As per our current Database, Robert Mitchum died on Jul 1, 1997 (age 79).
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|185 cm (6' 1'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
After being expelled from high school, he traveled throughout the country on railroad cars, taking odd jobs to support himself. He became a boxer and was forced into a chain gang, which he escaped from.
Robert Mitchum was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on August 6, 1917, into a Norwegian-Irish Methodist family. His mother, Ann Harriet Gunderson, was a Norwegian immigrant and sea captain's daughter; his father, James Thomas Mitchum, was a shipyard and railroad worker of Irish descent. His older sister, Annette (known as Julie Mitchum during her acting career), was born in 1914. Their father, James Mitchum, was crushed to death in a railyard accident in Charleston, South Carolina, in February 1919. Robert was one year old, and Annette was not yet five. Their mother was awarded a government pension, and soon realized she was pregnant. Her third child, John, was born in September of that year. Ann married again to Major Hugh Cunningham Morris, a former Royal Naval Reserve officer. Ann and Morris had a daughter together, Carol Morris, born July 1927, on the family farm in Delaware. When all of the children were old enough to attend school, Ann found employment as a linotype operator for the Bridgeport Post.
As a child, Mitchum was known as a prankster, often involved in fistfights and mischief. When he was 12, his mother sent him to live with her parents in Felton, Delaware; the boy was promptly expelled from middle school for scuffling with the principal. A year later, in 1930, he moved in with his older sister Annette, in New York's Hell's Kitchen. After being expelled from Haaren High School, he left his sister and traveled throughout the country, hopping on railroad cars, taking a number of jobs, including ditch-digging for the Civilian Conservation Corps and professional boxing. At age 14 in Savannah, Georgia, he said he was arrested for vagrancy and put on a local chain gang. By Mitchum's own account, he escaped and returned to his family in Delaware. During this time, while recovering from injuries that nearly cost him a leg, he met Dorothy Spence, whom he would later marry. He soon went back on the road, eventually "riding the rails" to California.
Mitchum arrived in Long Beach, California, in 1936, staying again with his sister, now going by the name of Julie. She had moved to the West Coast in the hope of acting in movies, and the rest of the Mitchum family soon joined them. During this time, Mitchum worked as a ghostwriter for astrologer Carroll Righter. Julie convinced him to join the local theater guild with her. At The Players Guild of Long Beach, Mitchum worked as a stagehand and occasional bit-player in company productions. He also wrote several short pieces which were performed by the guild. According to Lee Server's biography (Robert Mitchum: Baby, I Don't Care), Mitchum put his talent for poetry to work writing song lyrics and monologues for Julie's nightclub performances.
In 1940, he returned to Delaware to marry Dorothy Spence, and they moved back to California. He gave up his artistic pursuits at the birth of their first child James, nicknamed Josh, and two more children, Chris and Petrine, followed. Mitchum found steady employment as a machine operator during wartime era WWII, with the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, but the noise of the machinery damaged his hearing. He also suffered a nervous breakdown (which resulted in temporary blindness), due to job-related stress. He then sought work as a film actor, performing initially as an extra and in small speaking parts. His agent got him an interview with Harry Sherman, the producer of Paramount's Hopalong Cassidy western film series, which starred William Boyd; Mitchum was hired to play minor villainous roles in several films in the series during 1942 and 1943. He went uncredited as a soldier in the Mickey Rooney 1943 film The Human Comedy. Also in 1943 he and Randolph Scott were soldiers in the Pacific Island war film Gung Ho!
Mitchum was initially known for his work in film noir. His first foray into the genre was a supporting role in the 1944 B-movie When Strangers Marry, about newlyweds and a New York City serial killer. Undercurrent, another of Mitchum's early noir films, featured him as a troubled, sensitive man entangled in the affairs of his brother (Robert Taylor) and his brother's suspicious wife (Katharine Hepburn). John Brahm's The Locket (1946) featured Mitchum as bitter ex-boyfriend to Laraine Day's femme fatale. Raoul Walsh's Pursued (1947) combined Western and noir styles, with Mitchum's character attempting to recall his past and find those responsible for killing his family. Crossfire (also 1947) featured Mitchum as a member of a group of World War II soldiers, one of whom kills a Jewish man. It featured themes of anti-Semitism and the failings of military training. The film, directed by Edward Dmytryk, earned five Academy Award nominations.
On September 1, 1948, after a string of successful films for RKO, Mitchum and actress Lila Leeds were arrested for possession of marijuana. The arrest was the result of a sting operation designed to capture other Hollywood partiers as well, but Mitchum and Leeds did not receive the tipoff. After serving a week at the county jail (he described the experience to a reporter as being "like Palm Springs, but without the riff-raff"), Mitchum spent 43 days (February 16 to March 30) at a Castaic, California, prison farm. Life photographers were permitted to take photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform. The arrest inspired the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds. The conviction was later overturned by the Los Angeles court and district attorney's office on January 31, 1951, after being exposed as a setup.
Thunder Road (1958), the second DRM Production, was loosely based on an incident in which a driver transporting moonshine was said to have fatally crashed on Kingston Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee, somewhere between Bearden Hill and Morrell Road. According to Metro Pulse writer Jack Renfro, the incident occurred in 1952 and may have been witnessed by James Agee, who passed the story on to Mitchum. He starred in the movie, produced, co-wrote the screenplay, and is rumored to have directed much of the film. It costars his son James, as his on screen brother, in a role originally intended for Elvis Presley. Mitchum also co-wrote (with Don Raye) the theme song, "The Ballad of Thunder Road".
Following a series of conventional Westerns and films noirs, as well as the Marilyn Monroe vehicle River of No Return (1954), Mitchum appeared in Charles Laughton's only film as director: The Night of the Hunter (1955). Based on a novel by Davis Grubb, the thriller starred Mitchum as a monstrous criminal posing as a preacher to find money hidden by his cellmate in the cellmate's home. His performance as Reverend Harry Powell is considered by many to be one of the best of his career. Stanley Kramer's melodrama Not as a Stranger, also released in 1955, was a box-office hit. The film starred Mitchum against type, as an idealistic young doctor, who marries an older nurse (Olivia de Havilland), only to question his morality many years later. However, the film was not well received, with most critics pointing out that Mitchum, Frank Sinatra, and Lee Marvin were all too old for their characters. Olivia de Havilland received top billing over Mitchum and Sinatra.
On March 8, 1955, Mitchum formed DRM (Dorothy and Robert Mitchum) Productions to produce five films for United Artists; four films were produced. The first film was Bandido (1956). Following a succession of average Westerns and the poorly received Foreign Intrigue (1956), Mitchum starred in the first of three films with Deborah Kerr. The John Huston war drama Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, starred Mitchum as a Marine corporal shipwrecked on a Pacific Island with a nun, Sister Angela (Deborah Kerr), as his sole companion. In this character study, they struggle to resist the elements and the invading Japanese army. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, including Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. For his role, Mitchum was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor. In the WWII submarine classic The Enemy Below (1956), Mitchum gave a strong performance as U.S. Naval Lieutenant Commander Murrell, the captain of a U.S. Navy destroyer who matches wits with a German U-boat captain Curt Jurgens, who starred with Mitchum again in the legendary 1962 movie The Longest Day. The film won an Oscar for Special Effects.
One of the lesser-known aspects of Mitchum's career was his foray into music as a singer. Critic Greg Adams writes, "Unlike most celebrity vocalists, Robert Mitchum actually had musical talent." Mitchum's voice was often used instead of that of a professional singer when his character sang in his films. Notable productions featuring Mitchum's own singing voice included Rachel and the Stranger, River of No Return, and The Night of the Hunter. After hearing traditional calypso music and meeting artists such as Mighty Sparrow and Lord Invader while filming Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison in the Caribbean islands of Tobago, he recorded Calypso – is like so ... in March 1957. On the album, released through Capitol Records, he emulated the calypso sound and style, even adopting the style's unique pronunciations and slang. A year later, he recorded a song he had written for Thunder Road, titled "The Ballad of Thunder Road". The country-style song became a modest hit for Mitchum, reaching number 69 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. The song was included as a bonus track on a successful reissue of Calypso ... and helped market the film to a wider audience.
Although Mitchum continued to use his singing voice in his film work, he waited until 1967 to record his follow-up record, That Man, Robert Mitchum, Sings. The album, released by Nashville-based Monument Records, took him further into country music, and featured songs similar to "The Ballad of Thunder Road". "Little Old Wine Drinker Me", the first single, was a top-10 hit at country radio, reaching number nine there, and crossed over onto mainstream radio, where it peaked at number 96. Its follow-up, "You Deserve Each Other", also charted on the Billboard Country Singles chart. He sang the title song to the Western Young Billy Young, made in 1969.
In 1982, Mitchum played Coach Delaney in the film adaptation of playwright/actor Jason Miller's 1973 Pulitzer Prize-winning play That Championship Season.
In 1984, Mitchum entered the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, California for treatment of a drinking problem.
He played George Hazard's father-in-law in the 1985 miniseries North and South, which also aired on ABC.
Mitchum starred opposite Wilford Brimley in the 1986 made-for-TV movie Thompson's Run. A hardened con (Mitchum), being transferred from a federal penitentiary to a Texas institution to finish a life sentence as a habitual criminal, is freed at gunpoint by his niece (played by Kathleen York). The cop (Brimley) who was transferring him, and has been the con's lifelong friend and adversary for over 30 years, vows to catch the twosome.
In 1987, Mitchum was the guest-host on Saturday Night Live, where he played private eye Philip Marlowe for the last time in the parody sketch, "Death Be Not Deadly". The show ran a short comedy film he made (written and directed by his daughter, Trina) called Out of Gas, a mock sequel to Out of the Past. (Jane Greer reprised her role from the original film.) He also was in Bill Murray's 1988 comedy film, Scrooged.
In 1991, Mitchum was given a lifetime achievement award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, in the same year he received the Telegatto award and in 1992 the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globe Awards.
Mitchum continued to act in films until the mid-1990s, such as in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, and he narrated the Western Tombstone. He also appeared, in contrast to his role as the antagonist in the original, as a protagonist police detective in Martin Scorsese's remake of Cape Fear, but the actor gradually slowed his workload. His last film appearance was a small but pivotal role in the television biopic, James Dean: Race with Destiny, playing Giant director George Stevens. His last starring role was in the 1995 Norwegian movie Pakten.
A lifelong heavy smoker, Mitchum died on July 1, 1997, in Santa Barbara, California, due to complications of lung cancer and emphysema. He was about five weeks shy of his 80th birthday. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea, though there is a plot marker in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Delaware. He was survived by his wife of 57 years, Dorothy Mitchum (May 2, 1919 – April 12, 2014, Santa Barbara, California, aged 94); his sons, actors James Mitchum and Christopher Mitchum; and his daughter, writer Petrine Day Mitchum. His grandchildren, Bentley Mitchum and Carrie Mitchum, are actors, as was his younger brother, John, who died in 2001. Another grandson, Kian, is a successful model.
Currently, Robert Mitchum is 79 years old. Robert Mitchum will celebrate 80th birthday on Friday, August 6, 2021.
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