Burly, tough-guy leading man and character actor famous as the hard-drinking, hardworking Buck Cannon on the TV series "High Chaparral." Mitchum began appearing in films in 1945 and, after playing many character roles and occasional leads in B action films and Westerns, began to make some headway after playing Happy, one of Willy Loman's (Fredric March) sons in a film adaptation of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" (1951). A breakthrough into big-budget, big-star films came when he was one of the three male consorts paired up with Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall in "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953). (He got Grable.) Prominent leads--as in "Love Me or Leave Me" (1955), opposite Doris Day and James Cagney--continued for a number of years, though Mitchell also frequently played second lead, romantic rival, supportive chum or sometime supporting villain in many films as well.
Although he never fully achieved star status in features, Mitchell remained prolific until the early 1990s, with nearly 100 feature credits to his name. As with many other aging leading man, he began to make films in Europe during the 1960s, and played more character roles as the years passed. Some of Mitchell's more notable films during the latter part of his career include Monte Hellman's unusual Western, "Ride in the Whirlwind" (1966) and other features including "Buck and the Preacher" (1972), "The Swarm" (1978), "My Favorite Year" (1982) and "Code Name Vengeance" (1989). Though many of his credits are decidedly minor fare--29 of them during his last decade of work alone--Mitchell brought intelligence, grit and commitment to his roles, appearing in action films, horror thrillers and other similar items until shortly before his death.
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made first films, "They Were Expendable" and "What Next, Corporal Hargrove?"
Played first leading role in a feature, and first received top billing in "Adventures of Gallant Bess"
Breakthrough feature film role, Happy in an adaptation of Arthur Miller's landmark play, "Death of a Salesman"
Breakthrough romantic lead in a big-budget, major studio release, "How to Marry a Millionaire"
Made first film abroad with the Italian-Spanish co-production, "Il Duca Nero"
Last film, "Terror in Beverly Hills"