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James Whitmore
James Whitmore.jpg
Whitmore in 1955
James Allen Whitmore, Jr.

(1921-10-01)October 1, 1921
White Plains, New York, United States
Died February 6, 2009(2009-02-06) (aged 87)
Malibu, California, United States
Cause of death Lung cancer
Resting place Cremated, Ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean
Alma mater Yale University
Occupation Actor
Years active 1949–2007
Spouse(s) Nancy Mygatt (1947-1971, divorced)
Audra Lindley (1972-1979, divorced)
Nancy Mygatt (1979-1981, divorced)
Noreen Nash (2001-2009, his death)
Children Three sons from first marriage:
James Allen Whitmore, III

Steve Whitmore

Daniel Whitmore
Relatives Matty Whitmore (grandchild)

James Allen Whitmore, Jr. (October 1, 1921 – February 6, 2009) was an American stage and movie actor.

Early years

Born on October 1, 1921 in White Plains, New York. to Florence Belle (née Crane) and James Allen Whitmore, Sr.. Whitmore graduated from Yale University before serving in the United States Marine Corps during World War II.


James Whitmore family 1954
Whitmore and his family, June 1954

Following the war, Whitmore appeared on Broadway, where he won a special Tony Award in 1948. His first major movie was Battleground, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other major movies include; The Asphalt Jungle, The Next Voice You Hear, Kiss Me, Kate, Them!, Black Like Me, and Give 'em Hell, Harry, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as 33rd President of the United States Harry S. Truman.

Whitmore also appeared as General Oliver O. Howard in the 1975 TV movie I Will Fight No More Forever, based on the 1877 conflict between the United States and Nez Perce trib, led by Chief Joseph.

Later career

Whitmore's last major role was as librarian Brooks Hatlen in the critically-acclaimed and the Academy Award-nominated 1994 movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Although not always politically active, in 2007, Whitmore received some publicity with his endorsement of Barack Obama for U.S. President. In January 2008, Whitmore appeared in television commercials for the First Freedom First campaign, which advocates preserving "the separation of church and state" and protecting religious liberty.

Personal life

Whitmore was married four times; once to Nancy Mygatt in 1947 until they divorced in 1971. Then he married Audra Lindley in 1972 until they divorced in 1979. Later he once again married Nancy Mygatt in 1979 until they divorced once again in 1981. Lastly Whitmore married Noreen Nash in 2001 until Whitmore's death in 2009. He only has three sons from his first marriage including; James Whitmore, Jr..


Whitmore died on February 6, 2009 in his Malibu, California home from lung cancer from which he had since November 2008. He was 87 years old. Whitmore was later cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.

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