(Robert Charles Duran Mitchum), 1917–97, American film actor, b. Bridgeport, Conn. He found extra work and bit parts in early 1940s movies, and first achieved wide notice for his supporting role in The Story of G. I. Joe (1945). Mitchum became known for tough-guy roles in dramas where his easy nonchalance and sleepy-eyed handsomeness made him an ideal noir hero—or villain. He appeared in more than 125 films, starring in such movies as Out of the Past (1947), The Night of the Hunter (1955), The Sundowners (1960), Cape Fear (1962 and 1991), Ryan's Daughter (1971), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Big Sleep (1978), That Championship Season (1982), and Dead Man (1995). Late in his career Mitchum also became a television star with his performances in two World War II miniseries, The Winds of War (1983) and War and Remembrance (1988).
See his autobiography (1975), and Mitchum in His Own Words (2000); biographies by G. Eells (1984), D. Downing (1985), J. Mitchum (1989), J. Roberts (1992), and L. Server (2001); A. H. Marill, The Films of Robert Mitchum (1995).
To men like John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Robert Taylor and so many of Hollywood's leading men of the '40s who fought World War II from a soundstage - defining on film forever the courage and toughness of the men who did the real fighting.