JAMES WHITMORE BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
James Whitmore was born James Allen Whitmore Jr. on October 1st, 1921 in White Plains, New York, USA. He was the son of park commission official, James Allen Whitmore Sr. and Florence Crane. He attended Yale University and earned a BA in pre law in 1944. He then joined the United States Marines and served during World War II. Upon being discharged, he went on to study acting at a prestigious American Theater Wing under the G.I. Bill. While studying acting there, he met the first of his three wives, Nancy Mygott and together they had three children.
Whitmore made his Broadway debut on, "Command Decision" (1947) and he won a Tony Award for his supporting role. Also in 1947, he made his professional acting debut with the Peters Borough, New Hampshire stock company and a television debut on, "Kraft Television Theater" (1947). He caught the eye of Hollywood and received his first on screen role in, "The Undercover Man" (1949) and that same year he won an Academy Award nomination as best Supporting Actor for his performance on, "Battleground" (1949).
Whitmore alternated between featured and character roles and the occasional lead for much of the 1950's and 1960's. His next starring role was in, "Above and Beyond" (1952). He could play a variety of characters such as a sympathetic wheel man in noir classic "The Asphalt Jungle" (1950). He even proved to be capable of performing in musicals such as in the MGM musical spectacular, "Kiss Me Kate" (1953).
The mid 50's continued with great roles and portraying so many different characters so as not to get type cast. Whitmore starred in a sci-fi horror film, "Them" (1954) and then a war romance, "Battle Cry" (1954) followed by the musical, "Oklahoma" (1955) and "Crime in the Streets" (1956). There was not a role that was too difficult for him to portray his talents. His last film for seven years was, "Who was that Lady?" (1960).
Along with his film career, Whitmore starred on various television shows and even had three of his own series. The most successful of which, "The Law and Mr. Jones", ran for three seasons on ABC in the early 1960's.
He returned to working on film in, "Chuka" (1967) and in 1968 portraying the president in the sci-fi classic, "Planet of the Apes" and a role in, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970) a Japanese American Production. He also was known as the "King of the One Man Show" for his solo performances as Will Rogers, Harry S. Truman and Theodore Roosevelt in the early 70's.
During Whitmore's 7th decade as an actor, he made periodic returns to working on the stage appearing in Off-Broadway plays such as, "Handy Dandy" and "About Time" (1990). James had a successful career boost with an amazing performance as an elderly prisoner in, "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) and also received an Emmy Award for his role on, "The Practice" (ABC 1997-2004).
Nothing was stopping Whitmore from adding to his successful acting credits with a follow up role in, "The Relic" (1996) and a co-starring role in the ABC Drama, "Swing Vote" (1999). Whitmore received an Emmy Award for his reprised role of Raymond Oz in two episodes of, "The Practice" (1999) and was cast in another feature film, "The Majestic" (2001). His final acting role was as a guest star on, "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2001).
Whitmore was presented an award in February 2000, with the Will Rogers Communicator Award. Then in 2003, Whitmore received an Emmy Award nomination for his guest role in, "Mister Sterling" on NBC. He was also a long time spokesman for Miracle-Gro's garden products and appeared in commercials for the First Freedom First Campaign which advocated religious liberty and the separation of church and state in American politics.
Whitmore was married a total of three times. First to Audra Lindley, then Nancy Mygatt and finally on August 7th, 2001 to Noreen Nash. He had three sons, James, Steven and Daniel. He had had a fabulous career stretching from the late 40's to the early 21st century. James Whitmore passed away on February 6th, 2009.
2001 The Majestic
2000 Here s To Life
1998 Behind the Planet of the Apes
1997 The Relic
1996 Wild Bill, Hollywood Maverick: The Life and Times of William A. Wellman
1994 The Shawshank Redemption
1992 Where The Red Fern Grows - Pt. 1 & 2
1990 Old Explorers
1988 Glory! Glory!
1987 All My Sons
1987 Frontier Heritage
1985 The Adventures of Mark Twain
1981 The Killing of Randy Webster
1980 The First Deadly Sin
1978 The Word
1977 The Serpent s Egg
1975 Give 'Em Hell, Harry!
1975 I Will Fight No More Forever
1974 Where the Red Fern Grows
1973 High Crime
1973 The Harrad Experiment
1971 Chato's Land
1970 Tora! Tora! Tora!
1969 Guns of the Magnificent Seven
1968 Nobody's Perfect
1968 Planet of the Apes
1967 Waterhole Number 3
1964 Black Like Me
1960 Who Was That Lady?
1959 Face of Fire
1958 The Restless Years
1957 The Deep Six
1956 Crime in the Streets
1956 The Eddy Duchin Story
1956 The Last Frontier
1955 Battle Cry
1955 The McConnell Story
1953 All the Brothers Were Valiant
1953 Kiss Me Kate
1953 The Girl Who Had Everything
1953 The Great Diamond Robbery
1952 Above and Beyond
1952 Because You're Mine
1952 It s a Big Country
1950 The Next Voice You Hear
1949 Ray Bradbury Dancing Among the Muses