Sunday, January 02, 2011

Mitchum confessed that he had been a male Hustler

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Rated "R" for expletives.  Must be 18 years old.

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ISBN 978-0-615-37758-2


(Note: This story ran while Bob Mitchum was still alive. In his brother's book, "Those Ornery Mitchum Boys," they printed a full page photo of the cover of the Hollywood Confidential Star magazine, when we headlined this story. I wanted to clarify this so people won't think we made-up this story after he passed on. He and Jimmy Stewart died a day or two apart, and one crossed out the other for memorial tributes. Neither got top billing. I saw his brother, John, at a book signing. When John, an actor, had appeared in many of the Clint Eastwood films, he had been over weight and didn't look like a Mitchum. But, before the signing, he had been ill and lost a lot of weight but regained that "Mitchum look." And he had the bluest eyes I have ever seen. He had a stroke soon after. I don't know if he survived or not. I hope so. He was friendly and inquired if I was still publishing?) - Bill Dakota

Robert Mitchum, like John Wayne, had been in films since the beginning of westerns. He appeared in some of the old Hopalong Cassidy films, which were "B" films starring William Boyd. I don't recall seeing Bob until he appeared in war dramas and I was in my early teens or pre-teen stage. The second world war ended about the same time of his screen appearances in the war dramas. It was timely enough so people could associate with war films. For some reason, I always felt myself attracted to handsome, male, film idols. Mitchum wasn't the pretty-boy type, yet he had a sexy way about himself. He was "mucho-macho" for his era. He was sexy and rugged. He had a deep masculine voice, yet a fragile, although a somewhat rugged face, with a dimpled chin.

Over the years Bob appeared in many different films. One of my favorites was, "The Night Of The Hunter." He played a demented man, faking a preacher in order to find money hidden by a man he met in prison. It wasn't a film that appeared to the masses, (so the studio thought), and it was passed off to the art circuit, small theaters that played a lot of foreign films and were dubbed "art houses." But, the film did have commercial value and it was soon playing in larger theaters in big circuits.

Mitchum's famous pot bust, during the forties, made headlines around the world. Photos of him wearing jail denims was also front page news. Studios felt his career was over, but it never affected his career at all. He came out of jail, more popular and known, than when he went in. He also donated money to the jail to improve their eating facilities. At the same time he went to jail, he was voted the least cooperative actor and was given the Sour Apple Award, by the Women's Press Club. He also made the list of the "Ten worst Dressed Americans, " and a society columnist put him on the Ten Most Undesirable Male Guest list.

Bob married his childhood sweetheart, Dorothy, and they have two sons and a daughter. Both boys are actors, Chris and Jim. When Jim was younger, he was a dead ringer for his dad. Now-a-days, Chris seems to have the Bob Mitchum look more than Jim. Even though he has blond hair and blue eyes, you know he is one of the Mitchums. I thought Chris would be a surprise to Hollywood and become a star in his own right. But, he lives back east and to my knowledge, he doesn't do much acting. Jim hasn't been heard from in ages either.

There's hardly a leading lady in Hollywood who hasn't played opposite Bob. He's been on the screen with Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and on and on.

Mitchum was a fighter who stood up for his rights. He once filed a lawsuit against Confidential Magazine when they ran a story that he stripped naked at a party, then poured ketchup over his body as he allegedly exclaimed, "I'm a hamburger." Jerry Geisler, an attorney favored by celebrities, (now deceased and in a vault at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, across from, Jean Harlow's crypt), took the case to court. Bob was quoted as saying, "People are inclined to believe what they read in magazines. They say, if it's printed, it must be true. And if it's not true, how do they get away with it? That's the whole point. They should not be allowed to get rich by printing lies and smut." Although Mitchum never won any monetary damages, his action plus similar actions helped to put the magazine out of business. One of Bob's boys had even been expelled from school after the notoriety from stories written about Bob.

When Mitchum was ekeing out an existence in Hollywood, as an actor, he was at one time, a male hustler. He cruised Hollywood streets, as male hustlers still do today. He told an artist friend that Clifton Webb, once a big actor now deceased, (in a crypt at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, next to his mother's crypt), paid him for letting Clifton give him a blow-job. He said he finally got tired of going to Webb's home, so he sent his brother John, who was supposed to be a stud and able to go all night. John denied this when I phoned him. He said he knew someone who had been a driver for Webb, who said Webb was a Son-of-a-bitch to work for, but that the hustling wasn't true. (Well, it was said to have come from Mitchum's lips). I once tried reaching Bob through his production company but he never answered my calls. I was told he didn't like the press. The hustling story was told to my friend during the forties. The artist friend painted a portrait of Bob and as an inside joke, requested by Bob, added the initials C.W. (Clifton Webb) on the corner of the towel that Bob had wrapped around his neck. I don't think the artist would make-up such a story. The painting made of Bob was many years ago and the paint is cracked on the canvas today. But, we took a photo.

Bob also told the artist that Clifton Webb had Bob take pictures of him (Webb), by his pool, while he was trying to blow himself. Bob said he gave the film to Clifton in exchange for his camera.

Bob's last screen appearance was in a film titled, "A Race with Destiny," a movie about the love life between James Dean and Pier Angeli. (A terrible movie). Bob's grand-daughter played Pier Angeli and her husband, at that time, Casper Van Dien, portrayed James Dean. The film ran into legal problems and only played in a handful of theaters. Robert looked very bad and sickly in the film and died a few months after the film was completed. The only reason he consented to appearing in the film, (playing a studio executive), was because his grand-daughter was starring in it.

( The Night Sal Mineo was murdered.

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