Robert Charles Durman Mitchum

Robert Charles Durman Mitchum

date of birth : 06/08/1917 | date of death : 01/07/1997
Born on 6 August 1917, Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States, film actor, author, composer, singer, Robert Mitchum was one of the most memorable leading men of the twentieth century.

Birth, Birthplace, Time of birth:

Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was born on August 6, 1917 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States.

Father's name: James Thomas Mitchum
Mother's name: Harry Anniette
Brother: John Mitchum (actor, b. 1919, d. 2001 stroke)
Sister: Annette, (known as Julie Mitchum during her acting career)
Spouse: Dorothy Mitchum (m. 15-Mar-1940, until his death, two sons, one daughter)
Children: James Mitchum (actor, b. 8-May-1941)/ Christopher Mitchum (actor, b. 16-Oct-1943)/Petrine Day Mitchum ("Trini", b. 3-Mar-1952)

Reputation, fame, nickname:

Mitch/ Old Rumple Eyes/ Bob

Personal Information:

Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Life events:

Robert Mitchum was one of the most memorable leading men of the twentieth century who was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut on August 6, 1917 to shipyard and railroad worker James Thomas Mitchum and Ann Gunderson Mitchum, a Norwegian immigrant and sea captain's daughter. James Mitchum was crushed to death in a shipyard accident when Mitchum was eighteen months old, leaving Ann to find work as a linotype operator at a newspaper. Throughout Robert's childhood, he was known as a prankster, often involved in fistfights and pranks. When he was 12, Ann sent Robert to live with his grandparents in Felton, Delaware, where he was promptly expelled from his middle school for scuffling with a principal. In 1930 he moved to Manhattan with family.At age 14 in Savannah, Georgia, 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. It was during this time, while recovering from injuries that nearly lost him a leg, that he met the woman he would marry, a teenaged Dorothy Spence. He soon went back on the road; eventually riding the rails to California.It was sister Julie who convinced him to join the local theater guild with her. In 1938 he appeared in LBPG productions including "The Petrified Forest," "Stage Door", "Dear Octopus", and "The Ghost Train". In 1940 he wrote material for astrologist Carroll Righter, he worked as a gag writer for comedian Benny Rubin and contributed some ideas and material to a nightclub act performed by his sister Julie Mitchum. He continued to find further work as an extra and supporting actor in numerous productions for various studios. After impressing director MervynLeRoy during the making of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Mitchum signed a seven-year contract with RKO Radio Pictures. He found himself groomed for B Western stardom in a series of Zane Grey adaptations.He continued to find further work as an extra and supporting actor in numerous productions for various studios. After impressing director Mervyn LeRoy during the making of Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Mitchum signed a seven-year contract with RKO Radio Pictures. He found himself groomed for B Western stardom in a series of Zane Grey adaptations. In 1943 he appeared in over a dozen films.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 tip-off. 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, with Life magazine photographers right there taking photos of him mopping up in his prison uniform. The arrest became the inspiration for the exploitation film She Shoulda Said No! (1949), which starred Leeds. In 1954 he left RKO and the last film there was, "She Couldn't Say No". In 1956 he made first of four acting appearances opposite Deborah Kerr, "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison".One of the lesser known aspects of Mitchum's career was his forays into music, both as singer and composer. Mitchum's voice was often used instead of that of a professional singer when his characters sang in his films. Though 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 ten hit at country radio, reaching #9 there, and crossed over onto mainstream radio, where it peaked at #96. Its follow-up, "You Deserve Each Other," also charted on the Billboard Country Singles Chart. He also sang the title song to the western Young Billy Young, made in 1969.Mitchum also co-wrote and composed the music for an oratorio which was produced by Orson Welles at the Hollywood Bowl.Though well known for noir, Mitchum was versatile, having played in romances (Heaven Knows Mr. Allison [1957]), literary dramas (The Red Pony [1949]), and straight dramas (The Sundowners [1960], in which he played an Australian sheepherder). During the '60s, Mitchum had only a few notable film roles, including Two for the See Saw (1962), Howard Hawks' El Dorado(1967), and 5 Card Stud (1968). He continued playing leads through the 1970s. Some of his most famous efforts from this era include The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) and a double stint as detective Phillip Marlowe in Farewell My Lovely (1975) and The Big Sleep (1978). Mitchum made a departure from his typical screen persona with the 1970 David Lean film Ryan's Daughter, in which he starred as Charles Shaughnessy, a mild-mannered schoolmaster in World War I era Ireland. Though the film was nominated for four Academy Awards (winning two) and Mitchum was much publicized as a contender for a Best Actor nomination, he was not nominated. George C. Scott won the award for his performance in Patton, a project which Mitchum had rejected for Ryan's Daughter. 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 Kathleen York. In 1991, Mitchum won a lifetime achievement award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures and the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Golden Globe Awards in 1992. In 1997 he made final screen appearance playing George Stevens in "James Dean: Race With Destiny"; did final interview with Bob Osborne at Turner Classic Movies (TCM).A year before his death, Robert Mitchum was diagnosed with emphysema, and a few months afterward, lung cancer and he died on 1-July-1997.


Felton high school

Occupation and Career:

Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. 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. 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.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.

Awards /Honors:

Academy Awards, USA:

  • 1946 Nominated Oscar (Best Actor in a Supporting Role)

BAFTA Awards:

  • 1958 Nominated BAFTA Film Award (Best Foreign Actor)

Golden Apple Awards:

  • 1950 Won Sour Apple (Least Cooperative Actor)

Golden Boot Awards:

  • 1994 Won Golden Boot

Golden Globes, USA:

  • 1992 Won Cecil B. DeMille Award

Laurel Awards:

  • 1967 Nominated Golden Laurel (Male Star)
  • 1963 Nominated Golden Laurel (Top Action Performance)
  • 1962 Nominated Golden Laurel (Top Male Star)
  • 1960 Nominated Golden Laurel (Top Male Dramatic Performance)
  • 1960 Nominated Golden Laurel (Top Male Star)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards:
  • 1980 Won Career Achievement Award

National Board of Review, USA:

  • 1991 Won Career Achievement Award
  • 1960 Won NBR Award (Best Actor)
  • San Sebastián International Film Festival:
  • 1993Won Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award

Sho West Convention, USA:

  • 1978 Won Lifetime Achievement Award


Filmography as actor:

  • 1997 James Dean: Race with Destiny (TV movie)
  • 1995 The Marshal (TV series)
  • 1995 Waiting for Sunset
  • 1995 Dead Man
  • 1995 Backfire!
  • 1994 Woman of Desire
  • 1993T ombstone
  • 1992 Les septpéchéscapitaux
  • 1992 African Skies (TV series)
  • 1991 Cape Fear
  • 1990 A Family for Joe (TV series)
  • 1990 Midnight Ride
  • 1990 Présumédangereux
  • 1990 A Family for Joe (TV movie)
  • 1990 Waiting for the Wind (short)
  • 1989 Jake Spanner, Private Eye (TV movie)
  • 1988-1989 War and Remembrance (TV mini-series)
  • 1989 Brotherhood of the Rose (TV mini-series)
  • 1989 Eyes of War (TV movie)
  • 1988 Scrooged
  • 1988 Mr. North
  • 1987 The Equalizer (TV series)
  • 1986 Thompson's Last Run (TV movie)
  • 1985 North and South (TV mini-series)
  • 1985 Promises to Keep (TV movie)
  • 1985 Reunion at Fairborough (TV movie)
  • 1985 The Hearst and Davies Affair (TV movie)
  • 1984 Maria's Lovers
  • 1984 The Ambassador
  • 1983 A Killer in the Family (TV movie)
  • 1983 The Winds of War (TV mini-series)
  • 1982 That Championship Season
  • 1982 One Shoe Makes It Murder (TV movie)
  • 1980 Nightkill
  • 1980 Agency
  • 1979 Breakthrough
  • 1978 Matilda
  • 1978 The Big Sleep
  • 1977 The Amsterdam Kill
  • 1976 The Last Tycoon
  • 1976 Midway
  • 1975 Farewell, My Lovely
  • 1974 The Yakuza
  • 1973 The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  • 1973 America on the Rocks (TV short)
  • 1972 The Wrath of God
  • 1971 Going Home
  • 1970 Ryan's Daughter
  • 1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys
  • 1969 Young Billy Young
  • 1968 Secret Ceremony
  • 1968 5 Card Stud
  • 1968 Anzio
  • 1968 Villa Rides
  • 1967 The Way West
  • 1966 El Dorado
  • 1965 Mister Moses
  • 1964 What a Way to Go!
  • 1963 The Winston Affair
  • 1963 Rampage
  • 1963 The List of Adrian Messenger
  • 1962 Two for the Seesaw
  • 1962 The Longest Day
  • 1962 Cape Fear
  • 1961 The Last Time I Saw Archie
  • 1960 The Grass Is Greener
  • 1960 The Sundowners
  • 1960 The Night Fighters
  • 1960 Home from the Hill
  • 1959 The Wonderful Country
  • 1959 The Angry Hills
  • 1958 The Hunters
  • 1958 Thunder Road
  • 1958 The Frank Sinatra Show (TV series)
  • 1957 The Enemy Below
  • 1957 Fire Down Below
  • 1957 Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
  • 1956 Bandido
  • 1956 Foreign Intrigue
  • 1955 Man with the Gun
  • 1955 The Night of the Hunter
  • 1955 Not as a Stranger
  • 1954 Track of the Cat
  • 1954 River of No Return
  • 1954 She Couldn't Say No
  • 1953 Second Chance
  • 1953 White Witch Doctor
  • 1952 Angel Face
  • 1952 The Lusty Men
  • 1952 One Minute to Zero
  • 1952 Macao
  • 1951 The Racket
  • 1951 His Kind of Woman
  • 1951 My Forbidden Past
  • 1950 Where Danger Lives
  • 1949 Holiday Affair
  • 1949 The Big Steal
  • 1949 The Red Pony
  • 1948 Blood on the Moon
  • 1948 Rachel and the Stranger
  • 1947 Out of the Past
  • 1947 Desire Me
  • 1947 Crossfire
  • 1947 Pursued
  • 1946 The Locket
  • 1946 Undercurrent
  • 1946 Till the End of Time
  • 1945 West of the Pecos
  • 1945 Story of G.I. Joe
  • 1944 Nevada
  • 1944 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
  • 1944 Girl Rush
  • 1944 When Strangers Marry
  • 1944 Mr. Winkle Goes to War
  • 1944 Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More
  • 1943 'Gung Ho!': The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders
  • 1943 Riders of the Deadline
  • 1943 Cry 'Havoc'
  • 1943 The Dancing Masters
  • 1943 Minesweeper
  • 1943 False Colors
  • 1943 Doughboys in Ireland
  • 1943 Bar 20
  • 1943 Corvette K-225
  • 1943 Beyond the Last Frontier
  • 1943 The Lone Star Trail
  • 1943 We've Never Been Licked
  • 1943 Colt Comrades
  • 1943 Leather Burners
  • 1943 Follow the Band
  • 1943 Border Patrol
  • 1943 Aerial Gunner
  • 1943 Hoppy Serves a Writ
  • 1943 The Human Comedy
  • 1942 Saboteur


  • Calypso — is like so... (1957, Capitol)
  • That Man, Robert Mitchum, Sings (1967, Monument) Country: #35


  • "The Ballad of Thunder Road" (1958, Capitol) Pop: #62
  • "Little Old Wine Drinker Me" (1967, Monument) Country: #9 Pop: #96
  • "You Deserve Each Other" (1967, Monument) Country: #55

Death, place of death, Time of death, place of burial:

Mitchum died on July 1, 1997, in Santa Barbara, California, due to complications of lung cancer and emphysema. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.

Quotes and Memoirs:


  • here just isn't any pleasing some people. The trick is to stop trying.
  • I kept the same suit for six years and the same dialogue. They just changed the title of the picture and the leading lady.
  • People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in.
  • The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail.
  • I've still got the same attitude I had when I started. I haven't changed anything but my underwear.
  • People think I have an interesting walk. Hell, I'm just trying to hold my gut in.
  • I never changed anything, except my socks and my underwear. And I never did anything to glorify myself or improve my lot. I took what came and did the best I could with it.
  • John Wayne had four-inch lifts in his shoes. He had the overheads on his boat accommodated to fit him. He had a special roof put in his station wagon. The son of a bitch, they probably buried him in his goddamn lifts.
  • I have two acting styles: with and without a horse.