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James Whitmore

Performer
( b. Oct 01, 1921 White Plains, New York, USA - d. Feb 06, 2009 Malibu, California, USA ) Male
Relations: Father of James Whitmore, Jr.
Husband of Audra Lindley (1972 - 1979) divorced
James Whitmore was a Tony Award-winning, Oscar-nominated character actor with a thug's face and a way with words. He landed a memorable late-career role as a grizzled prison librarian in the movie "The Shawshank Redemption." His Tony Award in 1948 was in a category that no longer exists -- Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer, for the military play Command Decision.

Mr. Whitmore was widely respected for the one-man plays that he starred in on Broadway and around the country. Samuel Gallu's bio play, Give 'Em Hell, Harry, about President Harry S. Truman, was filmed live on stage and released as a motion picture. The actor was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for his turn as Truman.

On Broadway, he also played Teddy Roosevelt and humorist Will Rogers in, respectively, Bully (1977) and Will Rogers' USA (1974), which also had lives on tour.

As late as 2000 he appeared in Will Rogers' USA at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. It was his eighth engagement of the show there.

A fan of history, Mr. Whitmore also toured in the play The Magnificent Yankee, about Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. His other Broadway credits include Almost an Eagle (1982), Inquest (1970) and Winesburg, Ohio (1958).

In 1953, he was Slug, one of the gangsters in the movie "Kiss Me, Kate", singing "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." He also played Andrew Carnes in the 1955 movie "Oklahoma!"

Two years after his Broadway debut, Mr. Whitmore was nominated for an Academy Award and won a Golden Globe as Supporting Actor in the war picture "Battleground."

His screen credits include "The Last Frontier," "Chato's Land," "Planet of the Apes," "Them," "Tora! Tora! Tora!," "The Asphalt Jungle," "The Great Diamond Robbery" and many more.

He appeared on many TV shows over the decades, from the golden age of "Studio One" to "The Practice," for which he received an Emmy in 1999 as guest actor in a series, and "CSI."

Mr. Whitmore won a football scholarship to Yale and enrolled there in pre-law. He suffered knee injuries and would change his career to theatre, after mulling it over while serving in the Marines, in the South Pacific, in World War II. On the G.I. Bill, in New York, he studied at the American Theater Wing.

Source: Playbill.com



Productions Date of Productions
Almost an Eagle
[Play, Original]
  • Starring: James Whitmore [The Colonel]
Dec 16, 1982 - Dec 19, 1982
Bully
[Play, Solo, Original]
  • Starring: James Whitmore [Theodore Roosevelt]
Nov 01, 1977 - Nov 05, 1977
Will Rogers' USA
[Play, Solo, Original]
  • Performer: James Whitmore
May 06, 1974 - May 11, 1974
Inquest
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: James Whitmore [Emanuel Bloch]
Apr 23, 1970 - May 16, 1970
Winesburg, Ohio
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: James Whitmore [Tom Willard]
Feb 05, 1958 - Feb 15, 1958
Command Decision
[Play, Original]
  • Performer: James Whitmore [Tech Sergeant Harold Evans]
Oct 01, 1947 - Sep 18, 1948
1948 Tony Award® Outstanding Performance by a Newcomer
winnerCommand Decision [winner]
Performer: James Whitmore
1948 Theatre World Award
winnerCommand Decision [winner]
Performer: James Whitmore
Find out where James Whitmore and are credited together