(1917-1997). Mitchum was often in trouble with the law and had a few drug arrests. He was also a singer. Everyone should have a Robert Mitchum Calypso album. Perhaps most well-known now for his role in Cape Fear, which made Robert DeNiro seem as genuinely threatening as a glass of milk.

"The only difference between me and my fellow actors is that I've spent more time in jail." — Robert Mitchum

Robert Charles Duran Mitchum was born on August 6, 1917 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His father died when he was a young boy, and Mitchum became known as a troublemaker early on in his life. He left home when he was in his early teens, and although he is said to have made up false tales about his life before acting, he is said to have worked as a coal miner, a ditch digger, a ghost writer and a prize fighter. He also claimed to have served time on a Georgia chain gang when he was fourteen, from which he managed to escape. In 1940 Mitchum married Dorothy Spence and they moved to Long Beach, California, where he found work as a drop-hammer operator at Lockheed Aircraft. In 1942 he began working with the Long Beach Theatre Guild and from here began to receive parts as a movie extra.

He landed a supporting role in “The Human Comedy” in 1943 and from this was given a contract with RKO. Soon after he starred in “The Story of G.I. Joe,” where he earned what would be his only Oscar nomination. He began to take on roles of the film noir genre, starring in movies such as “When Strangers Marry,” “The Locket,” and “Out of the Past” in 1947. Critics, who previously dismissed his stoicism and cynicism, found these characteristics befitting these film roles incredibly well. Mitchum remained a “troublemaker” in his personal life, making himself known as a lover of alcohol and cigarettes, and in 1948 he was arrested for possession of marijuana and spent 60 days in jail.

In his spare time, Mitchum enjoyed writing poetry and playing the saxaphone. Other movies he starred in, besides film noir, included “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison,” “The Red Pony,” and “The Sundowners,” proving his versatility as an actor. Two of his most famous roles would be as the villain in “Cape Fear” in 1962, and as a psychotic evangelist in Charles Laughton’s “Night of the Hunter” in 1955. Mitchum had a photographic memory, and could scan a script and quickly memorize his lines. He starred in less films as he aged, though he starred in two notable television miniseries: “The Winds of War” in 1983 and “War and Remembrance” in 1989. Mitchum was treated at the Betty Ford Center during the early 1990s for alcoholism. He died of lung cancer on July 1, 1997, survived by his wife, daughter Petrine, and two sons Jim and Christopher Mitchum.

Other films of Mitchum's include:

"Tombstone"
"Midnight Ride"
"Mr. North"  
"Scrooged"
"North and South"
"The Ambassador"
"Nightkill"
  "The Big Sleep"
"Matilda"  
"The Last Tycoon
"Ryan's Daughter"
"Five Card Stud"
"Way West"
"Rampage"  
"The Longest Day"
"The Grass Is Greener"
"Fire Down Below"
"River of No Return"  
"The Lusty Men"  
"Blood on the Moon"  
"Till the End of Time"  
"Nevada"  
"Thirty Seconds over Tokyo"

Help for this node came from allmovie.com

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