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John Mitchum (September 6, 1919 – November 29, 2001) was an American actor from the 1940s to the 1970s in film and television. Early in his career, he was credited as Jack Mitchum.[1]

John Mitchum
John Mitchum.gif
John Mitchum as Frank DiGiorgio in The Enforcer
Born(1919-09-06)September 6, 1919
DiedNovember 28, 2001(2001-11-28) (aged 82)
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1947–1990
Spouse(s)Nancy Munro (1952–1976) (her death)
Bonnie Mitchum (?–2001) (his death)
Joy Grahame Hallward (?–?) (divorced) 1 child


Early yearsEdit

Mitchum was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut,[2] to Ann Harriet Mitchum (née Gunderson) and James Thomas Mitchum, who was killed in a railyard accident seven months before he was born.[citation needed] He was the younger brother of Julie Mitchum and Robert Mitchum. He served in the United States Army, 361st Harbor Craft Company, in Florida and Hawaii.


Mitchum initially appeared in only unbilled (e.g., Flying Leathernecks, RKO 1951) and extra roles before gradually receiving bigger character parts. He supported his more famous brother on several occasions, and became known as the friendly, food-loving Inspector Frank DiGiorgio in the first three Dirty Harry films. Mitchum was one of only four actors to appear in more than one film in this series (the others being Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino and Albert Popwell), and with Eastwood and Guardino, he was one of only three actors to play the same character in each appearance. His character was killed in the third film, The Enforcer.

In 1958, Mitchum was cast in two episodes of the crime drama Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. He played Joe in the episode "Short Haul" and Jimmy Logan in "Bungalow Murder".[3]

On September 15, 1959, Mitchum appeared in the premiere episode "Stage Stop" of the Western series Laramie.[4]

Mitchum was cast in 1960 as Pickalong in 10 episodes of the Western series Riverboat, starring Darren McGavin. The same year, he appeared in the Western series The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. He also appeared as Hal Swanson in the 1960 episode "Silver Killers" of the Western series Tombstone Territory.[3]

From 1965 to 1967, Mitchum had the recurring role of Trooper Hoffenmueller in 11 episodes of the sitcom F Troop, starring Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, and Ken Berry.[3] In a 1967 episode of Batman where Joker and Batman have a surfing competition, he guest-starred as the character Hot Dog Harrigan.

Mitchum was a writer, poet, singer, and guitar player. An autobiography/biography about his life and career and that of his brother Robert was published in 1998, called Them Ornery Mitchum Boys. He composed the piece "America, Why I Love Her", which John Wayne included in his book and album of the same name.[2] The piece and a short film with Wayne's narration were aired at many television stations at sign-off time before stations began broadcasting 24 hours a day in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Wayne is often mistakenly credited with composing the piece.[citation needed]


Mitchum died on November 29, 2001, after complications of three strokes. He was 82. His death was announced by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, December 4, 2001.

Selected filmographyEdit

With Clint EastwoodEdit

Other appearancesEdit


  1. ^ John Mitchum at IMDb
  2. ^ a b "Brother of famous actor; played bit parts in films". Chicago Tribune. Illinois, Chicago. The Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2001. p. 86. Retrieved July 30, 2018 – via  
  3. ^ a b c "John Mitchum". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  4. ^ "Laramie: "Stage Stop", September 15, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 10, 2012.

External linksEdit