Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dancer-Actor James Mitchell, 1920-2010

Dancer-actor James Mitchell, whose long career included three decades on the ABC soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN, has passed away at the age of 89.

Mr. Mitchell would have been 90 next month.

Mitchell achieved his earliest recognition for his work in Broadway musicals, where his roles included ill-fated Harry Beaton in the original cast of BRIGADOON (1947).

Throughout the '40s and '50s Mitchell's movie roles alternated acting and dancing. He appeared as an actor in a number of fine films including COLORADO TERRITORY (1949), BORDER INCIDENT (1949), STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), and DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950).

One of his most notable film roles was playing Paul Byrd, the choreographer, in the classic MGM musical THE BAND WAGON (1953). Another notable film role was dancing "Dream Curly" in the ballet in the film version of OKLAHOMA! (1955).

Mitchell's dance with Cyd Charisse in DEEP IN MY HEART (1954), "One Alone," is one of the most scorching, blatantly sensual dances ever put on film. The dancing by these two greats, as choreographed by Eugene Loring, is simply stunning.

Mitchell was a 7-time Emmy nominee for his role as Palmer Cortlandt on ALL MY CHILDREN, but never took home the statuette.


Blogger Irene said...

I have not seen All My Children in years but just for fun I watched the 2 episodes that were recently shown for their big Anniversary. James Mitchell was on it as Palmer Cortland. They filmed him sitting in a chair as his character. I thought at the time how frail he looked. I really enjoyed him as "dream" Curly in Oklahoma.

10:31 PM  
Blogger la peregrina said...

Stunning is the word. Thank you for posting this. The man was a powerful dancer.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the report on his final AMC appearance, Irene.

La Peregrina, so glad you enjoyed the dance too.

Best wishes,

2:43 PM  

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