Robert Charles Duran Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997, Santa Barbara county, California) was an American film star who combined a cynical screen image with a notorious personal life to create a durable screen persona as a fatalistic tough guy. He appeared in a variety of roles throughout his career, from the sympathetic Marine captain in Rachel and the Stranger (1948) to an Australian sheep drover in the Sundowners (1960). Mitchum also proved to be a versatile leading man and was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of a murderous preacher in The Night of the Hunter (1955).
After the death of studio boss Howard Hughes in the late 1940s, Mitchum became one of RKO’s top stars. His shadowy star image complemented the sardonic and relaxed acting style he brought to his roles, and helped him become a popular choice for grizzled western heros and film noir villains.
Mitchum’s screen persona was enhanced by his rugged good looks and enigmatic personality. He was a natural outdoorsman and an expert horseman, and was known to take on dangerous challenges in his spare time. A rebellious spirit characterized his early years, and he was often involved in brawls and pranks at school. He also spent a great deal of his time on the road, living with various families throughout his childhood. In the early part of his movie career, he was often sacked by studios for his troublesome behavior, but he eventually earned enough credibility to earn an enviable reputation as an actor.