Famous character actor in movies, television and Broadway, James Whitmore has died. He was 87. Reports said Whitmore passed away in his Malibu Home on Friday of lung cancer with his family by his side.
Whitmore was an actor known for his portrayals of famous men in history in the form of one-man shows. Whitmore perfected Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt, and Will Rogers. The actor favored Mammoth with performances of Will Rogers in the early 90s. In the 70s, Whitmore and wife Nancy lived in Mammoth Lakes.
His son Dan and wife Leslie live in Sunny Slopes. Dan is a local contractor. Their son, Matty rose to fame on television’s Survivor series this season.
Whitmore’s long career includes scores of films, TV shows and plays. He was nominated for an Academy Award twice and won a Tony Award and an Emmy Award for his performances. In 2006, he and son James Whitmore, Jr. appeared together in “Tuesdays with Morrie” performed with the Peterborough, New Hampshire Players.
Whitmore was also well-known as the spokesman for Miracle-Gro. The seasoned actor turned publicly political in recent years. He generated some publicity with his endorsement of Barack Obama for President, and Whitmore appeared in TV ads for the First Freedom First campaign, which advocated preserving the separation of church and state and protection of religious liberty.
The San Francisco Chronicle quotes one of Whitmore’s sons, Steve, as saying that his father “believed that family came before everything, that work was just a vehicle in which to provide for your family.”
James Whitmore is survived by his third wife, Noreen, three sons and eight grand children. Services were pending.