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Robert Mitchum Got Into Huge Trouble With His Booze Habits

Without a doubt, one of the greatest icons of American cinema was Robert Mitchum. Though he passed away in 1997, he’s still remembered as one of our greatest actors – almost three decades later.

But, Robert Mitchum, despite his incredible success wasn’t always the most disciplined individual. His childhood antics carried onto his adulthood and he eventually developed a reputation for being a big drinker. In fact, Robert Mitchum got into huge trouble with his booze habits.

But, somehow, this didn’t interfere with his acting career – too much – and he still managed to become one of our greatest actors.

Join FactsVerse to learn about Robert Mitchum’s life and career and how he got into huge trouble with his booze habits…


Robert Charles Durman Mitchum was born on August 6, 1997, in Bridgetown, Connecticut. He grew up in a Methodist family and his family had ancestry from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Norway. His father was a native-born American of British Ancestry while his mother was an immigrant from the Kingdom of Norway.

His father died when Robert was still young and his mother eventually remarried a Royal Naval Reserve Officer named Hugh Cunningham Morris – also known as The Major.

As a child, young Robert often got into trouble and soon developed a reputation for being a prankster, a misfit, and a troublemaker. No doubt this was at the chagrin of his parents and got him the ire of the community.

Needless to say, he was directionless and without a purpose in life. One could have scarcely guessed that, at that point, he’d ever become a huge film star or amount to anything in his life, frankly.

At the age of 14, he ran away from home and traveled around the US as a vagabond. He would take odd jobs and was eventually arrested for running away from home. He briefly returned to his family but it wasn’t too long till he became a vagabond again.

Oh, and while he was still in his teens, he met Dorothy Spence and married her – and remained married to her until his death.

In the mid 1930s, when Robert had become a legal adult, he moved to California to spend time with his elder sister Julie, who was pursuing an acting career. Watching his sister pursue her dreams, made Robert develop a new interest.

He was working as a ghostwriter for a famous astrologer before his sister convinced him to join acting classes with her. He spent his early career working behind the scenes on stage productions and also helped write lyrics for Julie’s life performances.

He took a hiatus from his show business career when his wife, Dorothy, gave birth to their first child. He was employed as a machine operator for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation and pursued this for several years before returning to show business.

Before we tell you more about Robert Mitchum’s life and career and why he got into huge trouble with his booze habits, please like this video and subscribe to FactsVerse for more interesting stories about pop culture and your favorite celebrities and more fascinating biopics! Now, let’s get back to the video…



Robert Mitchum eventually felt burned out from his stressful job as a machine operator. He even faced extreme stress and became temporarily blind due to overworking at the job. He eventually quit the job – knowing he had to find something else to do with his life.

He decided to join the film industry again – this time, he tried to try his hand at acting. He first started by working as an extra and then trying to land any small role he could just to earn some fast cash.

He eventually landed a role as Lt. Bob Gray in the film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. While this was a small supporting role, his performance was acclaimed and the director, Mervyn LeRoy enjoyed working with him.

This led to more opportunities for Robert Mitchum. He then signed a contract with RKO Radio Pictures and worked for several years with them – appearing mostly in Western films. This was the start of his career as a leading man and also helped craft his ‘bad boy’ image.

His early hits were roles in films such as Nevada, The Story of GI Joe, West of the Pecos, and Till the End of Time. He had established himself as a great actor in Westerns, war films, and high dramas.

But he was just getting started. The film noir genre was getting more and more popular, and his next step was to appear in such films. While he had appeared in bit parts in film noir films during the early part of his career, his big break in the genre was in the film The Locket.

In this film, Robert Mitchum played an angry ex-lover who wanted to take revenge on his former girlfriend. In 1947, he also appeared in a film called Crossfire which one him and his fellow cast members much acclaim. After this role, it was clear that Robert Mitchum was a star and there was no turning back.

Some of Robert Mitchum’s other great roles included his work in The Night of the Hunter. This fantastic film featured him playing a dark villain wishing to murder children. This was very dark for the time and is still regarded as one of the most frightening film performances of all time.

Another chilling performance was as Max Cady in Cape Fear. In this role, he plotted to take revenge on a lawyer who put him in prison for several years. Robert Mitchum wasn’t afraid to take on negative and villainous roles in addition to being a leading man. This helped establish him as a great actor as well as a great star.

His other great performances toward the end of the career included roles in The Yakuza, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and Dead Man.

A quick mention should also be made of Robert Mitchum’s TV roles. He played Victor Henry in the 1983 series, ‘The Winds of War,’ Patrick Flynn in ‘North and South’ Joe Whitaker in ‘A Family for Joe’ and Sam Dutton in ‘African Skies.’

While recognized mainly as a film actor, he won praise for his roles in television and was loved by his colleagues in both industries. One could imagine that if Robert Mitchum was starting his career today, he’d also be active in web-series.

Even though he slowed down later in his life, he still was wanted by producers and directors alike. He narrated the now-classic Western film Tombstone. He also had a cameo appearance in the remake film Cape Fear – directed by Martin Scorsese. His final starring role was in a 1995 Norwegian film called ‘Pakten.’

He was a versatile actor who should be recognized as a talented artist as well as a major celebrity.



While Robert Mitchum was one of our greatest actors, he often felt stressed with his fame. He was known not to take his fame seriously and often was a nightmare for interviewers – with the possible exception of being friendly with Dick Cavett and Michael Parkinson.

One of the things that plagued much of his life was his love for alcohol – particularly whisky. In fact, Robert Mitchum got into huge trouble with his booze habits. On the set of the film The Ambassador, he was often drunk while on set and even when the cameras were rolling. This caused him to clash with the cast and crew – especially with fellow co-star Rock Hudson.

This often caused the production to continue getting delayed and it was a miracle that the film was eventually made. It also is incredible that Robert Mitchum managed to continue his career until he passed away – with his final credit being in the film James Dean: Race With Destiny – which was released in 1997, the year that he passed away.

Robert Mitchum had this bad boy image not only because of his film roles but also because of his tough persona off-screen. But he was also loved by the film industry and despite grabbing the attention of women all over the world, he remained married to his wife until his passing.


Robert Mitchum died on July 1st of 1997, in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 79.

He’s remembered as one of the most iconic actors of his generation. In addition to his extensive career in film and television, he also had a brief career as a calypso singer. He was known to be reticent when it came to discussing his life and career – and often didn’t take being a celebrity seriously.

Despite his stardom and the benefits that came with it, he hated the fame and often discussed of how much he missed his anonymity. While his alcoholism and intimidating personality were often discussed during his life, he was still remembered as a great actor first.

Today, that reputation still lives on. If you haven’t seen any of Robert Mitchum’s great performances, today is the day to get started.

So, now let’s hear from you:

Are you a fan of Robert Mitchum? Did you know about all these incidents when he got in trouble due to his booze habits?

In fact, here’s what we want to know from you:

Do you think that Robert Mitchum is still recognized as one of the original ‘bad boys’ of Hollywood?

Or does there need to be a re-introduction of his life and career to new generations?

Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.

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