Robert Charles Durman Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actor, author, composer and singer. Mitchum is largely remembered for his starring roles in several major works of the film noir style, and is considered a forerunner of the anti-heroes prevalent in film during the 1950s and 1960s.
Mitchum was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His mother, Ann Harriet (née Gunderson), was a Norwegian immigrant and sea captain's daughter, and his father, James Thomas Mitchum, was a shipyard and railroad worker. A sister, Annette, (known as Julie Mitchum during her acting career) was born in 1913. James Mitchum was crushed to death in a railyard accident in Charleston, South Carolina in February 1919, when Robert was less than 2 years old. After his death, Ann Mitchum was awarded a government pension, and soon realized she was pregnant. She returned to her family in Connecticut, and married a former British Army major who helped her care for the children. In September 1919 a son, John, was born. When all of the children were old enough to attend school, Ann found employment as a linotype operator for the Bridgeport Post.