If The Big Circus did not noticeably improve Victor's industry standing, Timbuktu (United Artists, 1959), released before Circus, was another setback. The film was released at a time when the vogue for desert films had just about dried up, even for the kiddie trade. About the most that can be said for it is that it's "camp," complete with stock villain (John Dehner), femme fatale (Yvonne De Carlo), and hero (Victor).
Nineteen hundred fifty-nine also saw two changes in Victor's personal life. On February 3, in Louisville, Mature's mother, Clara, died after an illness of five years. Then, on September 27, the still matrimonially optimistic actor took a fourth stab at marriage. In Capri, he wed Adrienne Joy Urwick, whom he had met in Europe. Known professionally as Joy Urwick, the actress-daughter of a London physician was twenty-five; Mature was twenty years her senior. Because the Capri marriage vows were not recognized as legal in the United States, the couple were re-wed on December 12, 1959, in Tijuana, Mexico. The Matures took up residence at Rancho Santa Fe, from where Victor stated, "There are seventy-two golf courses in the area and I play golf at least twenty days a month. So, I'm very happy down here."
On December 23, 1959 the FBI arrested an unemployed Chicago factory worker calling herself Mrs. Violet Mature who claimed that Victor was her husband as well as the father of her ten-year-old child. She had written many letters to both Victor and Joy, in which she had threatened to disfigure Joy with acid or to shoot her for taking away her "husband." The woman, whose real name was Violet Dembos, was sentenced to jail and to court-ordered psychotherapy.
Victor then sauntered off to Italy, where certain other Hollywood screen personalities had attained a degree of success in cloak-and-sandal quickie features. He enacted Hannibal (Warner Bros., 1960) with elephants and Rita Gam in an "epic" that Variety ranked "dramatically crude and ponderously paced."
Two years later Mature reappeared on the screen in the 1960 Italian-lensed The Tartars (MGM, 1962), in which he was the Viking chief to Orson Welles' chief of the Tartars. The general consensus was that the dubbed film was "trash" (New York Times). Variety offered a commentary on the two once-upon-a-time stars: "Watching Mature and Welles, one feels the same sense of regret as that inspired by the spectacle of viewing two ex-world-heavyweight champions battling it out on the comeback trail for the Eastern Yugoslavian title."
Following his Italian debacle, Victor announced his retirement with, "I loaf very gracefully. There's a lot to be said about loafing if you know how to do it gracefully."
In 1966, Victor again traveled to Europe, specifically to Rome, where he worked as an aging, hammy screen idol named Tony Powell in After the Fox (Caccia Alla Volpe, United Artists, 1966). His brief return to filmmaking had three positives working for it: Vittorio de Sica as director, a screenplay by Neil Simon (his first), and Peter Sellers as the picture's star. The finished product, unfortunately, was only mildly amusing, with Victor's almost cameo performance the most realistic of the entire cast. Some viewers stated that he was merely playing himself--self-centered, pompous, phony--but whether true or not, (not true :) his incisive characterization held the attention of the movie viewers.