Robert Mitchum

Birthday: Aug 6, 1917
Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
The day after 79-year-old Robert Mitchum succumbed to lung cancer, beloved actor James Stewart died, diverting all the press attention that was gearing up for Mitchum. So it has been for much of his career. Not that Mitchum wasn't one of Hollywood's most respected stars, he was. But unlike the wholesome middle-American idealism and charm of the blandly handsome Stewart, there was something unsettling and dangerous about Mitchum. He was a walking contradiction. Behind his drooping, sleepy eyes was an alert intelligence. His tall, muscular frame, broken nose, and lifeworn face evoked a laborer's life, but he moved with the effortless, laid-back grace of a highly trained athlete. Early in his career critics generally ignored Mitchum, who frequently appeared in lower-budget and often low-quality films. This may also be due in part to his subtle, unaffected, and deceptively easy-going acting style that made it seem as if Mitchum just didn't care, an attitude he frequently put on outside the studio. But male and female audiences alike found Mitchum appealing. Mitchum generally played macho heroes and villains who lived hard and spoke roughly, and yet there was something of the ordinary Joe in him to which male audiences could relate. Women were drawn to his physique, his deep resonant voice, his sexy bad boy ways, and those sad, sagging eyes, which Mitchum claimed were caused by chronic insomnia and a boxing injury. He was born Robert Charles Duran Mitchum in Bridgeport, CT, and as a boy was frequently in trouble, behavior that was perhaps related to his father's death when Mitchum was quite young. He left home in his teens. Mitchum was famous for fabricating fantastic tales about his life, something he jokingly encouraged others to do too. If he is to be believed, he spent his early years doing everything from mining coal, digging ditches, and ghost writing for astrologer Carroll Richter, to fighting 27 bouts as a prizefighter. He also claimed to have escaped from a Georgia chain gang six days after he was arrested for vagrancy. Mitchum settled down in 1940 and married Dorothy Spence. They moved to Long Beach, CA, and he found work as a drop-hammer operator with Lockheed Aircraft. The job made Mitchum ill so he quit. He next started working with the Long Beach Theater Guild in 1942 and this led to his becoming a movie extra and bit player, primarily in war movies and Westerns, but also in the occasional comedy or drama. His first film role was that of a model in the documentary The Magic of Make-up (1942). Occasionally he would bill himself as Bob Mitchum during this time period. His supporting role in The Human Comedy (1943) led to a contract with RKO. Two years later, he starred in The Story of G.I. Joe and earned his first and only Oscar nomination. Up to that point, Mitchum was considered little more than a "beefcake" actor, one who was handsome, but who lacked the chops to become a serious player. He was also drafted that year and served eight months in the military, most of which he spent promoting his latest film before he was given a dependency discharge. Mitchum returned to movies soon after, this time in co-starring and leading roles. His role as a woman's former lover who may or may not have killed her new husband in When Strangers Marry (1944) foreshadowed his import in the developing film noir genre. The very qualities that led critics to dismiss him, his laconic stoicism, his self-depreciating wit, cynicism, and his naturalism, made Mitchum the perfect victim for these dark dramas; indeed, he became an icon for the genre. The Locket (1946) provided Mitchum his first substantial noir role, but his first important noir was Out of the Past (1947), a surprise hit that made him a real star. Up until Cape Fear (1962), Mitchum had played tough guy heroes and world-weary victims; he provided the dying noir genre with one of its cruelest villains, Max Cady. In 1955, Mitchum played one of his most famous and disturbing villains


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Agency Ted Quinn 2004
69% Chop Suey Actor 2001
No Score Yet Best of Film Noir Actor 2000
No Score Yet James Dean: Live Fast, Die Young George Stevens 1997
70% Dead Man John Dickinson 1995
No Score Yet Wild Bill Hollywood Maverick Actor 1995
No Score Yet Backfire! Marshal 1994
73% Tombstone Narration 1993
No Score Yet Woman of Desire Walter J. Hill 1993
No Score Yet Entrepreneurs: An American Adventure Host 1992
75% Cape Fear Lt. Elgart 1991
No Score Yet Full Fathom Five Actor 1990
No Score Yet Midnight Ride Dr. Hardy 1990
No Score Yet John Huston - The Man, the Movies, the Maverick Narrator 1989
70% Scrooged Preston 1988
43% Mr. North Mr. Bosworth 1988
No Score Yet Hollywood Home Movies Actor 1987
No Score Yet Thompson's Last Run Actor 1986
No Score Yet The Hearst and Davies Affair Randolph Hearst 1985
No Score Yet Hollywood Collection Actor 1985
No Score Yet Reunion at Fairborough Carl Hostrup 1985
No Score Yet Maria's Lovers Ivan's Father 1984
No Score Yet The Ambassador Peter Hacker 1984
No Score Yet One Shoe Makes It Murder Harold Shillman 1982
60% That Championship Season Coach Delaney 1982
No Score Yet Night Kill Donner 1980
No Score Yet Steiner - Das eiserne Kreuz, 2. Teil (Sergeant Steiner) (Breakthrough) Col. Rogers 1979
No Score Yet Matilda Duke Parkhurst 1978
No Score Yet The Big Sleep Philip Marlowe 1978
No Score Yet The Amsterdam Kill Quinlan 1977
44% The Last Tycoon Pat Brady 1976
54% Midway Adm. William F. Halsey 1976
84% Farewell, My Lovely Philip Marlowe 1975
57% The Yakuza Harry Kilmer 1975
100% The Friends of Eddie Coyle Eddie 'Fingers' Coyle 1973
No Score Yet The Wrath of God Father Oliver Van Horne 1972
No Score Yet Going Home Harry K. Graham 1971
47% Ryan's Daughter Charles Shaughnessy 1970
20% Good Guys and the Bad Guys Flagg 1969
No Score Yet Young Billy Young Ben Kane 1969
50% Secret Ceremony Albert 1968
No Score Yet Villa Rides Lee Arnold 1968
67% Anzio (Lo sbarco di Anzio) Dick Ennis 1968
No Score Yet 5 Card Stud The Rev. Jonathan Rudd 1968
100% El Dorado Sheriff J.P. Harrah 1967
No Score Yet The Way West Dick Summers 1967
No Score Yet Mister Moses Joe Moses 1965
29% What a Way to Go! Rod Anderson, Jr. 1964
No Score Yet The Winston Affair (Man in the Middle) Lt. Col. Barney Adams 1964
69% The List of Adrian Messenger Jim Slattery 1963
No Score Yet Rampage Harry Stanton 1963
60% Two for the Seesaw Jerry Ryan 1962
91% The Longest Day Brig. Gen. Cota 1962
100% Cape Fear Max Cady 1962
80% The Sundowners Paddy 1960
100% Home from the Hill Captain Wade Hunnicutt 1960
100% The Grass Is Greener Charles Delacro 1960
No Score Yet The Angry Hills Mike Morrison 1959
No Score Yet The Wonderful Country Martin Brady Executive Producer 1959
70% Thunder Road Lucas Doolin Producer Executive Producer 1958
No Score Yet The Hunters Maj. Cleve Saville 1958
80% The Enemy Below Capt. Murrell 1957
No Score Yet Fire Down Below Felix 1957
88% Heaven Knows Mr. Allison Cpl. Allison, USMC 1957
No Score Yet Bandido Wilson 1956
No Score Yet Foreign Intrigue Dave Bishop 1956
No Score Yet Man with the Gun Clint Tollinger 1955
13% Not as a Stranger (Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger) Lucas Marsh 1955
98% The Night of the Hunter Harry Powell 1955
57% River of No Return Matt Calder 1954
No Score Yet She Couldn't Say No Dr. Robert Sellers 1954
No Score Yet Track of the Cat Curt Bridges 1954
No Score Yet Second Chance Russ Lambert 1953
No Score Yet White Witch Doctor John 'Lonni' Douglas 1953
80% Angel Face Frank Jessup 1952
100% The Lusty Men Jeff McCloud 1952
No Score Yet One Minute to Zero Col. Steve Janowski 1952
44% Macao Nick Cochran 1952
33% The Racket Capt. Thomas McQuigg 1951
No Score Yet His Kind of Woman Dan Milner 1951
No Score Yet My Forbidden Past Dr. Mark Lucas 1951
No Score Yet Where Danger Lives Jeff Cameron 1950
No Score Yet Holiday Affair Steve Mason 1949
80% The Big Steal Lieut. Duke Halliday 1949
No Score Yet The Red Pony Billy Buck 1949
67% Rachel and the Stranger Jim Fairways 1948
No Score Yet Corvette K-225 Shepard 1948
No Score Yet Blood on the Moon Jim Garry 1948
94% Out of the Past Jeff 1947
No Score Yet Desire Me Paul Aubert 1947
81% Crossfire Sgt. Peter Keeley 1947
100% Pursued Jeb 1947
No Score Yet Hoppy's Holiday Actor 1947
No Score Yet The Locket Norman Clyde 1946
No Score Yet Undercurrent Michael Garroway 1946
No Score Yet Till the End of Time William J. Tabeshaw 1946
No Score Yet West of the Pecos Pecos Smith 1945
77% The Story of G.I. Joe Lt. Walker 1945
No Score Yet Nevada Jim Lacy 1944
No Score Yet Girl Rush Jimmy Smith 1944
No Score Yet Betrayed Fred Graham 1944
No Score Yet Mr. Winkle Goes to War Corporal 1944
100% Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo Bob Gray 1944
No Score Yet Gung Ho! Pig Iron 1943
No Score Yet Riders of the Deadline Drago 1943
No Score Yet The Dancing Masters Mickey Halligan (uncredited) 1943
No Score Yet False Colors Rip Austin 1943
No Score Yet The Leather Burners Randall 1943
No Score Yet Aerial Gunner Sergeant 1943
80% The Human Comedy Horse 1943
No Score Yet Hoppy Serves a Writ Rigney 1943
No Score Yet Minesweeper Chuck 1943
No Score Yet Border Patrol Quinn 1943
No Score Yet The Lone Star Trail Ben Slocum 1943
No Score Yet Bar 20 Richard Adams 1943
No Score Yet Colt Comrades Dirk Mason 1943


No Score Yet A Family for Joe
Joe Whitaker
  • 1990
No Score Yet War and Remembrance
Capt./Rear Adm. Victor `Pug' Henry
  • 1989
  • 1988
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
Guest Host
  • 1987
No Score Yet The Equalizer
  • 1987
No Score Yet The Winds of War
Pug Henry
  • 1983