James Whitmore


August 15, 2022

James Whitmore (October 1, 1921 – February 6, 2009) was an American stage and film actor.


His full name was James Allen Whitmore, Jr., and he was born in White Plains (New York), his parents being Florence Belle Crane and James Allen Whitmore Sr. [1] Whitmore studied at Amherst High School in Snyder, New York, before graduating from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. Later, he studied at Yale University, where he was a member of the Skull & Bones society. After completing his studies, he was appointed Second Lieutenant and assigned to the United States Marine Corps in the Panama Canal zone during World War II.


After the war ended, Whitmore appeared on Broadway in the role of the sergeant in the play Command Decision. MGM hired Whitmore, but his role in the film adaptation went to Van Johnson. Whitmore's first major film was Battleground, in a role that Spencer Tracy had turned down, and for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other of his outstanding titles were The Asphalt Jungle, The Next Voice You Hear..., [2][3] Above and Beyond, Kiss Me, Kate, Them!, Oklahoma, Black Like Me, Guns of the Magnificent Seven , Planet of the Apes (1968) Tora! Torah! Tora!, and Give 'em Hell, Harry!, a film for which he was nominated for an Oscar for best actor thanks to his performance as President Harry S. Truman. In Torah! Torah! Torah! he played the role of Admiral William F. Halsey. In the 1960-1961 television season, Whitmore starred in his own ABC crime series The Law and Mr. Jones, opposite Conlan Carter and Janet De Gore in supporting roles. The show was canceled after a year of airing, but returned in April 1962 with thirteen new episodes to fill the gap left by the cancellation of the ABC sitcom Margie. Other television productions in which he took part were the following: Episode "On Thursday We Leave for Home" of the series The Twilight Zone (1963), playing Captain William Benteen; episode "The Cassock" in the third season of the ABC series Combate!, episode Quantity: Unknown (1967) of the show The Invaders; performance in the ABC production of Custer (1967), starring Wayne Maunder; performance as Professor Woodruff in My Friend Tony (1969), an NBC production; different appearances in the ABC western series The Big Valley, with Barbara Stanwyck; performance as Dr. Vincent Campanelli on the ABC medical sitcom Temperatures Rising; role as General Oliver Howard in the 1975 telefilm I Will Fight No More Forever; intervention giving voice in 1986 to Mark Twain in the stop motion film The Adventures of Mark Twain. Whitmore's last notable role was as librarian Brooks Hatlen in the 1994 Oscar-nominated film, directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption. Two years later he also starred in the sci-fi horror film The Relic, and in 2002 he had a supporting role in The Majestic, a film with Jim Carrey. Whitmore also did extensive stage work, winning a Tony for his performance in Command Decision (1948). He later earned the title "King of the One Man Show" after his solo performances in Will Rogers 'USA (1970) (reprising the role for TV in 1972), Give 'em Hell, Harry! (1975) (reprising the role in the movies, and earning an Oscar nomination) and Bully (1977). In 1999, he was Raymond Oz in two episodes of The Practice, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In 2002 Whitmore landed the role of the godfather in the Disney Channel movie A Ring of Endless Light. Finally, in April 2007, he worked on an episode of the series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Personal Life