James Whitmore, Film And TV Actor, Dies At 87

by | February 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Celebrities, CSI: Miami, Obituaries, TV News

James Whitmore, the veteran Tony and Emmy winning actor who brought American icons Will Rogers, Harry Truman and Theodore Roosevelt to life, and who played many memorable film and TV parts in his role as Dean of American character actors, died of lung cancer at his home in Malibu late Friday night. He was 87.

The award winning actor’s career began in 1947 and he received a Tony award that same year for outstanding performance by a newcomer. In 1975, Whitmore’s one man play, “Give ‘em Hell Harry,” a dramatization of the life of President Harry Truman, was made into a movie for which he received a best actor Oscar nomination, making him the only actor in movie history to be nominated for a movie with a single cast member.

James Whitmore was a veteran character actor on TV as well, most recently with a walk-on role in CSI: Miami and stretching all the way back to 1958 in Wagon Train.

For younger fans, perhaps his most well known role was that of Brooks Hatlen, the institutionalized prison trustee from “The Shawshank Redemption” in 1994.

James Whitmore is survived by his wife Noreen, sons James Jr. and Dan, eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

See more information about James Whitmore right here on Fancast.