Christopher Mitchum is an American actor, writer and politician born on October 16, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is probably best known for his roles in movies like “Chisum”, “Big Jake” and “Rio Lobo”.
Christopher Mitchum is the second son of Dorothy and iconic actor Robert Mitchum. He graduated from the Webb School in California, then began studying at the University of Pennsylvania, transferred to Trinity College in Dublin for his sophomore year abroad, and then graduated from the University of Arizona as a Bachelor of Literature in 1966. asked about his childhood, he said it was his father who punished him: ‘My father was the one who took care of that. With mom it was: ‘Wait until your dad comes home.’
During his teenage years, Mitchum’s family moved from California to Maryland, where his parents gave him a horse named Cap Gun. He began competing in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), winning several championships. Christopher has two siblings: his older brother is actor James “Jim” Mitchum and his younger sister is writer Trina Mitchum.
By the end of his studies at the University of Arizona, Christopher was already married and had two children. Looking for ways to support his family, he started working as an extra in movies and television and found his first job at the “Old Tucson” movie studio, earning about $13.80 daily.
On the set, he met the director of “Dundee and the Culhane”, Sam Maners, who offered him a role in the series if Mitchum moved to Los Angeles.
So Mitchum moved to California with his family and contacted Maners again: “I was hired for a role on the show, a day’s work, $150. I was really excited, until I read the script. I died before the credits, off screen! I played a dead man. Well, it turned out to be two days’ work. $300 was a lot of money in 1967.”
Mitchum next worked in “Danny Thomas Hour” where he played a minor role with Bo Hopkins. He then found other jobs in Hollywood as an errand boy and then a production assistant, working his way up to Associate Producer.
He had no other acting job for two years, until he was offered an unaccredited role in “Young Billy Young”.
Mitchum’s motivation for becoming an actor was for economic reasons: ‘Acting paid more’. (…) ‘It was not my choice (to become an actor), at least in the beginning. I was never encouraged. It even took until 1973 before my father recognized that I was an actor.’
Debut as an actor and foreign films
In 1970, Mitchum was offered the role of Tom O’Folliard in “Chisum” starring iconic actors John Wayne and Forrest Tucker. While working on “The Duke”, Mitchum was introduced to director Howard Hawks, who gave him the role of Rick in the movie “Bigfoot”.
Christopher recalled in an interview how great Hawks’ influence was on him: “I will say that it wasn’t until I worked with Hawks that I appreciated the profession and began to love my job.” Also in 1970, Mitchum appeared as Alturi in “Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came”, before landing a starring role in another Hawk film, “Rio Lobo” in 1971, the director’s last film and Mitchum’s second time worked with John Wayne. The same year, he appeared in The Duke’s movie “Big Jake”. As part of the film’s promotional tour, Mitchum appeared on Johnny Carson’s show and was interviewed by several famous magazines.
In 1972, he was offered a role in the Spanish film “Summertime Killer”, which gained popularity both in several European countries and in Asia.
However, after Mitchum’s return to his home country, he realized that his career had gone into an abrupt tailspin: “Suddenly I couldn’t get a job in Hollywood and even my agent didn’t know why.”
He hadn’t been interviewed for films for almost a year and finally found out the reason for the dry spell in his career then he tried to audition for “Steelyard Blues”: “The casting director looked at me and said, ‘Oh, you’re THAT Chris Mitchum, I can’t hire you.'”
The reason Mitchum was blacklisted in Hollywood was his involvement with John Wayne. At the time, Wayne was considered a supporter of the Vietnam War, and along with people who worked with him, was the subject of backlash from various parts of Hollywood and anti-war groups.
After this rejection, Mitchum went back to work in Europe and Asia where he found many job opportunities but in B-grade films, including ‘Master Samurai’ in Hong Kong, ‘Ricco’ in Italy and ‘Faceless’ in Spain. He played or played major roles in most of the foreign films he worked in.
Return to America
Despite his fame in foreign film markets, Mitchum returned to America years later to appear in several films such as 1978’s “Stingray”, “The One Man Jury” and “The Day Time Ended”. He also appeared in the critically acclaimed 1993 film “Tombstone”, starring Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. Mitchum spent the rest of his career filming movies in the US, Europe and Asia.
I’m in DC for some meetings. Had the chance to speak at the Senate building. LOVELY here again!
Career as a writer
While Mitchum’s main career has been as an actor, his main passion is writing. In 1992, he was credited as a screenwriter for the movie “Angel of Fury”, and is the author of the book “Victoria Falls”.
Christopher belongs to the Republican Party and first ran for the California State Assembly in 1998, losing to his Democratic opponent Hannah-Beth Jackson. In 2012, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, but was placed third in the election. Two years later, in 2014, he ran again for the same seat in Congress, coming in second to Lois Capps.
On September 18, 1964, Christopher married his longtime girlfriend Cynthia Davis, who is also an actress and appeared in the 1969 movie “Changes”. The couple’s marriage, which ended in 1996, resulted in four children: Caroline “Carrie”, Christopher Robert “Bentley”, Jennifer “Jenny” and Kian.
In 2000, Christopher met Doreen Corkin in Santa Barbara County through a mutual friend. The two began dating and spent their time between Massachusetts and California. 2019 stated Mitchum that the two were engaged, although the wedding date had not been set at the time.
Christopher’s children—except Jenny—became actors. His grandchildren – Cappy and Grace Van Dien – have also made a name for themselves in Hollywood.
Christopher’s uncle John Mitchum was also an actor who appeared in films such as “Dirty Harry” and “The Enforcer”. However, Christopher’s most famous family member was his father Robert Mitchum.
Born on August 6, 1917 in Connecticut, Robert Mitchum was born the first of three sons to Ann Harriet and James Thomas Mitchum. He had some problems growing up as his father died when he was two years old in a work-related accident. He moved to New York with his family at a young age, was undisciplined and used to adventuring alone, which led to his being charged with vagrancy at the age of 14. Robert started working on films in 1943, when he appeared briefly in “The Human Comedy”. He continued to play various small roles in movies, until he was cast in “When Strangers Marry”, his first starring role.
However, Robert’s fame came when he performed as Lieutenant Walker in “The Story of G.I. Joe”, earning him a nomination for The Academy Awards. He continued to appear in dozens of films such as “Out of the Past”, “The Night of the Hunter” and “Cape Fear”. Not only was he famous for his acting skills and prowess, his ‘bad boy’ behavior was also one of his attractive traits. His career as an actor is often considered underrated, as despite his status as a legendary star in Hollywood, he never won an Oscar.
It wasn’t easy for Christopher because of Robert’s astronomical fame: ‘Growing up as ‘son of Robert Mitchum’ was a pain in the butt. In elementary school, older kids beat me up. As a young man I never knew if anyone liked me just because I was my father’s son.’
In addition to Christopher’s personal problems of being the son of a Hollywood star, he also faced some challenges in his career: “I had to be ten times better than anyone else tested so that if the film bombed, the one who cast me couldn’t be accused of putting me in because they knew my father.’ (…) ‘Despite my own career of more than 30 years and the fact that my father has been dead for more than a decade, I am still referred to as ‘son of Robert Mitchum’. I’ve always been treated as my own person on set.’
Christopher Mitchum has an estimated net worth of $10 million, a result of his long career as an actor and writer.
Christopher Mitchum is a man of white ethnicity, often regarded as his father’s “look-alike”, with a well-defined jawline, blue eyes and a handsome face. During his childhood he had blond hair, which he styled to medium length.
— Chris Mitchum (@MitchumCA24) January 7, 2015
Today he has a mature appearance, characterized by his white hair. He is 1.85 m tall, although his weight is unknown.
Christopher recalls the one career advice his father gave him: “‘Never get caught acting.'” In other words, don’t play the part, just be the character.’ Reportedly, Robert Mitchum had many extramarital affairs during his marriage to Christopher’s mother, Dorothy. However, the marriage lasted almost 60 years until 1997 when Robert died of cancer.
Christopher’s immense fame in Asia sparked one of his father’s favorite experiences, which took place in Japan after the filming of the movie “The Yakuza” in 1974: “During that trip, a girl came up to him and asked, “Are you the father from Chris Mitchum? Can you get me his autograph? He loved telling that story.”