79 (passed away Jul. 1st, 1997)
Aug. 6th, 1917
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Host
Underrated American leading man of enormous ability who sublimates his talents beneath an air of disinterest. Born to a railroad worker who died in a train accident when he was two, Robert Mitchum and his siblings (including brother John Mitchum, later also an actor) were raised by his mother and stepfather (a British army major) in Connecticut, New York, and Delaware. An early contempt for authority led to discipline problems, and Mitchum spent good portions of his teen years adventuring on the open road. On one of these trips, at the age of 14, he was charged with vagrancy and sentenced to a Georgia chain gang, from which he escaped. Working a wide variety of jobs (including ghostwriter for astrologist Carroll Righter), Mitchum discovered acting in a Long Beach, California, amateur theater company. He worked at Lockheed Aircraft, where job stress caused him to suffer temporary blindness. About this time he began to obtain small roles in films, appearing in dozens within a very brief time. In 1945, he was cast as Lt. Walker in Story of G.I. Joe (1945) and received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His star ascended rapidly, and he became an icon of 1940s film noir, though equally adept at westerns and romantic dramas. His apparently lazy style and seen-it-all demeanor proved highly attractive to men and women, and by the 1950s, he was a true superstar despite a brief prison term for marijuana usage in 1949, which seemed to enhance rather than diminish his "bad boy" appeal. Though seemingly dismissive of "art," he worked in tremendously artistically thoughtful projects such as Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter (1955) and even co-wrote and composed an oratorio produced at the Hollywood Bowl by Orson Welles. A master of accents and seemingly unconcerned about his star image, he played in both forgettable and unforgettable films with unswerving nonchalance, leading many to overlook the prodigious talent he can bring to a project that he finds compelling. He moved into television in the 1980s as his film opportunities diminished, winning new fans with "The Winds of War" (1983) and "War and Remembrance" (1988). His sons James Mitchum and Christopher Mitchum are actors, as is his grandson Bentley Mitchum. His last film was James Dean: Race with Destiny (1997) (TV) with Casper Van Dien as James Dean.
- He got into trouble for some anti-Semitic remarks he made in an interview promoting _"The Winds of War" (1983)_ (qv) at his home in 1983. Although these were apparently in jest, as he had close Jewish friends, he refused to apologize, undoubtedly because that would spoil his "bad boy" image.
- Is the subject of the song "Robert Mitchum" by Swedish singer [['Olle Ljungström']], available on his album "Världens Räddaste Man" (translates "The World's Most Terrified Man").
- 'Michael Madsen (I)' (qv) called Mitchum his "role model" and inspiration to take up acting as a profession.
- Brother of 'John Mitchum' (qv) and 'Julie Mitchum' (qv).
- He was of Scottish, Norwegian, Irish, and possibly Native-American descent.
- His vocal support for the Vietnam War failed to affect his appeal with American youth, and in 1968, a poll of teenagers declared him the coolest celebrity. Mitchum responded that they must have missed his recent films.
- His mother was Norwegian and his father was Scots-Irish on his father's side and Native American Blackfoot on his mother's side.
- During a break in filming _"War and Remembrance" (1988)_ (qv) in August 1987, Mitchum replaced his friend 'John Huston (I)' (qv) as an aging millionaire in _Mr. North (1988)_ (qv) after Huston, who suffered from emphysema, was hospitalized with pneumonia. In October 1987, Mitchum filled in for 'Edward Woodward' (qv), who was recovering from a heart attack, in a special two-part episode of _"The Equalizer" (1985)_ (qv).
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