The Baltimore Sun


Veteran character actor

James Whitmore, the veteran Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor who brought American icons Will Rogers, Harry Truman and Theodore Roosevelt to life in one-man shows, died Friday. He was 87.

Mr. Whitmore died of lung cancer at his home in Malibu, said his son, Steve. He was diagnosed with the disease a week before Thanksgiving.

In 1948, he won a Tony Award for outstanding performance by a newcomer in the Broadway production of Command Decision. His Broadway success brought him to Hollywood, where he received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in his second movie, the 1949 World War II drama Battleground.

Supporting roles and occasional leads in some 50 movies followed over the next 50-plus years, including The Asphalt Jungle, Them!, Kiss Me Kate, Oklahoma!, Planet of the Apes, Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Serpent's Egg, The Shawshank Redemption and The Majestic.

Mr. Whitmore also starred in three TV series: the 1960-1962 legal drama The Law and Mr. Jones, the 1969 detective drama My Friend Tony and the hospital sitcom Temperatures Rising in 1973.

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