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James Mitchell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 29 February 1920Sacramento, California, USA
Date of Death 22 January 2010Los Angeles, California, USA  (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

James Mitchell was born on February 29, 1920 in Sacramento, California, USA. He was an actor, known for All My Children (1970), The Band Wagon (1953) and Oklahoma! (1955). He died on January 22, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.

Trivia (15)

Has taught movement for actors to theater arts students at Yale University.
After he put up his dancing shoes, he turned to TV and found a nice niche for himself in soaps -- notably as the scheming old tycoon Palmer Cortlandt on All My Children (1970) playing the role since 1979.
In his early career, he performed with the American Ballet Theatre.
First appeared on stage as part of his foster parents' vaudeville act.
Received a degree in drama from Los Angeles City College.
In 1947, his performance in the original Broadway production of "Brigadoon" earned him a Walter Donaldson Award (the predecessor of the "Tony" Award) as Best Dancer, as well as a Theatre World Award.
His best-known role on film was in Agnes de Mille's spectacular dream sequence as 'Dream Curly' in the 1955 musical classic Oklahoma! (1955) He worked in tandem with the famed choreographer quite frequently.
The Harlem Renaissance artist Richmond Barthe (1901-1989) sculpted and exhibited a bust of Mitchell in 1947.
Briefly co-owned an antiques shop called "Country Imports" in the late 1950s.
His longtime partner was costume designer Albert Wolsky.
Close associations in dance were with Gower Champion, Eugene Loring (with whom he also trained), and Jerome Robbins.
In 1923, his mother, Edith, left his father and returned to England with Mitchell's brother and sister; she and Mitchell had no further contact. Unable to run a farm while single-handedly raising his remaining son, Mitchell's father fostered him out for several years to vaudevillians Gene and Katherine King.
He taught movement for actors at the American Laboratory Theatre, 1966-1967; movement for actors and directors at the Yale School of Drama, 1974, and movement for actors and directors at the Drama Division of The Juilliard School, 1976.
Danced for Lester Horton, the Agnes de Mille Dance Theater and the American Ballet Theater.
Retired. [October 2009]

Personal Quotes (5)

[on Palmer Cortlandt] He's not a threat at all. He's just aggravating.
[In a promotional article for TSR's All My Children (1970) role-playing game] When I play, I like to be Erica.
[on Jerome Robbins] He was the most charming, lovable son of a bitch that I have ever known.
[About starring in The Peacemaker (1997)]: I'm an old face but a new voice.
[About still thinking of himself as a dancer at age 84] When I go to the theater to watch dance, my muscles twitch. I can't help but respond physically to music and the choreography. It simply moves me. There's no doubt that the dancer is still present inside.

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