James Mitchum is the oldest son of legendary actor Robert Mitchum and the spitting image of his famous father. By inheriting his dad’s sexy, sleepy eyes and taciturn good looks, it was obvious from the start that Jim would lean towards an acting career with so much going for him. The comparison helped him as well as hurt him. Jim got his first taste of film-making at the age of 8 with a tiny unbilled role in the sturdy western Colorado Territory (1949) with Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo and Dorothy Malone, but made his credited debut playing his father’s much younger “brother” in Thunder Road (1958), which became a drive-in cult favorite. He gained experience in other films made by his father including The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961). Jim’s solo career would be composed of primarily westerns and war pictures, achieving a degree of stability but little distinction in the long run. Such films as Young Guns of Texas (1962), Ambush Bay (1966), Trackdown (1976), Blackout (1978) and Hollywood Cop (1987) would come and go. Younger brother Christopher Mitchum would follow a similarly rugged path in films. Jim was formerly married to actress Wende Wagner, who died in 1997 of cancer. They had one child.
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