Saturday, October 1, 2011

Remembering James Whitmore

James Allen Whitmore, Jr. was born on October 1, 1921 in White Plains, New York. After graduating high school Whitmore attended Yale University and then was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. during World War II. After the war he appeared on Broadway in the role of a sergeant in "Command Decision" (1947). He was given a contract by M-G-M and made his film debut in another war film called "Battleground" (1949) for which he received an Academy Award Best Supporting Actor nomination. A number of top drawer films followed "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950), "Above and Beyond" (1952), "Kiss Me Kate" (1953), "Them" (1954), "Oklahoma" (1955). In the early ‘60s he had his own TV series "The Law and Mr. Jones" (1960-1962). Most of Whitmore’s career in the 1960's and 1970's was spent in television doing guest appearances on numerous TV series. In the ‘80s he turned once again to the stage appearing in several plays and his one man show on Harry Truman. James appeared in two Euro-westerns; "Guns of the Magnificent Seven" (1969) and "Chato’s Land" (1972). Whitmore was married twice and has three sons, one which is actor, director James Whitmore, Jr. [1948- ]. His granddaughter Matty Whitmore appeared on the TV series "Survivor: Gabon - Earth’s Last Eden" (2008). James is probably best remembered by younger audiences as the TV spokesman for 'Miracle Grow' plant fertilizer. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008 he died on February 6, 2009 at his home in Malibu, California. Today we remember James Whitmore on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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