some trivial knowledge that is only known by a select few acquaintances; one
of my favorite actors is Robert Mitchum, the gravel-voiced hero of countless
blockbuster movies. Here is another little know fact, my parents did not
allow us youngsters to view "Thunder Road" for years because they thought it
was controversial in nature.
cult-favorite movie focuses on Mitchum's character, Lucas Doolin, earning a
living as a bootlegger by delivering the illegal liquor his father distills
and Gene Barry's character, Troy Barrett, attempting to enforce the law
against running moonshine whiskey. The movie was released on May 10, 1958
and it might surprise some readers to know that it is rumored in particular
circles to be a preface for NASCAR racing because several of the early
champions were also stock-car racers and bootleggers.
interesting fact that I discovered during my research is that most of the
movie belonged to Mitchum, he co-wrote and produced it, composed the
unforgettable theme song, and then created a recording of the song "The
Ballard of Thunder Road" that became a successful hit.
to the habits of most celebrities, he used part of his given name; Robert
Charles Durman Mitchum. Even though he never apologized for his love and
use of cigarettes and alcohol, he managed to stay married to his original
wife who was the mother of their three children. Later in life he was well
known as a bad-boy of Hollywood suffering through legal problems and brushes
with the judicial system.
The part of younger brother, Robin was
originally offered to Elvis Presley, as requested by Mitchum, and although
Elvis was eager to play the part, Colonel Tom Parker demanded an
unreasonable price for his efforts and the offer was withdrawn. James, Mitchum's son, was subsequently given the part and it worked out positively
because they looked so much alike. A little known fact is that Mitchum
himself financed the film production.
performances included lead parts in The Winds of War and the sequel, War and
Remembrance. Later he was heard in several commercial efforts for the beef
industry in "Beef, it's what's for dinner" campaign.
When Mitchum died at age 79 from emphysema and lung cancer, at his request
he was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea by Dorothy, his wife,
and Jane Russell, his neighbor. No formal funeral service was performed.