James Mitchell

James Mitchell

actor, soundtrack

James Mitchell was born on Feb 29, 1920 in USA. James Mitchell's big-screen debut came with Moonlight in Havana directed by Anthony Mann in 1942, strarring Dancer (uncredited). James Mitchell is known for That's Dancing! directed by Jack Haley Jr., Mikhail Baryshnikov stars as Self - Host and Ray Bolger as Self - Host. The upcoming new movie James Mitchell plays is That's Dancing! which will be released on Jan 18, 1985.

James Mitchell was an American actor and dancer of English descent. He was one the leading dancers for choreographer Agnes de Mille (1905-1993). As an actor, Mitchell is primarily remembered for his role as diabolical businessman Palmer Cortlandt in the long-running soap opera "All My Children". Mitchell played this role from 1979 to 2010, and Cortlandt was one of the series' major characters until 2002.In 1920, Mitchell was born in Sacramento, California. His parents were English immigrants who operated a fruit farm in Turlock, an agricultural settlement in Stanislaus County, California. In 1923, his parents separated. His mother returned to England, and took Mitchell's siblings with her. Unable to raise Mitchell on his own, his father entrusted him to the care of vaudevillians Gene and Katherine King. While the senior Mitchell eventually reclaimed custody over his son, Mitchell became interested in a show business career of his own.Mitchell left Turlock in 1937, in order to seek education as an actor. He studied drama at Los Angeles City College, and was trained in modern dance by famed choreographer Lester Horton (1906-1953). Following his graduation, Mitchell formally joined the Lester Horton Dancers (1932-1944), Horton's own dance company.In 1944, Horton dissolved his dance company and moved to New York City, taking Mitchell with him. Horton attempted to form a new dance company there for dancer Sonia Shaw, and his main investor was Shaw's husband. The investor reneged on the deal, and Horton's company went bankrupt before its debut performance. Mitchell was left unemployed for the first time in his career.Mitchell had trouble finding acting or dancing jobs in New York City, where there were many available performers. Mitchell himself had no connections in the city. He eventually applied for a job as a dancer in the musical "Bloomer Girl" (1944), where Agnes de Mille was the choreographer. She asked him to perform ballet moves, unaware that Mitchell had little to no training in ballet. Instead Mitchell performed a dance improvisation. De Mille was sufficiently impressed by his style to offer him the dual position of principal dancer and assistant choreographer in the show. He took the offer.Mitchell's professional relationship with de Mille lasted from 1944 to 1969. In her autobiography, she praised Mitchell, commenting that he gad "probably the strongest arms in the business, and the adagio style developed by him and his partners has become since a valued addition to ballet vocabulary."Mitchell remained primarily a theatrical actor in the 1940s, though he appeared as a dancer and uncredited extra in film musicals and westerns. He was eventually offered a contract with Warner Brothers by producer Michael Curtiz (1886-1962). Mitchell only appeared in two Warner Brothers-produced film. His most notable there was playing gangster Duke Harris in the Western "Colorado Territory" (1949).Mitcell was next signed to a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), where he played supporting roles in films from 1949 to 1955. His film appearances included the film noir "Border Incident" (1949), the Western "Stars in My Crown" (1950), and the musical comedy "The Band Wagon" (1953). His last MGM-produced film was the Biblical epic "The Prodigal" (1955), a notorious box office flop that resulted in losses of 771,000 dollars by the company. Mitchell's contract was terminated shortly afterward.In 1956, Mitchell gained his first lead role in a film, playing gunfighter Terrall Butler in the Western "The Peacemaker" (1956). It was a low-budget production by independent producer Hal R. Makelim, and the film eventually only had a limited release. It was Mitchell's last film role for decades.Mitchell was able to find steady work as an actor in television productions. In 1964, he gained the recurring role of corrupt Captain Lloyd Griffin in the soap opera "The Edge of Night" (1956-1975). He eventually gained the lead role of professor of literature Julian Hathaway in another soap opera, "Where the Heart Is" (1969-1973). The series had "fairly healthy ratings" for its entire run, but it was typically the lowest-rated soap on CBS' daytime schedule. It was eventually canceled and replaced by a more successful soap opera, called "The Young and the Restless" (1973-).For much to the 1970s, Mitchell was reduced to sporadic guest star appearances in television. He financially supported himself as an acting teacher at Juilliard, Yale University, and Drake University. He was eventually offered the new role of businessman Palmer Cortlandt in the soap opera "All My Children", a role he played for 31 years.By 2008, Mitchell was forced to reduce his television appearances due to health problems. He was suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, an obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. He formally retired from acting in 2009, but made return appearances in 2010. He died in January 2010, his death caused by his chronic disease and complications by pneumonia. He was 89-years-old.

  • Birthday

    Feb 29, 1920
  • Place of Birth

    Sacramento, California, USA

Known For

Movies & TV Shows

TV Shows