Cameron Mitchell (actor)
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in the trailer for Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
|Born||November 4, 1918
Dallastown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||July 7, 1994
Pacific Palisades, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Johanna Mendel (m. 1940–60)
Lissa Mitchell (m. ?–1973)
Margaret Mozingo Mitchell (m. 1973–76)
Cameron Mitchell (November 4, 1918 – July 7, 1994) was an American film, television and Broadway actor with close ties to one of Canada's most successful families, and considered, by Lee Strasberg, to be one of the founding members of The Actor's Studio in New York City.
Early life and career
Born Cameron McDowell Mitzell in Dallastown, Pennsylvania to Rev. Charles and Kathryn Mitzell, young Cameron moved to Chicora, Pennsylvania in 1921 when his father was accepted as pastor of the St. John's Reformed Church of Donegal Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania.
Between the first and second world wars, during his years as a young actor in Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne's National Theater Company, Fontanne suggested that Cameron's surname sounded "a bit too much like the Hun" and insisted he change it to "Mitchell".
His film career began with minor roles in films dating back to 1945, including They Were Expendable (with John Wayne and Robert Montgomery), but Mitchell quickly rose to leading man status. He co-starred with Wallace Beery in The Mighty McGurk, with Doris Day and James Cagney in Love Me or Leave Me, with Gary Cooper, Susan Hayward and Richard Widmark in Garden of Evil, with Lana Turner and Spencer Tracy in Cass Timberlane, with Clark Gable, Robert Ryan and Jane Russell in The Tall Men, with Marlon Brando, Merle Oberon and Jean Simmons in Désirée, and with Joanne Woodward and Sheree North in No Down Payment.
Some of his best known films were the 1951 adaptation of Death of a Salesman (he originated the role of Happy on Broadway), the 1952 version of Les Miserables (as Marius), the 1953 comedy How to Marry a Millionaire (with Marilyn Monroe), and 1956's film version of the stage musical Carousel. He voiced Jesus of Nazareth in The Robe. Mitchell also played a Police Detective in the 1983 film, Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star.
During the 1960s, Mitchell starred in numerous Italian sword and sandal, horror, fantasy, and thriller films, several of which were directed by Mario Bava, including Erik the Conqueror (1961), Blood and Black Lace (1964), and Knives of the Avenger (1966). He also participated in Spaghetti westerns, like Minnesota Clay by Sergio Corbucci. Mitchell played the leader of a white gang in the 1972 film Buck and the Preacher, also starring Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.
Mitchell achieved success on television during the latter part of his career, where he is best remembered for starring as Uncle Buck in the 1960s NBC western series, The High Chaparral. He also appeared on an episode of Bonanza and ABC's S.W.A.T.. He guest starred on the brief Swiss Family Robinson TV series and the 'Landslide' episode of "Movin' On" in 1975. He appeared on Gene Evans's short-lived Spencer's Pilots on CBS in the fall of 1976. He also had roles in horror films and in many exploitation films such as the 1978 The Toolbox Murders, the 1978 creature feature The Swarm, the 1979 slasher film The Demon, the 1980 slasher Silent Scream, and the 1987 anthology film From a Whisper to a Scream.
In 1940, Mitchell married Johanna Mendel, the daughter of self-made Canadian business tycoon Fred Mendel. The Mendel family was based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where Fred Mendel founded Intercontinental Packers, a major family-owned meat packing operation.
Johanna Mitchell gave birth to their first son, Robert Cameron Mitchell, in New York on July 4, 1941. Although Mitchell and Johanna divorced in 1960, he maintained close ties to Canada. Their daughter, Camille Mitchell, and son, Cameron Mitchell, Jr., are both actors. Another son, Fred Mitchell, was president of Intercontinental Packers for many years working alongside his mother, Johanna Mitchell, who was Chairwoman of the Board. Today the company is known as Mitchell's Gourmet Foods and still operates out of Saskatoon, now owned by Maple Leaf Foods.
In Pop Culture
Mitchell's film roles have been a focal point on RedLetterMedia's web series, "Best of the Worst". Jay Bauman has referred to Mitchell as, "our mascot" and his appearance in films is always celebrated by those who appear on the show. Panelists on the show have made allusions to Mitchell possibly battling alcoholism in later life. His performances in B-movies such as Deadly Prey, Terror in Beverly Hills, and Low Blow are considered by fans of the "so bad it's good" B-movie culture to be highly awkward, as Mitchell frequently seems unprepared and/or uninterested when on-screen.
- They Were Expendable - Ensign George Cross (1945)
- The Mighty McGurk - Johnny Burden (1947)
- Homecoming - Sgt. Monkevickz (1948)
- Command Decision As USAAF Bombardier - (1949)
- Death of a Salesman - Happy Loman (1951). Mitchell reprised the role he had originated in the 1949-1950 Broadway production of the play.
- Flight to Mars - Steve Abbot (1951)
- Les Miserables - Marius (1952)
- How to Marry a Millionaire - Tom Brookman (1953)
- Garden of Evil - Luke Daly (1954)
- Désirée - Joseph Bonaparte (1954)
- The Tall Men - Clint Allison (1955)
- Love Me or Leave Me - Johnny Alderman (1955)
- Carousel - Jigger Craigin (1956)
- All Mine to Give - Robert Eunson (1957)
- No Down Payment - Troy Boone (1957)
- Face Of Fire - Ned Trescott (1959)
- The Last of the Vikings - Harald (1961)
- Erik the Conqueror - Eron (1961)
- Attack of the Normans - Wilfrid, Duke of Saxony (1962)
- Caesar the Conqueror - Julius Caesar (1962)
- Blood and Black Lace - Max Marian (1964)
- Minnesota Clay - Minnesota Clay (1965)
- Ride in the Whirlwind - Vern (1966)
- Maneater of Hydra - Baron Von Weser (1967)
- Hombre - Frank Braden (1967)
- Nightmare in Wax - Vince Rinaud (1969)
- The Rebel Rousers - Paul Collier (1970)
- Buck and the Preacher - Deshay (1972)
- Slaughter - A.W. Price (1972)
- The Big Game - Bruno Carstens (1973)
- The Midnight Man - Quartz (1974)
- The Klansman - Butt Cutt Cates (1974)
- Flood! - Sam Adams (1976, TV movie)
- Viva Knievel! - Barton (1977)
- Haunts - Carl (1977)
- The Hostage Heart - Arnold Stade (1977, TV movie)
- Slavers - Da Silva (1978)
- The Toolbox Murders - Vance Kingsley (1978)
- The Bastard - Captain Plummer (1978)
- The Swarm - General Thompson (1978)
- The Demon - Colonel Carson (1979)
- Supersonic Man - Dr. Gulik (1979)
- Hanging by a Thread - Lawton (1979, TV movie)
- Silent Scream - Lieutenant McGiver (1980)
- Without Warning - Hunter (1980)
- Cataclysm - Lieutenant Sterne (1980)
- Frankenstein Island - Clay Jayson (1981)
- Texas Lightning - Karl Stover (1981)
- The Guns and the Fury - Jack Piper (1981)
- My Favorite Year - Karl "Boss" Rojeck (1982)
- Blood Link - Bud Waldo (1982)
- Terror on Tape - Video Store Clerk (1983)
- Killpoint - Joe Marks (1984)
- Night Train to Terror - The Lieutenant (1985)
- Prince Jack - Edwin Walker (1985)
- Deadly Prey - Jamie's father (1986)
- Low Blow - Yarakunda (1986)
- The Tomb - Dr Howard Phillips (1986)
- Terror Night - Detective Sanders (1987)
- From a Whisper to a Scream - Sergeant Gallan (1987)
- Space Mutiny - Cmdr. Alex Jansen (1988)
- Terror in Beverly Hills - Captain Stills (1989)
- Memorial Valley Massacre - Allen Sangster (1989)
- Colt.45 - episode - Point of Honor - Dr. Allen McMurdo (1958)
- The Untouchables - episode - Ain't we Got Fun - Johnny Paycheck (1959)
- Bonanza - episode - A House Divided - Fredrick Kyle (1960)
- Daniel Boone - episode - The Fifth Man - George Rogers Clark (1966)
- Daniel Boone - episode - The Loser's Race - James Dorsey (1966)
- McCloud - episode - Somebody's Out to Get Jennie - Robert Devlin (1971)
- The F.B.I. - episode - Bitter Harbor - Unknown (1971)
- Mod Squad - episode - Home is the Streets - Karl Milligan (1971)
- McMillan & Wife - episode - Night of the Wizard - Harry Hastings (1972)
- Night Gallery - episode - Finnegan's Flight - Pete Tuttle (1972)
- Night Gallery - episode - Green Fingers/The Funeral/The Tune in Dan's Cafe - Michael J. Saunders (1972)
- Ironside - episode - Buddy Can you Spare a Dime? - Kent (1972)
- Alias Smith and Jones - Which Way to the O.K. Corral? - Wyatt Earp (1972)
- The Magician - episode - Illusion in Terror - Walter C. Marsh/Canfield (1973)
- Hawkins - episode - Murder in Movieland - Jake Parkins (1973)
- Mission Impossible - episode - The Fountain - Matthew Drake (1973)
- Ironside - episode - The Helping Hand - Graham (1973)
- Police Story - episode - Line of Fire - Arnie Holcombe (1973)
- Hawaii Five O - episode - Welcome to our Branch Office - Bowman (1974)
- Ironside - episode - What's New with Mark - Kincaid (1974)
- Amy Prentiss - episode - The Desperate World of Jane Doe - Satin Charlie (1974)
- Gunsmoke - episode - The Iron Man - Chauncey Demon (1974)
- The Swiss Family Robinson - TV movie - Jeremiah Worth (1975)
- S.W.A.T. - episode - Jungle War - Bo Pritchard (1975)
- Cannon - episode - The Investigator - Peter DeAba (1975)
- Movin' On - episode - Landslide - Casey's Father (1975)
- The Swiss Family Robinson - 20 episodes - Jeremiah Worth (1975-1976)
- Bronk - episode - The Vigilante - Mankowski (1976)
- Hunter - episode = UFM 13 (1977)
- Quincy, M.E. - episode - Last of the Dinosaurs - Dan Granger (1977)
- Police Story - episode - Stigma - Taggart (1977)
- Fantasy Island - episode - Return to Fantasy Island - Raoul (1978)
- Fantasy Island - episode - The Big Dipper/The Pirate - Sgt. Broylan (1978)
- Vega$ - episode - Lady Ice - Willie 'Sparrow' Salter (1978)
- How the West Was Won - Mini series - episodes - #1.1-1.3 - Coulee John Brinkerhoff (1978)
- Vega$ - episode - Lady Ice - Willie 'Sparrow' Salter (1978)
- Greatest Heroes of the Bible - episode - Joshua and the Battle of Jericho - Assurabi (1978)
- Fantasy Island - episode - Eddie Collins - The Chain Gang/The Boss (1979)
- Hawaii Five O - episode - A Very Personal Matter - Tom Riorden (1979)
- Charlie's Angels - episode - Avenging Angel - Frank Desmond (1979)
- Vega$ - episode - Siege of the Desert Inn - Zinberg (1980)
- Charlie's Angels - episode - To See An Angel Die - Tom Granger (1980)
- Mrs. Columbo - episode - Love, On Instant Replay - Unknown (1980)
- Magnum, P.I. - episode - Adelaide - Captain Charles Cathcart, U.S.N. Retired (1981)
- Fantasy Island - episode - Devil and Mr. Roarke/Ziegfeld Girls/Kid Corey Rides Again - Sheriff Matt (1981)
- The Incredible Hulk - episode - Goodbye Eddie Cain - Eddie Cain (1981)
- Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues - TV movie/mini-series - Colonel Greeley (1983)
- Knight Rider - episode - Diamonds Aren't a Girls Best Friend - Bernie Mitchell (1984)
- Hardcastle and McCormick - episodes - The Homecoming: PARTS One and Two - Mayor Broadmore (1984)
- Partners in Crime - episode - Duke - Duke (1984)
- Murder, She Wrote - episode - Murder to a Jazz Beat - Dr. Aaron Kramer (1985)
- Simon & Simon - episode - Something for Sarah - Ben Coffield (1986)
- Dream West - TV mini-series - Commander Robert Stackton (1986)
- Matlock - episode - The Network - Lane Lockletter (1987)
- )"Palm Springs Cemetery District "Interments of Interest"" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Rev. Mitzell Served St. John's Reformed Church from December 1, 1921 to November 30, 1922. http://www.sjrchurch.org
- "dixie ray hollywood star - porn movie - iafd.com - internet adult film database". iafd.com. Retrieved 2014-08-16.
- Grimes, William (July 9, 1994). "Cameron Mitchell, 75, Actor; Created Role in 'Salesman'". nytimes.com. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
- Brooks, Patricia; Brooks, Jonathan (2006). "Chapter 8: East L.A. and the Desert". Laid to Rest in California: a guide to the cemeteries and grave sites of the rich and famous. Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press. p. 238. ISBN 978-0762741014. OCLC 70284362.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cameron Mitchell (actor).|
- Cameron Mitchell at the Internet Movie Database
- Cameron Mitchell at AllMovie
- Cameron Mitchell at the Internet Broadway Database
- John "J-Cat" Griffith (June 5, 2002). "Cameron Mitchell". Actor. Find a Grave. Retrieved June 29, 2011.