mann); a lunatic- period with Warwick and Terence Young—Safari (56, Young), Zarak (56, Young), Interpol (56, John Gilling), No Time to Die (58, Young), and The Bandit of Zhobe (58, Gilling); China Doll (58, Frank Borzage); Timbuktu (58, Tourneur); The Big Circus (58, Joseph H. Newman); Hannibal (59, Edgar G. Ulmer and Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia); After the Fox (66, Vittorio de Sica); wickedly well used in Head (68, Bob Rafelson); Every Little Crook and Nanny (72, Cy Howard); Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (76, Michael Winner); Firepower (79, Winner); and playing Samsons father in a TV Samson and Delilah (84, Lee Philips).
Mature is an uninhibited creature of the naive. Simple, crude, and heady—like ketchup or treacle—he is a diet scorned by the knowing, but obsessive if succumbed to in error. It is too easy to dismiss Mature, for he surpasses badness. He is a strong man in a land of hundred-pound weaklings, an incredible concoction of beefsteak, husky voice, and brilliantine—a barely concealed sexual advertisement for soiled goods. Remarkably, he is as much himself in the cheerfully meretricious and the pretentiously serious. Such a career has no more pattern than a large ham; it slices consistently forever. The more lurid or distasteful the part, the better Mature comes across.