Thursday, January 27, 2022

10 Things You May Not Know About Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum (1917 - 1997) was the original movie bad boy. When he entered the movies, his easy-going naturalistic acting style kept him starring in movies for five decades. Discover how much, or how little you know about this movie legend.

Studio portrait of Robert Mitchum

1. Mitchum's older sister, Julie, persuaded him to join her The Players Guide of Long Beach, a local theater guide. He worked as a stagehand and bit player.

2. He worked as a machine operator for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation during World War II. He had to quick due to the damage the loud machinery did to his hearing.

3. Mitchum tried acting again and was cast in the Hopalong Cassidy (1942 - 1943) film series in various minor roles as villains and bad guys.

4. Under contract to RKO, Mitchum starred in B-Westerns based on the novels Zane Grey. He gained prominence and fame when he was loaned out to United Artists for the film The Story of G. I. Joe (1945). For his performance in that film, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. It would be his only Academy Award nomination.

5. In the mid-1940s, Mitchum began to make his mark in film noir, earning supporting roles in When Strangers Marry (1944),  Undercurrent (1946), and The Locket  (1946). 

Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer in the film noir classic Out of the Past

6. His career got a boost with his co-starring role opposite Teresa Wright in Pursued (1946) directed by Raoul Walsh.  The next year, he became a film noir icon with his role in Out of the Past

7. In 1948, Mitchum was arrested with actress Lila Leeds for possession of marijuana. The arrest did not harm his career. In fact, the movies he made after his arrest were box office successes.

8. Mitchum hit his stride in the 1950s with starring roles in The River of No Return (1954), The Night of the Hunter (1955), Not as a Stranger (1955), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1956).

9. He made three films opposite Deborah Kerr: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, The Sundowners (1960), and The Grass is Greener (1960), which also starred Cary Grant and Jean Simmons, an actress who starred in three films with Mitchum.

10. The American Film Institute's 100 Years...100 Stars listed Mitchum as the 23rd-greatest male star from Hollywood's classic period.

Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Mitchum, and Jean Simmons in The Grass is Greener

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