Movies - TV
The Reason Robert Mitchum Was In Such High Demand As An Actor
By DEVIN MEENAN
In 1982, the Village Voice profiled Robert Mitchum, the versatile actor who starred in movies like "The Night of the Hunter," "Out of the Past," and "His Kind of Woman." Throughout the ‘40s, ‘50s, and on, Mitchum was a mainstay in the movies, so what made him so in-demand?
Those who financed Hollywood movies liked Mitchum because he did his own stunts, so “directors [get] two performances for the price of one,” as the Village Voice said. Audiences loved the charisma he brought to every role, from the sarcastic and anti-heroic Jeff Markham in “Out of the Past” to the terrifying serial killer Harry Powell in “The Night of the Hunter.”
Unlike many leading men of his day, Mitchum had fantastic romantic chemistry with leading ladies, like Jane Russell and Deborah Kerr, and his characters were both strong and vulnerable. However, he never settled for being just the romantic lead, so men also liked the cool and distant masculinity that he brought to a variety of roles like war heroes, cowboys, detectives, and villains.