Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Robert Mitchum

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

Robert Mitchum was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. He also loved to play the saxophone and write poetry.

Mitchum briefly served in the US Army during World War II, from April 12 to October 11, 1945, as a medic at an induction department, checking recruits for venereal disease.

A nervous breakdown (which resulted in temporary blindness), apparently from job-related stress, led Mitchum to look for work as an actor or extra in movies. His first movie was in 1942 in Saboteur when he played an uncredited passerby.

His film credits include Rachel and the Stranger (1948), Out of the Past (1947), The Big Steal (1949), His Kind of Woman (1951), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Thunder Road (1958), Cape Fear (1962), The Longest Day (1962) and El Dorado (1966).

Because Charles Laughton had a personal dislike for children, Mitchum actually directed his child co-stars for the whole shoot of The Night of the Hunter.

Mitchum's voice was often used instead of that of a professional singer when his characters 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. A song he had written for the film Thunder Road, titled The Ballad of Thunder Road, reached #69 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart.

Robert Mitchum passed away on July 1, 1997 of lung cancer and emphysema.

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